BIG LIT is back to celebrate its 10th anniversary properly

BIG LIT: The Stewartry Book Festival was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary last year, but unfortunately Covid intervened.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 12:57 pm
Famed actress Annette Badland is among the names to appear at this year’s festival

Undaunted at having to throw 5000 brochures in the bin, the organisers held the first virtual BIG LIT as several authors appeared online.

However, now in 2021 the event is back to celebrate the 10th anniversary properly, bringing a live programme to a community hungry for culture.

The festival is known for offering a rich diet of all things literary, whether it be book talks, music, comedy, poetry, history, politics, biography or exhibition.

This year events will take place in Gatehouse of Fleet from August 19-22 as the festival welcomes:

Olivier Award nominee, actress Annette Badland who will be sharing her love for Gertrude Stein and Iris Murdoch;

Karin Fernald, known for her entertaining lectures and dramatised talks, presents Jane Austen and The Slave Trade;

Booker Prize winner George Szirtes hosts a writers’ workshop and discusses his prize winning memoir about his mother,

Queen’s Gold Medallist for Poetry Don Paterson, who not only writes stupendous poetry, but plays a mean jazz guitar, is at BIG LIT with top jazz guitarist Graeme Stephen.

Among the many other guests are Donald S Murray with his new book on Scottish lighthouses, Kirstin Innes (whose book Scabby Queen apparently got Nicola Sturgeon though lockdown), journalist Ian Dunt and farmer/author Patrick Laurie talks about how his Galloway landscape has changed.

Artistic director Chrys Salt said: “We also have rich selection of locally sourced events, a programme for young people and short digital programme alongside.

"There really is something for everyone, this is a programme fizzing with literary talent, and since tickets went on sale we've seen unprecedented demand.

“We dedicate BIG LIT 2021 to the memory the poet/writer Brian Johnstone, a friend and colleague who loved BIG LIT and brought so many fantastic events to our festival.”

Tickets and details of the full programme are available by visiting www.biglit.org. The local box office can be found in The Crafty Crow, call 01557 814000.