2019 Festival Programme

All events take place in the Village Hall unless noted. Tickets for all events are £10 unless noted, and available at the door.


Saturday 27th April 2019
12.00pm Light Lunch and refreshments  available
1.30pm Clare Hunter in conversation about Threads of Life, on the social, emotional and political significance of sewing and how people have used it as a language to tell and conserve their stories.
3.00pm Poet Jen Hadfield will read new and old work from BYssus and Nigh-No-Place that explores the natural world and ideas of home with passionate intensity.
4.30pm Ann Cleeves in conversation about her series of Shetland novels, the last of which – Wild Fire – was published in 2018, as well as her continuing series of Vera Stanhope novels.

Hotel Bar


 Literary Pub Quiz
Sunday 28th April 2019



Remote writing: How to alienate friends and massacre sheep (unless you’re careful). An informal session in which Tom Morton reflects on life as a writer and broadcaster based in a remote corner of Shetland.
12.00pm Light Lunch and refreshments  available
1.30pm Robin A Crawford will be discussing and reading from Into the Peatlands.
3.00pm Sarah Maine in conversation about character and the power of place, with readings from The House Between Tides and Women of the Dunes.
4.30pm James & Tom Morton will entertain with stories, readings and a few songs/poems about Shetland, along with some father/son quarrelling/banter. And possibly a bit of cooking…
5.30pm Conversations @ The End –  Festival close – with a glass of wine and some chat!

About the authors

Ann Cleeves

Sometime child care officer, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard and probation officer, Ann Cleeves is the award-winning author of more than 30 works of crime fiction. She was the inaugural winner of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award in 2006 for Raven Black, the first of her Shetland series featuring DI Jimmy Perez, which she recently completed with the final novel in the series – Wild Fire. She is also the author of the books behind ITV’s VERA, whose 9th series recently aired.

Robin A Crawford

Born in Glasgow, Robin has a Fine Art degree in sculpture. For the past twenty-five years he has been a bookseller and bookshop manager. Into The Peatlands, his first book, is a journey through the Scottish moorland year encompassing social, cultural and natural history- “…makes you yearn for a sip of golden whisky whose barley malt has been smoked over a rich, peaty fire.” Daily Mail. It has been longlisted for the 2018 Highland Book Prize.

Jen Hadfield

Cheshire-born poet Jen Hadfield went to University in Edinburgh and Glasgow and has been around and about the islands of Scotland ever since. For the past eight years, she has lived in Shetland, which persistently influences her poetry and visual art. She was the youngest winner of the T.S.Eliot Award in 2008 for her second collection Nigh-No-Place.  She now works primarily as a poet, creative writing tutor, and classroom assistant, but over the years has also supplemented her creative work with spells as a picture framer and fish-gutter. Her third poetry collection Byssus was published in 2014.

Sarah Maine

Sarah started writing fiction a few years ago, having previously worked as a professional archaeologist who had to stick to facts.  But, in her words, she recognised that “landscapes change people…and landscapes can alter perspectives, holding onto the past and bonding people to them. I like to explore these themes in my books and consider how characters are shaped by wild, unfamiliar places”.  She has published three novels – Women of the Dunes, Beyond the Wild River and The House Between the Tides – all set partly in Scotland, and is currently working on a fourth.

James & Tom Morton

James was a finalist in the 2012 series of The Great British Bake Off. He’s subsequently written books about bread, baking in general and home brewing. He’s made many appearances on television and at food festivals – fitting all of that around his training as a doctor. His father is Tom Morton, a ‘recovering’ journalist, radio and television broadcaster and author, who has covered topics ranging from music to golf and whisky to motoring. For a year, he was even the writer behind ‘Oor Wullie’ in the Sunday Post. Together, they have written Shetland: Cooking on the Edge of the World, part cook-book, part memoir but mainly, in Tom’s words, a book about place and “a culture and community spirit that has been all but lost in the rest of the UK.”

Clare Hunter

Clare has been a banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over twenty years and has established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, and had a story published in its 2017 Annual. She was also a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. Threads of LifeA History of the World through the Eye of a Needle is her first book and was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.


Authors from Previous Years: