The Aye Write online book festival starts this weekend (Friday 14 May to Sunday 16 May) with a packed programme of events including award-winning writers, stars of stage and screen, as well as some of Scotland’s finest new writing talent. Aye Write is Glasgow’s Book Festival and is produced by Glasgow Life, the charity which delivers culture and sport in the city.
Highlights over the three days include: TV star turned novelist Mel Giedroyc talking about her debut novel, The Best Things; radio and television’s Nicky Campbell on his moving memoir of adoption, One of the Family; Costa Book of the Year award winning writer and memoirist Monique Roffey exploring Caribbean fiction; stars of Outlander Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish on their epic road trip around Scotland; Scottish historian Niall Ferguson discussing his book Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe; Welsh actress and comedian Katy Wix on her very personal memoir Delicacy: A Memoir about Cake and Death; writer and journalist Alex Renton discussing his book Blood Legacy, addressing his own family’s legacy of slavery; writer, journalist and social commentator Mona Elthaway on feminism; and broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Marr on the books that made him.
Aye Write runs from Friday 14 May to Sunday 16 May and Friday 21 May to Sunday 23 May 2021. The full digital programme is available at www.ayewrite.com.
Following the book festival (Monday 24 May to Saturday 29 May), the Aye Write Creative Writing Programme, in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde: Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University and the Gaelic Books Council, offers the chance to develop writing skills in many different forms including sessions on: writing for television with celebrated TV writer Ann Marie di Mambro (Casualty, EastEnders and Inspector Linley); writing for radio with regular BBC Radio contributor Chris Dolan; plus further workshops in song writing, on getting published, Gaelic nature writing and poetry.
The packed six-day programme culminates in a full day of creative writing tuition, The Aye Write Creative Writing Masterclasses, including lectures on finding your writing voice; perfecting the setting; advice on revising and editing, as well as a live panel of industry experts on how to get published, finishing with an inspiring session with Mayflies author Andrew O’Hagan.
The live book festival, usually held in March at the Mitchell Library, was postponed due to Government guidelines in response to Covid-19. Instead, the 16th edition of Aye Write will take place online.
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life said:
“We are delighted to bring Aye Write back in 2021. Our fully digital, online programme will allow book-loving audiences across the world to enjoy the festival in the comfort of their own homes for the first time. We look forward to welcoming international visitors to Glasgow’s book festival.”
Aye Write programmer, Bob McDevitt said:
“I’m so pleased by the enthusiastic response to the online programme for Aye Write this year. I’ll miss welcoming all the writers to the green room at the Mitchell but I’m sure the readings, panels and conversations will be as stimulating as ever.
“The creative writing programme is more comprehensive than ever with Gaelic sessions, a publishing panel and a keynote from Andrew O’Hagan. We’re hoping that we might inspire and encourage some hitherto unknown best-sellers!”
Over two thirds of the programme will be live via an accessible, Pay Per View, digital platform, with the opportunity for audiences to be able to ask questions and engage in the talks. Most of the live and recorded content will be available online for three weeks after each event, allowing people the luxury of being able to pick and choose when to watch.
There is also the facility to donate to Aye Care, a special fund created to help support the Aye Write book festival, its future and the vital literacy and learning programmes it delivers across the city of Glasgow throughout the year.