Islay Book Festival: 2021 update

We have reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s event due to the continuing uncertainty over travel and other restrictions linked to the Covid pandemic.

We are not confident of being able to hold a physical festival towards the end of the summer and so have decided to cut our losses and cancel now.

And while we learnt a lot from our online programme last year, and are incredibly grateful for everyone’s contributions and support from across the globe, our feeling is that live events on the island are really what our festival is all about and we don’t want to move too far away from that.

We also feel there is no point trying to compete in a now very cluttered digital landscape.

However, we have decided instead to try and organise some one-off book events this year to support a couple of local publications coming out in May and June respectively. These events will most likely be held online over the summer months.

In the meantime, we’ll be working away in the background on a future strategy for the festival and in particular to try to secure longer-term funding for our activities. We look forward to coming back with a bang in 2022!

Literary stars to deliver online tonic for troubled times

Angus MacKinnon previews this month’s online Islay Book Festival.

Scots Makar Jackie Kay has agreed to open this month’s Islay Book Festival in a welcome filip for the event, which is being held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexander McCall Smith, the bestselling author famed for his uplifting storytelling and optimistic view of the world, will also help deliver a literary tonic for troubled times.

The big names’ support was described as ‘fabulous news’ by festival chair Isla Rosser-Owen. ‘Alexander McCall Smith is a global bestseller and Jackie always has something insightful and interesting to say. We’re really looking forward to hosting them and of course all the other writers taking part in our first digital festival.’

Real-time poetry writing with Kornel Kossuth, a children’s ‘How to Draw a Dragon’ session with Kate Leiper, and music from Islay Sessions regular Gráinne Brady and The Bookshop Band are also on the menu for the 27–30 August event.

Continue reading “Literary stars to deliver online tonic for troubled times”

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