Author: Katie

Performance Poet ~ Ewan McNicholl

This year’s festival is set for a lively start with Edinburgh-based rapper and performance poet, Ewan McNicholl, giving us a taste of his wit, rhythm and rhyme (see festival section for more details).

NOT TO BE MISSED!  9pm Friday 22nd April in the hotel bar.

 

Writing Workshop ~ Festival 2016

Don’t miss your chance to take part in this year’s exciting writing workshop.

Led by writer Mike Smith, the workshop will focus on reading your work aloud and what you can learn about your writing from this process (see festival section for more details).  This workshop is open to anyone who has some writing they would like to explore, whatever their level of experience.

Participants are asked to bring along 6 copies (clearly typed) of up to three pieces of writing of any genre.  Prose, 250-500 words per piece; poetry max. 40 lines per poem.

Places are limited to 15 so, come on all you budding writers, book your place today!

The workshop will take place at 10.30 on Sunday morning in the hotel.

2015 Festival News

Unfortunately, Lin Anderson has had to withdraw from the festival this year, due to family illness. However, we are happy to announce that the highly regarded Scottish crime writer, Aline Templeton, has kindly agreed to step in at short notice,and will be talking about her latest book, ‘The Third Sin.’

Line-up revealed for Colonsay Book Festival 2015

Organisers of the Colonsay Book Festival today announced the line-up of authors for the fourth annual Hebridean literary celebration.

The two-day event – dubbed a “literary lock-in” – will take place on the enchanting Isle of Colonsay (population: 130) in the Southern Hebrides on 25 and 26 April 2015.

This year’s programme stars celebrated Scottish crime writer and screenwriter Lin Anderson, roofer-turned-poet William Letford, cookery writer Mary Contini, novelist Sara Maitland, nature writer and poet Jim Crumley and award-winning author James Buchan, grandson of The 39 Steps writer John Buchan.

In addition, acclaimed composer and musician Mike Vass will provide entertainment of a musical and literary flavour on Saturday 25 April, in the Colonsay Village Hall. Joined by some of Scotland’s finest musicians, his In the Wake of Neil Gunn suite celebrates Scotland’s coastal communities, the inspirational joy of sailing, and Neil Gunn’s outstanding contribution to Scottish literature.

Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “With just over three months to go, excitement is building ahead of the fourth instalment of the Colonsay Book Festival. Yet again, we’ve lined up a fantastic programme with something for everyone to enjoy.

“On behalf of all the organisers, we can’t wait to welcome our visitors and authors to Colonsay in April.

“Tickets are on sale now, with a special early bird rate available until 14 February. You can keep up to date with all our news on our website and via Twitter and Facebook.”

Conceived and produced entirely by the island’s residents, the Colonsay Book Festival has carved its own niche in Scotland’s busy book festival calendar since launching in 2012.

Many of Scotland’s best loved writers and poets have now made the journey by ferry to experience Colonsay’s literary celebrations, with audiences flocking from all over the world to join them.

Ian Rankin, whose Colonsay Book Festival appearance in 2013 coincided with his birthday, summed up the event’s appeal. He said: ‘It is no mystery – take a wonderful island, add readers and writers, sprinkle the whole with outstandingly good organisation … and a magical festival results!!”

Last year’s event featured Val McDermid, Jackie Kay, Andrew Greig, Christopher Brookmyre, Lesley Glaister and Patrick Richardson.

Tickets for the 2015 Colonsay Book Festival are on sale from www.colonsaybookfestival.org.uk.

Val McDermid Counts Down to her Debut CBF Appearance

 Thursday 27 March 2014

VAL MCDERMID COUNTS DOWN TO HER DEBUT CBF APPEARANCE

With exactly one month to go, bestselling author Val McDermid has spoken of her excitement ahead of making her debut at one of Scotland’s most unique literary celebrations.

From 26 to 27 April, the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay will once again become a mecca for booklovers as the third annual Colonsay Book Festival (CBF) takes centre stage.

stellar line-up of authors has been announced for the two-day event – dubbed a “literary lock-in” byBrighton Belle author Sara Sheridan at last year’s CBF.   

