Ullapool Book Festival tickets go on sale

Author William McIlvanney. Photo: Iain McLean
Author William McIlvanney. Photo: Iain McLean

Tickets for the 10th Ullapool Book Festival go on sale on Friday, March 29th. There is so much to delight in the programme – from emerging young authors to award-winning and best selling writers and poets. The festival runs from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th May.

Appearing will be well-known authors such as William McIlvanney, Jackie Kay and AL Kennedy.

William McIlvanney is one of Scotland’s finest authors and who has inspired a generation of writers. He won the 2013 Spirit of Scotland award and recently his 1975 book Docherty was named one of the best 50 Scottish books of the last 50 years.

Jackie Kay is a Scottish novelist, poet and writer of short stories. Her most recent collection Reality, Reality was published to critical acclaim. AL Kennedy is the author of six novels, five short story collections and three works of non-fiction. Her latest book All the Rage is a collection of short stories – a dozen ways of looking at love

UBF’s overseas guests this year are both from Cape Breton, Canada. Frank Macdonald will talk about his celebrated fiction and award-winning journalism - and maybe there will be a sneak preview of his forthcoming novel Tinker and Blue.

Lindsay Marshall is a former chief of Potlotek First Nation (a Mi’kmaw First Nation) on the shores of the Bras D’Or Lake, Cape Breton. There will be some stories and poems and he will talk about the Mi’kmaq.

Non-fiction comes from Jenni Calder and Iain Macwhirter.

Jenni Calder is former Head of Museum of Scotland International which focused on emigration and the Scottish diaspora. She will discuss her most recent book Lost in the Backwoods: Scots and the North American Wilderness which begins in 1773 when the Hector left Loch Broom for Nova Scotia.

Iain Macwhirter is the award-winning political commentator for the Sunday Herald and the Herald. He will talk about his critically acclaimed book on the national question in Scotland, Road to Referendum is a best-seller.

There will be two Northern Ireland authors. Glenn Patterson, described by Will Self as ‘Northern Ireland’s prose laureate’, will discuss his recently published coming-of-age novel The Rest Just Follows set in his native Belfast. Neil Mackay, a multi-award winning investigative journalist now resident in Scotland, will talk about his powerful first novel All the Little Guns Went Bang, Bang, Bang.

As usual there will be a Gaelic session with simultaneous translation. Tim Armstrong, from Seattle in the USA, and Andrew Dunn, from Point in Lewis, will read from and talk about their respective Gaelic novels Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach (the first science-fiction novel in Gaelic) and Còisir nan Gunna.

Also appearing are award-winning author Alice Thompson who will read from and talk about her latest novel Burnt Island described by Lesley McDowell in The Scotsman as ‘deliciously creepy’; Matthew Zajac from Inverness who has expanded his award-winning play into a book that tells how his father, brought up on a farm in Poland, became The Tailor of Inverness; Chris Dolan who writes for stage, page, screen, and radio will read from and talk about his latest novel Redlegs; Elizabeth Reeder and Cynthia Rogerson, two Americans now living in Scotland who will read from and talk about their acclaimed fiction.

The early morning half-hour sessions will feature Mike Russell, of the West Highland Free Press, and Ullapool resident Mairi Wilson.

And of course no 10th birthday celebration can be complete without a dance. So on Friday night there will be a dance with The Occasionals, one of Scotland’s foremost ceilidh bands. There will be birthday cake!

And on Saturday morning there will be more music as at various times the musician John Somerville will be playing excerpts from his newly-commissioned suite on the voyage of the Hector.

Full details on the festival and its programme can be found on the website www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk

Ullapool Book Festival has received funding from Creative Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Bord na Gaidhlig. It also received support from local companies and The Open University in Scotland.