OBE for Wigtown book festival’s artistic director

Festival director Adrian Turpin outside The Open Book.
Festival director Adrian Turpin outside The Open Book.

The artistic director of the Wigtown Book Festival, Adrian Turpin, has been awarded an OBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to literature and the economy of Wigtownshire.

Adrian, 47, is a journalist by training who has formerly worked as an editor and writer for The Independent, The Scotsman and The Sunday Times. He has been involved with Wigtown Book Festival since 2006, working first on the project as a volunteer.

As a programmer, over the past decade Adrian has helped expand the festival to include more than 250 individual events and activities. During this period, the event has won the Creative Places Award, Thistle Award, Arts & Business Scotland Award, Scottish Power Foundation award and, in 2016, the Dumfries & Galloway Life cultural champion Award.

Wigtown Book Festival is now the largest annual event in Dumfries & Galloway and delivers more than £2m for the regional economy. In addition to the autumn book festival, Wigtown Festival Company runs a year-round programme of activities. This includes support for regional writers and for children and young people.

Reacting to the news he said: “I am taken aback but obviously delighted and honoured.

“I’ve been lucky to work with such an amazing organisation and community. This award recognises the contributions that literally hundreds of people have made to create such a well-loved event as Wigtown Book Festival. They include volunteers, fellow festival staff, writers, book-shop owners, supporters and Wigtowners who have embraced the festival and national book town wholeheartedly.

“It’s essential that culture and literature are not luxuries. They make a real difference to the quality of people’s lives. I would also like to think that this award recognises that fact.”