Run by Glasgow’s libraries, the festival has assembled an exciting selection of 157 writers to discuss their latest works with an audience. These include the likes of A.C. Grayling, Carol-Ann Duffy, William Boyd and many significant others. Flicking through the listings, there is certainly something of interest for everyone, whether you’re interested in literature, film, current affairs, science, politics, or music, or just about anything else! This is not just a festival for fiction, covering a wide span of topics and writers.
Those interested in improving their own writing will find talks and workshops courtesy of Strathclyde University, covering topics from creative writing to interesting and welcome additions like graphic novel workshops. However, if you think you’ve got the material but lack the platform, you’ll find events hosted by publishers, novelists and screenwriters about pitching your work, finding an agent and getting noticed. Many of these events are priced at £12 for students; a reasonable expense for anyone looking for some knowledge and inspiration to get things rolling.
Other events of interest include Aardman Animation talking about the company’s latest film, The Pirates! alongside the author of the original novel the film is adapted from - a fun event for anyone interested in animation or screenplay adaption, priced at £7. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, The Scottish Poetry Slam Championship brings together the winners from live poetry competitions around Scotland for a climatic final on the 9th. The winner will go forward into the World Series in Paris, so there’s a lot at stake – tickets are currently at £5. Meanwhile, The Herald is hosting a panel debate on the future of the media, exploring issues affecting the industry, such as the hacking scandal; a worthwhile opportunity for anyone looking to work in journalism, priced at £7.
If money is tight, there is a selection of free events, such as a performance of work by participants recovering from addiction from the 10 week Add-ART program, with the support of a drama practitioner and professional playwright. There is also a selection of evenings chaired by Amnesty International exploring the worldwide plight of persecuted authors unable to express their own opinions freely. On the 17th, a night focusing on the work of Glasgow University’s creative writing students and teachers is also taking place free of charge, including the presentation of the Sceptre Prize for the most outstanding student of 2011.
Given the wide range of opportunities taking place across the festival, you’d be an idiot not to give the program a quick look. Most events are held in the Mitchell Library, and tickets are available online.