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Book Week focuses on the future

By David Porter

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The Scottish Book Trust has unveiled the Book Week Scotland’s 2020 programme, which focuses on the theme of Future.

Changing lives through reading and writing, the Trust has worked closely with partners to ensure the celebration will go ahead this year in a digital format due to the current pandemic.

Book Week Scotland is the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing and it returns for its ninth year from Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 22.

Ruby Wax
Ruby Wax

Although there will be no face-to-face events this year, the digital festival has a stellar line-up including award-winning author Denise Mina; actress and comedian Ruby Wax; bestselling crime writer Louise Welsh and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

To kick off the programme, writer Luke Winter joins Book Week Scotland for Dial a Story, a live writing service that will take place in Edinburgh on Monday, November 16.

Stationed at the Scottish Book Trust phonebox, Luke will be available to write personalised stories on his typewriter, which will be mailed to the participant.

Members of the public can call Luke on 07818 173 266 between 11am and 2pm.

There will also be the opportunity for the public to take part in an online treasure hunt via Scottish Book Trust’s social media for the chance to win a Zoom appointment with Luke Winter.

During the session, he will write a unique story for the winner: a perfect Christmas present for a loved one or friend.

An avid reader herself, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join #BookShelfChat: sharing favourites from her own bookcase.

The public are also encouraged to join in on Tuesday, November 17 by sharing photographs of their own bookshelves using the hashtag.

Libraries and community groups across Scotland are also taking part in Book Week Scotland with a full list available at www.scottishbooktrust.com.

50,000 free copies of the Future book, which includes real life stories from people around the country, will be available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week Scotland.

A selection of 30 stories are featured in the book, which also includes work from author Abir Mukherjee of A Rising Man and poets Romalyn Ante of Antiemetic for Homesickness and Dean Atta of Black Flamingo.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Book Week Scotland will look different this year.

"However, we’re still excited to present a diverse and engaging programme with some of the biggest names in the Scottish literary scene and beyond.

"Whether it is joining our Digital Festival, reading the Future book or voting for the novel that sums up 2020, we hope everyone is able to take part this year in some form.

"Thanks also to our partners for working hard to make Book Week Scotland possible despite the difficulties.”

Events taking part in the north-east include Asking Ambrose Parry where the authors of Aberdeen’s most downloaded eBook, crime thriller, The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry (aka Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman) are helping celebrate Book Week Scotland with a special pre-recorded Asking Ambrose Parry event.

Answering questions sent into them from readers, Chris and Marisa discuss all about their Ambrose Parry novels, what inspired them and how they survived lockdown.

This special pre-recorded session will be available to watch for free from Tuesday, November 17.

Eric R Davidson
Eric R Davidson

Meet the author events see Eric R Davidsona local historical crime writer from Aberdeen a member of the Live Life Aberdeenshire library team to talk to him about his Inspector Jake Fraser series set in Edwardian Aberdeen.

Eric also discusses his MILO thriller series about military intelligence set in London in the 1970s.

Eric will also speak about his recently published book The Little Boy Who Didn't Like Corned Beef.

This book is set in Aberdeen during the Typhoid epidemic of 1964, where chief inspector Ogston and doctor Ian MacQueen both face very challenging situations in their attempt to keep the residents of Aberdeen safe from illness and murder.

This event will be uploaded to the Live Life Aberdeenshire website at 2.30pm on Tuesday, November 17 and will remain accessible from this page for the duration of Book Week Scotland and the following week.

Fellow author Jane Eddie is a new crime writer from Aberdeen.

Jane Eddie
Jane Eddie

Join Jane as a member of the Live Life Aberdeenshire library team talks to her about her debut novel Black Blood.

Her novel is set in Post-Brexit Aberdeen when a prominent CEO is found dead, there are mysterious deaths offshore and oil platforms are being targeted by terrorists!

Jane talks about leaving her job in the oil industry to create her first book of mystery and murder.

This event will be uploaded to the Live Life Aberdeenshire website at 2.30pm on Monday, November 16 and will remain accessible from this page for the duration of Book Week Scotland and the following week.

As thee days grow short and the nights draw in, we join local storyteller Pauline Cordiner for a special retelling of Norwegian folk tale Tatterhood.

There are kings and queens, princes and princesses, trolls, some mischief from the fairy folk and our hero Tatterhood.

She doesn't care how she looks or acts and somehow saves the day with only her courage, her goat and her wooden spoon!!

So coorie in, get comfy and join us for this special Book Week Scotland session perfect for young readers aged seven to 11 and anyone else wanting a much needed dose of happily ever after.

This special pre-recorded session will be availablefor free from Wednesday, November 18.

While organisers couldn't get award-winning children's author Alex McCall on campus in Aberdeen this year - they decided to recreate him as an animation!

Theyhave been working with Alex to create animated shorts that they hope will encourage everyone to have a go at writing flash fiction.

They will be broadcasting the five micro tutorials (each around two minutes long) throughout Book Week Scotland on the Book Week Scotland Activity Page.

There will also be a chance to chat with Alex in a live Collections Conversations event on Thursday, November 19 which has been set up by Aberdeen University.

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