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by Liz Beevers, committee member of Pentlands Book Festival

There are huge treats in store for book lovers this Autumn in venues from Colinton to Balerno when  Pentlands Book Festival will welcome Val McDermid and Jackie Kay in November at locations in Juniper Green and Currie respectively. 

Val McDermid pictured alongside Message From the SKies on the Scotsman Steps Photo Martin McAdam

Our schoolchildren from P7 to S3 will be challenged to write a poem on the Book Week Scotland theme of “Rebel”; plenty of scope there for sure.  Thanks to the Balerno and Currie Rotary Club there are serious prizes to be won and fame, too, with a public reading at the prize-giving ceremony during Currie High School’s Christmas Fair.

Scotland’s own radical rebel Thomas Muir will be featured by his biographer Murray Armstrong at Currie Library thanks to an award from the Scottish Book Trust.  And an historical walk in the city centre will follow the course of Muir’s rough treatment by the Edinburgh establishment.

Local authors Janet Dyer, Geoff Akers, Amanda Berriman and Norma-Ann Coleman will share their work and enthusiasms in Colinton Library and whisky expert Blair Bowman will go further and share samples at the Juniper Green Bowling Club. 

Jennifer Henderson will talk about her acclaimed biography of Scotland’s own mystery crime writer Josephine Tey in the premises of Porteous on Lanark Road and Jacquetta Megarry will explain how she writes her popular Rucksack Readers in a further session at Colinton Library. There will be a Scientific Supper at Al Borgo, a visit to the War Poets archive at Napier University, a collaborative event with Colinton Lit, a literary quiz night at Tanners, a film in Balerno and former Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin is appearing at Currie Library. 

Blair Bowman whisky expert will speak at the Pentlands Book Festival

Younger children can meet Elizabeth Ezra on Friday 30 November at Currie Library for 8-12 year olds.  And, in a closed afternoon session Jackie Kay, the Scots Makar, will speak to senior pupils at Currie High School on 6 November.  We hope to invite students from many of our local secondary schools to this event.

Full details on pentlandsbookfestival.org  and don’t forget to collect the free leaflet from the library now.

Booking is by Eventbrite or in person at the libraries. Most events are free (except for the Scientific Supper) though donations are always encouraged!. 

We are grateful to the C&B News, the Currie and Balerno Round Table, Edinburgh City Libraries and The Scottish Book Trust for their continued support of the Pentlands Book Festival.