Wigtown Book Festival is offering thousands of free tickets for a wide range of talks and events to visitors below the age of 26.
They can hear leading writers, journalists, political figures, campaigners, scientists, entertainers and others at events with standard ticket prices of £6 to £10.
Some are part of the WigWAM young people’s programme such as the events with YouTuber Hannah Witton, blogger Alyshia Ford, and poet Harry Baker.
Others are part of the main programme that features the likes of poet and writer Nadine Aisha Jassat and spoken word poet Jenny Lindsay.
With the festival running from 27 September to 6 October, and dozens of talks taking place each day, that can add up to a huge number of free events that will challenge, engage, inform and entertain.
Anne Barclay, Wigtown Book Festival operational director, said: ‘One of the most important things we can do as a festival is to make sure that the up and coming generation have the widest possible access to the very best in literature, poetry and ideas.
‘It’s really exciting for us to be able to make an offer this big and far reaching, giving young people the chance to come to a 10-day festival to see and hear some of today’s most exciting writers and thinkers.’
WigWAM has been curated by a group of young people aged 14 to 20 and includes workshops in notebook making, comics and animation.
There are also discussions about mental health, awkward questions and surviving life online.
Andy Stewart, Young People’s Assistant, said: ‘WigWAM offers a diverse and engaging programme for all, covering topics such as equality, activism, travel, and animation.
‘Our young adult curators aim to provide something for everyone. This year’s highlights include YouTuber Hannah Witton, Instagrammer and author Aly Ford, storyteller Susi Briggs, and activist Femi Oluwole.’
Another special offer allows registered students over 26 to buy tickets for £2 on the door from 15 minutes before the start, subject to availability (on production of ID and from 10am-6pm). The free entry offer for people 26 does not apply to the Big Wig children’s programme or some food and drink events.
For full details of Wigtown Book Festival go to wigtownbookfestival.com.
For the first time this year, WigWAM events appear in the main listings. Most sessions are open to all ages – but if you are under 26 they are free.
The festival is grateful to The Holywood Trust for its continuing support to help young people to grow and to thrive.