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Book Week Scotland 2018 - 2023

Over the last five years the Edinburgh Literary Salon has engaged with Book Week Scotland. In 2018, having only recently been passed the baton from Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, we were still on the nursery slopes. Nonetheless we promoted and advertised BWS through our regular Notes of Interest, and our monthly mailshot.

By 2019 we were at full-tilt and held a BWS Edition of the Edinburgh Literary Salon at Waterstones, West End. Our Special Guests were Catherine Simpson and Ricky Monahan Brown, who discussed the challenges of writing memoir about challenging subjects. Here is an artist’s impression which deftly airbrushed our intrepid interviewer out of the picture!

Like everyone in 2020, the Pandemic sent us somewhat ‘off-piste.’ By November we were up and running online, using livestream and recorded media. We were delighted to welcome storyteller Fiona Herbert as our BWS Special Guest. Jamie interviewed Fiona ahead of the event, and Fiona recorded a tale especially for us. Click on the links!

By the following year, we had produced an anthology of new writing in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University’s post-graduate publishing students. Limping out of lockdown we managed to hold an in-person BWS event at Blackwell’s Bookshop, celebrating our new book, Lost, Looking & Found. We also had new Steering Group members, so it was great to have Madeleine (former Napier student) interview Mary Paulson-Ellis, discussing Mary’s contribution to our book, and her most recent novel, Emily Noble’s Disgrace. Click for an audio recording.

By 2022 we were back at The Outhouse, and for BWS we put the spotlight on women, with our Special Guest author Sara Sheridan discussing her book Where are the Women with Rebecca. We also spoke about the Edinburgh Women's Mural project – a public mural celebrating Edinburgh’s trailblazing women, past and present – and June (who contributed to the project) spoke with Central Library’s curator, Zoe Johnstone.

Returning to the Library, we were able to hold our 2023 BWS edition in the George Washington Brown Room. With the theme this year being Adventure we invited Barbara Bryan and V.E.H. Masters (Vicki) to talk about self-publishing, which is certainly an adventure. This year we published our second anthology, The Golden Hours, and we welcomed contributor Ash Caton to speak about his project, Ear Read This. Ash read his poem from the anthology, which he has recorded as a podcast for his channel.

Some of this year’s Publishing students at Napier are engaged in promoting our anthologies, and they have been adding content on our Instagram. Keep an eye out for more posts in the coming months, and next year for another Book Week Scotland.

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