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Booked! West Dunbartonshire Festival of Words 2015
11th May – 22nd May 2015

West Dunbartonshire Libraries and Cultural Services

Terry Lanagan, Executive Director of Educational Services.

Since its launch Booked has become well established as West Dunbartonshire’s annual literary festival offering a wide a range of topical, entertaining and stimulating events. This year’s line-up continues that tradition mixing the best contemporary writers with poets, musicians, an actor and fascinating talks on topics as diverse as the Lusitania and the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. We aim to appeal to all ages and tastes and this year present our first fantasy novelist, Elizabeth May. Fantasy has captured the wider public imagination with Peter Jackson’s popular adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit plus the massively successful Game of Thrones books and television series. Poetry features twice this year and it is a real pleasure to welcome back Kenneth Steven who has always been a Booked favourite, this year accompanied by the musician Wendy Stewart. The amazing young poet Rachel McCrum makes her festival debut performing her lyrical work. As ever crime fiction remains hugely popular in Scotland and Denise Mina, one of the leading lights of crime writing returns to Booked. Denise has a huge international following transcending her Scottish roots and her latest novel is based in Helenburgh. Booked also takes a pride in showcasing the talents of emerging writers and this year Kirstin Innes will be talking about her debut novel exploring the realities of the sex industry. We are also especially delighted and honoured to welcome Michel Faber to West Dunbartonshire. Michel is one of the most highly regarded and versatile contemporary writers and as well as receiving numerous literary awards his novel The Crimson Petal and the White was adapted by the BBC and his cult classic novel, Under the Skin,portraying an alien on the streets of Glasgow was recently released as a highly acclaimed film starring Scarlett Johansson.

We have always been very keen to stimulate thought and to provoke discussion and have put as much emphasis upon non-fiction as fiction. Leading actor Alex Norton will be talking about his career in show business. This year’s Alastair Pearson lecture will be delivered by Lesley Riddoch who played such a prominent role in the recent independence referendum and she will explore how Scotland can continue to grow and flourish post-referendum. Carol Craig has written two highly regarded books The Scots’ Crisis of Confidence and The Tears of the Clyde. She has also both commissioned and contributed to a series called Postcards from Scotland exploring many of the key economic, educational and environmental challenges that confront our nation and four of the featured authors will be talking about their books. Rob Cowen first came to prominence with his well-received book Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the Wild and his new book Common Ground takes forward the theme of how we can all engage more deeply with the natural world on our own doorstep. Finally, we are very excited about the Mill Girls on Tour, which is a wonderful fusion of poetry, drama and song celebrating the lives and struggles of the mill workers of Paisley and a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Terry Lanagan
Executive Director of Educational Services


Acknowledgement: The lion symbol of the Booked! Festival is the work of the renowned Scottish author and artist, Alasdair Gray. Our thanks to him.