Fellow top Scottish crime writer Christopher Brookmyre joins Val McDermid, acclaimed poet Jackie Kay, author and poet Andrew Greig, travel writer Patrick Richardson, and novelist and playwright Lesley Glaister for the 2014 festival.

On the eve of her re-imagining of Northanger Abbey being published as part of the ongoing Austen Project, Val McDermid said she was looking forward to engaging with the Colonsay Book Festival audiences next month.

Val McDermid said: “Counting the days till the Colonsay Book Festival – what could be better than being marooned on a Scottish Island with a bunch of writers and readers?”

Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “In exactly one month’s time, Val McDermid will be ‘in conversation’ in front of what I know will be a rapt audience for her inaugural Colonsay Book Festival appearance – we can’t wait.

“The event has been a huge success in its first two years, with many audience members now making an annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Colonsay to take in the festival. This year sees another fantastic line-up of writers preparing to make the ferry crossing from the mainland.

“Tickets have been selling fast since they went on sale in January and you can keep up to date with all our news on our website and via Twitter and Facebook.”

Conceived and produced entirely by the island’s residents, the Colonsay Book Festival has carved its own niche in Scotland’s busy book festival calendar since launching in 2012.

Many of Scotland’s best loved writers and poets have now made the journey by ferry to experience Colonsay’s literary celebrations, with audiences flocking from all over the world to join them.  

Ian Rankin, whose Colonsay Book Festival appearance in 2013 coincided with his birthday, summed up the event’s appeal. He said: ‘It is no mystery – take a wonderful island, add readers and writers, sprinkle the whole with outstandingly good organisation … and a magical festival results!!”

Last year’s event featured Ian Rankin, Candia McWilliam, Tom Pow, Sara Sheridan, Mairi Hedderwick, Ron Butlin, Angus Peter Campbell and Maggie Fergusson.

The inaugural Colonsay Book Festival in 2012 saw the island play host to Liz Lochhead, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, Margaret Elphinstone, Kenneth Steven and Sophie Cooke.

Tickets for the 2014 Colonsay Book Festival can be purchased from www.colonsaybookfestival.org.uk

Writers’ Workhop

Writers’ Workshop
Lesley Glaister author

Lesley Glaister

Lesley Glaister, who teaches creative writing at the University of St Andrews, will lead a workshop at the hotel on Sunday 27th April, between 10.30 and 12 noon.  Tickets cost £10, and places will be limited to 8 people. First come, first served!

Another Stellar Line-up for Colonsay Book Festival

ANOTHER STELLAR LINE-UP FOR COLONSAY BOOK FESTIVAL

It may be six months away, but excitement is already building ahead of the third annual Colonsay Book Festival (CBF).

A stellar line-up of authors has been announced for the two-day event – dubbed a “literary lock-in” – which will take place on the enchanting Isle of Colonsay (population: 130) in the Southern Hebrides on 26 and 27 April 2014.

The programme stars top Scottish crime writers Christopher Brookmyre and Val McDermid, acclaimed poet Jackie Kay, author and poet Andrew Greig, travel writer Patrick Richardson, and novelist and playwright Lesley Glaister.

Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “With another terrific line-up of authors confirmed for the programme, we’re already raring to go for next year’s Colonsay Book Festival.

“The event has been a huge success in its first two years, with many audience members now making an annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Colonsay to take in the festival!

“Tickets will be on sale from January 2014 and you can keep up to date with all our news on our website and via Twitter and Facebook.”

Conceived and produced entirely by the island’s residents, the Colonsay Book Festival has carved its own niche in Scotland’s busy book festival calendar since launching in 2012.

Many of Scotland’s best loved writers and poets have now made the journey by ferry to experience Colonsay’s literary celebrations, with audiences flocking from all over the world to join them.

Ian Rankin, whose Colonsay Book Festival appearance in 2013 coincided with his birthday, summed up the event’s appeal. He said: ‘It is no mystery – take a wonderful island, add readers and writers, sprinkle the whole with outstandingly good organisation … and a magical festival results!!”

Last year’s event featured Ian Rankin, Candia McWilliam, Tom Pow, Sara Sheridan, Mairi Hedderwick, Ron Butlin, Angus Peter Campbell and Maggie Fergusson.

The inaugural Colonsay Book Festival in 2012 saw the island play host to Liz Lochhead, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, Margaret Elphinstone, Kenneth Steven and Sophie Cooke.

