Author Louise Welsh, poet William Letford (l) and Francis Bickmore of Canongate Books.
Best-selling author Louise Welsh and award-winning poet William Letford are set to headline an inaugural literary cabaret taking place this month, which shines a light on the nation’s literary scene in 2017.
The fast-paced, 90-minute show – called This Is It! – will highlight the year’s literary happenings across five strands – publishing, book festivals, school and public libraries, writers, and the international perspective.
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs will open this first public event from Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) – the nation’s largest network of literature and languages organisations – on Wednesday 23 November from 7pm at Central Hall, Edinburgh.
Speakers include, respectively, Canongate Books’ Publishing Director Francis Bickmore, Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival, and Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC).
Poet William Letford, who hails from Stirling, will cover writer development and perform a reading of his poem This Is It from which the event takes its name.
Closing the show will be Glasgow-based author, Louise Welsh, who will speak about Scotland’s books and literature on the international stage as well as the importance of literary exchange between nations.
In addition, attendees will be able to browse and buy books from Scotland’s writers and publishers courtesy of Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh while librarians from South Lanarkshire’s digital library programme ‘ACTIVEe’ will be on hand to demonstrate 3D printers which are now available in all of Scotland’s public libraries.
Peggy Hughes, Chair of LAS said:
“With over 40 book festivals a year, ambitious new publishing houses such as 404ink emerging, stalwarts such as Birlinn celebrating 25 years, another Man Booker shortlisting for Ali Smith, Muriel Spark’s centenary on the horizon, not to mention the many, many Scottish books and authors that are going into the world every day and taking our stories and voices with them, it seemed high time that we take a moment to celebrate the wealth of our literature sector and shout about its cultural and social value.”
“At a time when Scotland’s Culture Strategy is being developed, it’s vital that we champion our sector and all the talented people working within and for it. Our literary cabaret is a chance for everyone with an interest in Scotland’s literature and book community to gather together and say, ‘This is it, this is a snapshot of what’s been happening this year’. It’s about carving out a space to celebrate the wonderful success, highlight the exciting potential and address the challenges. That’s why we’re so delighted that Fiona Hyslop is officially opening the event and giving this rich and vibrant sector the recognition it deserves.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“Scotland’s distinguished literary culture is a notable part of our national identity. It also attracts visitors to Scotland and raises our cultural profile around the world.
“I am pleased that the Literature Alliance Scotland is extending its reach beyond its membership of key individuals and agencies which promote writers and publishers to engage with the public.
“We are doing all we can to support the literary sector to ensure this rich legacy is maintained and strengthened in future years. We do this through for example our support for Creative Scotland, literacy, libraries, festivals, Book Week Scotland, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and the post of Makar.”
Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland, said:
“We have a unique, distinctive and rich cultural asset in literature that not only makes an enormous impact to people’s lives in Scotland but also enhances our reputation internationally. From poets to storytellers, screenwriters and playwrights the quantity and quality of writing being published here is truly inspiring. This is It! and Literature Alliance Scotland creates an important opportunity to bring together authors, publishers, libraries, festivals and literary organisations, and champion the work being done to make literature more visible to a greater number of people. We look forward to continuing this work with Scottish Government, partner agencies and individuals to create the best conditions to support a thriving literature and publishing sector in Scotland and internationally.”
This Is It! is hosted by Siân Bevan and tickets are £7 /£6 – https://this-is-it-literary-cabaret-2017.eventbrite.com/
Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of Literature Alliance Scotland. For further information, please contact LAS Communications Officer Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor
Literature Alliance Scotland, a membership organisation, represents the principal literature and languages organisations in Scotland, and is committed to advancing their interests at home and abroad. We exist to provide a strong, trusted collective voice on their behalf. Formed in Spring 2015, LAS is a successor to the Literature Forum for Scotland. For further information visit www.literaturealliancescotland.co.uk or follow us on Twitter: @LitScotland
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland, please visit www.creativescotland.com Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland