Festival Fever

It’s festival season in Edinburgh – so naturally we have a lot of events going on right now. We thought we should give you a wee round-up of what we and our authors are up to this month!


Positive Approaches to Dementia; Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 14.30-15.30

Having worked in the field for more than 20 years, the writer and poet John Killick has produced a practical guide for those who support people with dementia. Concentrating on communication and relationships, Killick’s approach in Dementia Positive is pragmatic without being over-simplistic about the condition and its effects. He shares stories from relatives, friends and people with dementia with Ian Deary, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology. In association with the College of Humanities and Social Science.


Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe

Now in its sixth year, Blackwell’s Writers at the Fringe brings you once again the best in Scottish writing. Every Thursday during the Festival Blackwell’s Bookshop at South Bridge, Edinburgh, invite a selection of Scottish performers to give a taste of their work. This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell’s or from the Fringe Box Office.  For more information or if you would like a signed copy please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8222 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk.

This year’s performers are:

Meg Bateman, Liam McIlvanney, Catriona Child (author of Trackman), James Robertson and The Wild Myrtles


Waving Scotland Goodbye (EIBF 2013); Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 11.00-12.00

During the 20th century, more Scots than ever left this country and headed for pastures new. Scottish emigration continues to play a major part in shaping our identity, both at home and abroad. Marjory Harper, author of ‘Scotland No More?‘,is joined in this event by literary historian Jenni Calder, author of  ‘Scots in the USA‘ and ‘Scots in Canada‘, to discuss the Scottish exodus to America and beyond. Chaired by Sheena McDonald.


The Wonder of Arthur’s Seat (EIBF 2013); Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 11.00-12.00

Arthur’s Seat is a familiar Edinburgh skyline-filler, but the history of the ancient volcano remains something of a mystery. Kellan MacInnes joins us to discuss ‘Caleb’s List‘, a highly personal memoir and hill walker’s guide to Arthur’s Seat and the twenty mountains that can be seen from its 250-metre peak. In ‘Journeys and Evocations‘, writer and storyteller Stuart McHardy explores the local folklore and customs associated with the ‘Resting Giant’.


Energy and the Environment – Too Much Hot Air? (EIBF 2013);Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square, Edinburg, 12.30-13.30

A senior policy adviser to the Scottish Government, Alexander Bell’s seminal book Peak Water was first published in 2009. As a new edition is published, he joins us to explain why water shortages remain a key threat to world political stability. He is joined by Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson, whose book ‘So Much Wind’ is a passionate attack on wind turbines and ‘the myth of green energy’.



Join the banter with some of the most outspoken writers in Scottish writing. Featuring daily debates and discussions with a diverse array of Luath authors such as Lesley Riddoch (Blossom: What Scotland Needs to Flourish), Alan Riach (Homecoming/Arts of Independence), Alexander Moffat (Arts of Resistance/Arts of Independence), Alasdair Hutton (The Voice of the Tattoo) and more. Royal Mile Book Fringe captures lively voices and stimulates debate.


Monday 19 August – WALTER STEPHEN: THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL (a Patrick Geddes Lecture)

Tuesday 20 August – ARTS OF INDEPENDENCE: a debate and discussion on the cultural case for independence by Professor Alan Riach and artist Alexander ‘Sandy’ Moffat

Wed 21 August – EDINBURGH: JOURNEYS AND EVOCATIONS with storyteller Stuart McHardy and Head of the Scottish Storytelling Centre Donald Smith.

Thursday 22 August – BLOSSOM: WHAT SCOTLAND NEEDS TO FLOURISH. A special pre-launch event for journalist Lesley Riddoch’s upcoming polemic on Scottish culture.

Friday 23 August – MEET THE VOICE OF THE TATTOO with Alasdair Hutton. Alasdair reveals the inspiration behind his beautiful new children's tale, ‘The Tattoo Fox‘.


Reigniting a Traveller’s Tale (EIBF 2013); Writer’s Retreat, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 15:30-16:30

David Campbell’s subject is Duncan Williamson, born in a Loch Fyne tent in 1928, surrounded by storytellers and musicians. A Traveller in Two Worlds tells of Williamson’s remarkable life (he had two wives, ten children and wrote many stories) and the attempts to get his work about the traveller community to a wider public. Campbell is joined by Linda, Williamson’s second wife and an ardent activist in keeping his memory and writings alive.


Blueprint Debate on Scottish Democracy (EIBF 2013); The Guardian Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 19:00-20:00

Alex Salmond has made his pitch clear: tick ‘yes’ and we can be certain ‘the people of Scotland will get the government they vote for’. But will the country remain dependent on London’s fiscal policies whatever the outcome? This politically charged debate includes a statement from the Electoral Reform Society Scotland following its recent inquiry into the future of Scottish democracy. Journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and the Telegraph’s Scottish Editor Alan Cochrane lock horns.

Lesley Riddoch’s forthcoming polemic on the topic, Blossom, can be pre-ordered now..


Tessa Ransford @ Blackwells, Edinburgh; Blackwells, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1LS, 18.00

Join Tessa on a journey to explore the differences between ‘then’ and ‘now’ as she questions what it means to be both Indian and British.

Reading poems from her two new books A Rug of a Thousand Colours inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam, and Don’t Mention this to Anyone, featuring poems from her own experiences in India and Pakistan, Ransford is a distinctive and unique voice of Scottish poetry.