Tickets for the 2014 Colonsay Book Festival will go on sale from www.colonsaybookfestival.org.uk in January 2014.

 

Visitor Information:

Ferries to Colonsay during the summer period (April to October) typically run from Oban on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with additional services from Kennacraig (via Islay) on Wednesdays. Check www.calmac.co.uk for up to date timetable information.

Colonsay offers a range of accommodation options, from hotel, B&B to hostel and self-catering:http://www.colonsay.org.uk/hotelghouse.htmlhttp://www.colonsay.org.uk/otheracc.html

For more information about this news release, please contact Katie Spence on 07904 519779,colonsaybookfestival@gmail.com.

You can also follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Rankin Hails ‘Magical’ Colonsay Book Festival

RANKIN HAILS ‘MAGICAL’ COLONSAY BOOK FESTIVAL

Top international crime writer Ian Rankin has lead the tributes to the organisers of what is arguably Scotland’s most boutique literary celebration, the Colonsay Book Festival (CBF)

There was standing room only when the creator of Detective Inspector Rebus brought the second-ever CBF to a close by reading an excerpt from his forthcoming novel Saints of the Shadow Bible.

The whole weekend was declared a roaring success by audience members and participating authors alike, with visitors coming from as far afield as Germany and Canada to attend.

Ian Rankin, whose CBF appearance coincided with his birthday, said: ‘It is no mystery – take a wonderful island, add readers and writers, sprinkle the whole with outstandingly good organisation … and a magical festival results!!”

At the close of Ian Rankin’s in-conversation event, he was presented with a birthday cake inspired by the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed album cover, together with 12 special bottles of Colonsay IPA, labelled “Ian Rankin’s Bierthday Brew”.

Also appearing at the CBF on 27 and 28 April were Candia McWilliam, Sara Sheridan, Ron Butlin, Maggie Fergusson, Angus Peter Campbell, Mairi Hedderwick and Tom Pow.

Poet Tom Pow, who stood in at the last minute after John Burnside cancelled, added: “The expert organisation was accompanied by genuine warmth and interest from organisers, helpers and audience. This is definitely a festival that has so many reasons for the book lover and book writer to attend. All that and in the beautiful island of Colonsay!’

Meanwhile, famed Scottish illustrator and writer Mairi Hedderwick, creator of the Katie Morag series, said: “Thank you so much for the wonderful hospitality – and opportunity to revisit old thoughts and places on Colonsay 25 years! on since Eye upon the Hebrides was published.”

Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “We really couldn’t be happier with how the second ever CBF went, it was just brilliant. The Hall was full or nearly full for every single event and the feedback we’ve had from audience members was absolutely fantastic.

“We couldn’t do this without the tireless hard work and enthusiasm of our festival committee, who should be very proud of what they have achieved. Huge thanks must also go to all our supporters, especially Caledonian MacBrayne, who entertained the authors royally on their voyage from Oban to Colonsay.

“Plans are already afoot for next year’s CBF – it’ll be the last weekend of April again, so save the date!”

Last year’s inaugural festival saw Colonsay play host to Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, Margaret Elphinstone, Kenneth Steven and Sophie Cooke.

For more information about this news release, please contact Katie Spence on 07904 519779,colonsaybookfestival@gmail.com.

Counting down to CBF 2013

“LIKE A LITERARY LOCK-IN”
– Counting down to Colonsay Book Festival #2

The countdown has begun with one week to go before the second outing of what is arguably Scotland’s most boutique literary celebration, the Colonsay Book Festival, 26 -28 April 2013.

cbf_2013-programme

This year’s event will again see a host of pre-eminent Scottish authors set sail for the small but perfectly formed Isle of Colonsay for an unmissable Hebridean literary weekend, this year headlined by internationally prized crime writer Ian Rankin.

Also appearing are Candia McWilliam, Sara Sheridan, Maggie Fergusson, Angus Peter Campbell, Mairi Hedderwick and Ron Butlin.

Last year’s inaugural festival saw Colonsay play host to Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, Margaret Elphinstone, Kenneth Steven and Sophie Cooke. short film showcasing the 2012 Colonsay Book Festival  made by Rachel Hendry, has just been released and can be viewed now on YouTube.

The authors’ ferry travel to Colonsay is being sponsored by Caledonian MacBrayne  whose Chief Executive, Martin Dorchester, is also making the trip to the Inner Hebridean island for the Book Festival. Mr Dorchester and his wife, who is currently studying creative writing at university, will host a reception for the authors during the ferry crossing from Oban and the writers will also have the opportunity to meet the vessel’s Captain.
Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the line-up for this, the second Colonsay Book Festival and you can already feel the excitement on the island as people get ready to welcome the authors next weekend.

“There are so many book festivals of all kinds these days but I think Colonsay really offers something quite unique. All the authors spend the whole weekend on the island, soaking up its breathtaking beauty and meeting the residents, which creates a fantastic shared experience for everyone involved in making the festival happen.

“Despite our stellar line-up, we are still a very grassroots event so we are hugely grateful to all our supporters, and especially to Caledonian MacBrayne.”

Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive of Caledonian MacBrayne, said: “We are always keen to work with local communities on innovative events of this kind which bring visitors to the islands. The Colonsay Book Festival is a particularly good example of what can be achieved if communities set their sights high and I am sure it will go from strength to strength.”

Sara Sheridan said: “A book festival on a gorgeous Hebridean island with lots of other writers, a great audience and a cosy pub? It’s like a literary lock-in. I’m really looking forward to it.”

MEET THE AUTHORS 2013

In November 2012, Ian Rankin  the UK’s bestselling crime writer, brought back Detective Inspector John Rebus to popular acclaim in “Standing in Another Man’s Grave”. And on Monday 15 April this year, Ian Rankin tweeted confirmation that Rebus would be returning again, this time in “Saints of the Shadow Bible”, due out in hardback on 7 November 2013. This latest book will see Rebus paired against one-time nemesis Malcolm Fox as a 30-year-old case is reopened.

Candia McWilliam, who has long connections with the Isle of Colonsay, first came to public notice with her novels “A Case of Knives” (1988) and “A Little Stranger” (1989). “Debatable Land” (1994) won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and, in 1998, its Italian translation won the Premio Grinzane Cavour for the best foreign novel of the year. Most recently, she published “What To Look For In Winter: A Memoir In Blindness” (2010).

Sara Sheridan is a prolific young Edinburgh writer of work ranging from books for children of all ages to historical adventures (including “The Secret Mandarin” and “The Secret of the Sands”), and most recently, crime fiction. Her latest book, “London Calling”
(2013), is the second in a series of ‘cosy crime noir’ set in Britain in the 1950s, and featuring the feisty private detective, Mirabelle Bevan.

Maggie Fergusson is literary editor of Intelligent Life and Director of the Royal Society of Literature. Her book, “George Mackay Brown: The Life” (2006), won the Saltire Society

Award for a First Book. She recently published “Michael Morpurgo: War Child to War Horse” (2012), a unique collaboration in which Maggie’s seven biographical chapters are matched by seven autobiographical stories by Morpurgo.

Angus Peter Campbell is a noted Gaelic poet and novelist, and also a journalist, broadcaster and actor. Originally from South Uist, he now lives in Skye. In 2001 he was awarded the Bardic Crown and also given a Creative Scotland Award. His latest collection, “Aibisidh”, was shortlisted for the 2012 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards. He has also collaborated with the photographer Cailean Maclean on a TV programme for BBC Alba on walking through the Hebrides.

Mairi Hedderwick is a famed Scottish illustrator and writer, possibly best known for her Katie Morag series of children’s books set on the fictional Isle of Struay, which is loosely based on her former home on Coll. She has also produced several books of travel writing for adults. Mairi received an honorary degree from the University of Stirling in 2003, in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to writing and illustration in Scotland, especially for children”.

Ron Butlin is the current Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate), having been re-appointed for a second term in 2011. In 2009 he was made the first Honorary Writing Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, together with Ian Rankin. An acclaimed poet, novelist, short story writer and opera librettist, he has published over a dozen books, several of which have won Scottish Arts Council Book Awards. In addition to his plays for BBC radio and theatre (most recently “Sweet Dreams” for Oran Mor in Glasgow), he has written five operas, two of them for Scottish Opera.
For press enquires, please contact Katie Spence.