A look at some of the best book events in Scotland during autumn 2012

Scotland boasts a bounty of places to visit where you can discover the country’s literary scene, from monuments dedicated to our great authors and poets to the seeds of inspiration being sowed today.

You could spend a whole day in Edinburgh and not even scratch the surface of its literary connections, but a good place to start is the Writers’ Museum. As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, there are events on almost every day of the year.

An afternoon spent perusing the shelves in charming second-hand bookshops is one well spent. Edinburgh’s West Port area will keep you entertained for hours while there’s a certain magic to the bookshops of Glasgow’s West End; and a jaunt to Inverness will reward you with Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop, Leakey’s.

For live literature, there are a phenomenal number of book-based events and festivals in Scotland standing testament to a current, vibrant and ground-breaking literary scene - see below for a mere taster to take you through autumn.


Scotland’s first international crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, celebrated a successful inaugural event over the weekend of 14–16 Sep, with big names in this popular genre such as Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre topping the bill.

Experience the joy of reading and literature in spectacular surroundings with a weekend away in the Highlands; September hosts both Spirit of Moray Book Festival (19–22 Sep) and The Three Lochs Book and Arts Festival (20–22 Sep).

At the ‘tale’ end of the month, Glas-goes Poetic (28 Sep–7 Oct) celebrates spoken and written word, with events dotted around the city’s many poetical haunts.


October kicks off with a whole month dedicated to literature in North Lanarkshire as Words (1–31 Oct) plays host to a mix of well-known authors and emerging talent. Look out for poetry in unusual places! Down on the seasisde, enjoy talks on hot topics in the world of literature as well as author appearances at Portobello Book Festival (5–7 Oct).

It seems 2012 is the year of crime-writing, as another new event launches at Haddo House and other NTS properties in Aberdeenshire. Unsolved (19–21) will welcome authors as well as host films, workshops, and crime themed tours.

This year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival (19–28 Oct) pays homage to Grimms’ Fairy Tales and is guaranteed to light your literary flame through live performance and storytelling, thought-provoking discussion and more.


November boasts its fair share of literary delights too with Lennoxlove Book Festival (2–4 Nov) pulling in the big names against an exquisite backdrop. Smaller festivals in the same month include Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival (1–3 Nov) and Linlithgow Book Festival (2–4 Nov). The month also welcomes the first ever Book Week Scotland (26 Nov–2 Dec), which will include a packed programme of free events and projects.

And if that’s not enough, look out for festivals into 2013 - highlights include StAnza (St Andrews), Aye Write! (Glasgow), Borders Book Festival and of course, the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Year of Creative Scotland is helping to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Find out all that this special year has to offer at www.visitscotland.com/creative.

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