About Islay Book Festival

Founded in 2006, the Islay Book Festival grew out of a small book club in the village of Port Ellen into the thriving, volunteer-run event we know today. Set against the stunning backdrop of Scotland’s whisky isle, we are now firmly established within Islay's busy annual events calendar and Argyll's wider cultural scene.

Since our first festival 13 years ago, Islay Book Festival has brought a colourful mix of authors, poets, and storytellers to the Hebrides, including Ali Smith, Ruth Rendell, Val McDermid, Iain Banks, Chris Brookmyre, Julia Donaldson, Alistair Moffat, Mairi Hedderwick, Colin MacIntyre, Bernard MacLaverty and many others.

While many of our main events may include a wee dram or two, it’s not always about the whisky! We offer sessions on crime, historical and contemporary fiction, a range of non-fiction and island themes, new writing, children’s events, school visits, poetry, performances, workshops, and lots more.

Keep checking our festival programme for news and updates as we continue to provide and enhance our festival for authors, their audiences, the island and its many visitors.

Our 2019 festival will take place on 29th August to 1st September. Our programme is due to go live at the end of June.