The Aye Write book festival will this year deliver a diverse, digital programme of events over two weekends in May.
Running from May 14-16 and May 21-23 May, Aye Write is Glasgow’s Book Festival and is produced by Glasgow Life, the charity which delivers culture and sport in the city.
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, bringing the book festival to audiences across the world to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.
Early Bird Passes for access to all the events over the two weekends will be available until the end of April, at the early bird price of £40.
On Wednesday 28 April (7pm), as a warm-up to the main event, Scotland’s top crime writers Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Louise Welsh will be in conversation with each other, tickets for which are available now.
The full digital programme of over 60 author talks and discussion panels will feature more than a hundred writers from Scotland and around the world, as well as across the cultural spectrum, including stars from stage and screen, politics, current affairs and entertainment.
Well-known, award winning names from the world of books will sit alongside new literary talent. A lively blend of entertaining, uplifting and thought-provoking events will provide escapism, whilst others reflect on the issues of the day including mental health and well-being, racism, women’s rights, ethical travel, data security and Scotland after the coronavirus pandemic.
Highlights of this year’s Aye Write in May include: TV entertainers Robert Webb and Mel Giedroyc; broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Marr about the books that made him; radio and TV presenter Nicky Campbell on his adoption memoir; The Rev Richard Coles talking about his own experience of grief; musician turned writer Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl) and folk legend Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention); bestselling novelists Maggie O’Farrell and Kate Mosse in conversation; 2020 award winning authors Douglas Stuart (Booker Prize for Shuggie Bain) and Monique Roffey (Costa Book of the Year for The Mermaid of the Black Conch); BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner; historian Niall Ferguson; Lockerbie campaigner Jim Swire talking to Kate Adie and former Labour leader and current Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Ed Miliband.
The full programme will be available on the Aye Write website from Thursday 29 April, with tickets on sale from that day too.
Aye Write programmer, Bob McDevitt said: ‘Putting the festival together this year in lockdown has brought a few challenges, but the online format has also allowed us to have the most international programme I think we’ve ever had, with authors joining us from California, New York, Austin, Montreal, Brisbane, Oslo and Dublin, as well as some fantastic authors from Scotland and the rest of the UK.
‘I’m especially excited by our literary prize winners: Glasgow’s very own Douglas Stuart; Monique Roffey and Maggie O’Farrell.
‘Aye Write always provides a home for stimulating conversations and this year is no exception, with a mix of well-known faces and some outstanding debut writers, many making their first ever festival appearance.’
Over two thirds of the programme will be live via an accessible, Pay Per View, digital platform, with the facility 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.
The past year of lockdown has witnessed a resurgence of reading for pleasure, with books providing a great solace during difficult times. Aye Write 2021 is a celebration of literature in all its forms, whilst showcasing Scotland’s rich writing and publishing culture on the world stage.
The full digital programme and tickets will be available to view at www.ayewrite.com from Thursday 29 April.