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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 08 November 2010

This month 3079 people across Scotland are writing a 50,000 word novel, to be finished by midnight on the 30th November. The emphasis is on quantity, not quality, and the aim is to kick-start those who've never taken the plunge into print before. Anastasia Drummond is the regional motivator for Scotland and it's her job to keep the writers' spirits up and the words flowing. But is there a book in everyone? Really? And what's the point of writing 50,000 words if they're not that good?

Ken Reid lost his sight in his mid twenties and remembers the struggle he had to finish the last book he ever read. As the Royal National Institute for the Blind marks 75 years of its Talking Books Service, we hear from Ken about gradually losing the ability to read books and what it means to him to have access to them once again.

Alastair Urquhart, prisoner of war of the Japanese during WW2, talks about reliving the awful memories he'd suppressed for 60 years in order to write his book.

We ask Alastair Moffat, director of the Lennoxlove Book Festival, how to establish and grow a new festival like this one and, crucially, how to make it different from the 41 other book festivals that take place in Scotland each year.

And a book 'written' by a meerkat in a quilted dressing gown is set to be a Christmas best-seller. Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday, Stuart Kelly, considers what the annual success of Christmas Novelty Books says about our cultural life.


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