South Scotland

Wigtown Book Festival stirs up literary 'melting pot'

Kirsty Wark Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kirsty Wark is coming to Wigtown for the festival later this year

Almost 300 events have been unveiled in the festival programme at Scotland's national book town this year.

Kirsty Wark, Melanie Reid, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Doddie Weir and Matthew Parris will all be heading to Wigtown.

The festival - now in its 21st edition - runs from 27 September to 6 October.

Artistic director Adrian Turpin said the event hoped to live up to Galloway's historic reputation as a "meeting place and a melting pot for so many different cultures".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Doddie Weir is another name on the line-up at Scotland's national book town

"That's the theme of this year's festival," he said.

"We want to bring some of the UK's most exciting voices to Scotland's book town.

"But we also want to show the world what is unique about the whole region."

Operational director Anne Barclay said the festival was not just about the big names from further afield.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The 21st edition of the festival will see journalist Melanie Reid talk about her book

"One of the things that we are absolutely committed to through the festival and through our other activities year round is supporting local writers and particularly writers who have some connection to Dumfries and Galloway," she said.

"One of the things we really sell the festival on is that sense of place."

She added that authors and visitors often said the town became their "home from home" during the event.

"It is really important to us that people feel at home and feel really, really warmly welcomed to Wigtown," she said.

'Timely boost'

Dumfries and Galloway Council's events champion Adam Wilson said the festival continued to attract visitors to the area.

"The book festival is able to showcase Galloway in an uplifting, natural way, and charm many thousands of visitors each year," he said.

"It fits perfectly with the more rewarding pace of life in this picturesque corner of south west Scotland, and provides a timely economic boost for the bookshops who have done so much to support the regeneration of the town."

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