Book Week Scotland is launching a virtual festioval to run alongside this year’s nationwide activities and events. Taking place from 27 November to 3 December, the week will featurefree, digital events that everyone can enjoy and take part in, said organisers.
The virtual festival will begin with Crime Writers Play Cluedo, on 27 November, when 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’.
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.
On Tuesday 28 November, 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.
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.
You can 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.
Marc Lambert, chief executive 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.”
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.”
Other events include, on Wednesday 29 November, a 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.
On Thursday 30 November, 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 SBT’s website or Spotify: voting is open until 5pm Tuesday 28 November.
On Friday 1 December, 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 2 December, tweet your #BookWeekScotShelfie and show us your bookshelf to win prizes. Also, at 3pm, explore storytelling with Bernard MacLaverty with our Facebook Live broadcast from The Kelvin Hall. “Finally,” said the organisers, “on Sunday 3 December, we encourage you to switch off your internet, put your feet up and read a good book.”