Book Week Scotland is launching its first-ever Virtual Festival so bookworms across the country can join in with events, no matter where they are.
Taking place from November 27 to December 3, the week will be packed with free, digital events that everyone can enjoy and take part in, to run alongside the nationwide activities and events.
The Virtual Festival will begin with Crime Writers Play Cluedo on Monday, November 27. Watch bestselling authors Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride and Doug Johnstone pit their knowledge of the criminal mind against each other. The writers will also discuss their own plots and favourite ‘whodunits’.
On Tuesday, November 28, Phil Earle’s event for P4–S1 students will be broadcast live across the UK as part of BBC Authors Live. Phil will be speaking about his hilarious Storey Street books and offering his best tips on writing stories. The author will also answer questions from pupils across the country.
Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride and Doug Johnstone pit their knowledge of the criminal mind against one another
In the evening, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will take part in a live Twitter Q&A all about her love of reading. Members of the public can submit their questions via Book Week Scotland’s (@BookWeekScot) Twitter. Follow the Q&A by searching for #FMBookChat. Also on Tuesday, pull up a virtual seat for a battle of rhymes at our Poetry Slam, programmed by Edinburgh City of Literature, hosted by writer and comedian Sian Bevan and featuring poets Jenny Lindsay, Harry Giles, Andrew Blair and Katie Ailes. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook.
On Wednesday, November 29, cook-along with the Edinburgh Food Studio as chef and co-owner Ben Reade creates a three-course meal inspired by Scottish literature: a starter from Peter Pan, a main course from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and for dessert, a Treasure Island theme.
Then on Thursday, November 30, tune in to BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth show to find out Scotland’s favourite song inspired by a book. Listen now to the ‘Top 40’ playlist on the Trust’s website or Spotify: voting is open until Tuesday, November 28, at 5pm.
On Friday, December 1, well-known book vloggers Jean Menzies, Simon Savidge and Jen Campbell will compete in an unboxing game. Each booktuber will have three sets of clues and must piece them together to guess the famous books, for points. Viewers can also play their own unboxing challenge on the Book Week Scotland website.
On Saturday, December 2, tweet your #BookWeekScotShelfie and show off your bookshelf to win prizes! Also, at 3pm, explore storytelling with Bernard MacLaverty with the Facebook Live broadcast from the Kelvin Hall.
Finally, on Sunday, December 3, the Trust are encouraging people to switch off their internet, put their feet up and read a good book.
Book Week Scotland is now in its sixth year and is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. In addition to the virtual festival, hundreds of events and activities will take place all across the country, during the week.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘We’re delighted to add a digital strand to this year’s Book Week Scotland, and we have a fantastic line-up of authors and well-known personalities. Fitting perfectly with this year’s theme of Nourish, there is a feast of virtual events that are sure to cater to any palate. We hope to spread the celebration of Book Week Scotland through the power of social media and reach an even wider audience.’
The Edinburgh Food Studio chef and co-owner Ben Reade creates a three-course meal inspired by Scottish literature
Alan Bett, literature officer at Creative Scotland, added: ‘Digital channels, from streaming to social media, are opening up access to literature for an ever-expanding audience and Creative Scotland is pleased to support Book Week Scotland’s first ever Virtual Festival.
‘The range of events on offer – from bestselling authors to vloggers and streamed poetry slams – is enabling audiences from across Scotland and beyond to not only experience and enjoy live literature, but to actively participate. Scottish Book Trust aims to change lives through reading and writing, and this welcome digital addition to their highly successful Book Week Scotland programme allows the magic of books to enter into a broader spectrum of Scottish lives.’
Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh City of Literature, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see Book Week Scotland events which can be enjoyed by people wherever they are. We’re excited about working with Scottish Book Trust to create the first ever Book Week Scotland poetry slam: it promises to be an excellent event which can be enjoyed by all our sister Cities of Literature online.’