The 12th Wigtown Book Festival launched its programme today with its most wide-ranging and inventive line-up yet. This year’s 10-day festival, which takes place in Scotland’s National Book Town in Galloway, south-west Scotland, has 173 main events, making it the largest annual literary gathering in Scotland outside Edinburgh.
The festival will begin on the evening of Friday 24 September when former cabinet minister Peter Hain will be talking about his book on Nelson Mandela in the County Buildings. This will be followed by the best-selling crimewriter Ian Rankin in the Baillie Gifford Marquee.
New this year is a season of events that will take place at atmospheric venues around the local area. Sponsored by Scottish Power Renewables, this strand includes talks at St Ninian’s Cave on the sea shore at Whithorn and at historic Cardoness Castle. Jackie Kay will read her poetry at the 12th-century Cruggleton Church, the former chapel to the Lords of Galloway, while two events in the disused control tower of the former WWII RAF station Baldoon will look at the Battle of Britain.
In addition to the main programme, a series of 15-minute mini-events at weekends will invite speakers to talk about the subject of “inspiration”. These events take place in the tiny Martyrs’ Cell, a former magistrates’ court holding cell which seats just 12 people.