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Book festival draws crowds

By Fiona Reid
Book festival draws crowds

A BOOK festival in the region is predicted to be the biggest yet — with organisers hailing a great start to the 19th annual event.

The ten-day 19th Wigtown Book Festival began on Friday with a mix of special guests, literature, debate and entertainment, and is expected to welcome an audience of up to 20,000 people at a range of talks, lectures, debates, workshops and activities.

Each morning kicks off with breakfast sessions in The Chat Room where the Wigtown-based Bookshop Band play tunes and welcome special guests while the audiences enjoy coffee and pastries.

The coming days will see a host of high-profile writers, journalists, filmmakers, historians and others gather in the Dumfries and Galloway town.

The line-up includes Iain Sinclair, Jeremy Bowen, Paul Laverty, Mairi Hedderwick and Tom Devine among many others.

Joining them are many new names in literature, including ten-year-old Rebekah McCrorie from Prestwick who was reading from her first book, ‘Monster, Monster’, at Curly Tales bookshop.

Adrian Turpin, the festival’s artistic director, said: “The festival has got off to a great start and looks like being the biggest ever, with an audience of up to 20,000 being welcomed in a town with under 1000 residents.”

The festival has a wide-ranging programme of events for children and young people, many aimed at nurturing their interest in reading and writing.

Rebekah, whose favourite authors are J K Rowling and David Walliams, said: “I’m really looking forward to my event. I want to encourage other boys and girls to write their own books.”

The young writer is currently working on her second book, which she says is a mystery with an unexpected twist.


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