Thursday, 4 April 2013



Orkney Book Festival

11-14 April 2013
The second Orkney Book Festival features writers and speakers from Canada, Scotland and Orkney. The Festival celebrates Orkney filmmaker and writer Margaret Tait, and the bi-centenary of Arctic explorer John Rae as part of the year-long programme of events, John Rae 200.
Events include film nights, a book fair, readings and workshops, the results of the second Young Orkney Writers’ Prize, and the annual George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture. This year’s featured writers are:
Struan Sinclair novelist and academic from the University of Manitoba, Canada; Orkney Writing Fellowship Resident in 2004
Magi Gibson poet and writer for adults and children, current Reader-in Residence at Glasgow Women’s Library
Ian Macpherson acclaimed comedian, performer and writer for adults and children
Gerda Stevenson actor, musician and poet, who starred in Margaret Tait’s only feature film, Blue Black Permanent
Sarah Neely from Stirling University, editor of Margaret Tait: Poetry, Writings, Stories, who will deliver the GMB Memorial Lecture
Sarah Forrest filmmaker and first holder of the Margaret Tait residency at the Pier Arts Centre, attending courtesy of the Glasgow Film Festival 
Alison Miller novelist and current Reader-in-Residence at Orkney Library & Archive
Brian Murray writer and co-editor of many books by George Mackay Brown, and of Robert Rendall: Collected Poems
John Flett Brown Geologist, and co-editor of Robert Rendall: Collected Poems
Bryce Wilson Orcadian writer and historian, whose forthcoming book on the history of Stromness Harbour will be published later this year
Entry to all events is £5 (£4 concessions), payable at the door, except for Friday evening's event at the Pier Arts Centre (see below), for which booking is essential. Please telephone 01856 850209.
There will be a book fair at Orkney Library and Archive on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April. Local publishers and booksellers are welcome to display and/or sell their books. To book a space, please contact Lucy Gibbon at Orkney Library & Archive,

Thursday 11 April
7.30pm    Film night    West Side Cinema
That Now by Sarah Forrest, first Margaret Tait Resident 
Blue Black Permanent by Margaret Tait, introduced by Sarah Neely
Followed by discussion with actor Gerda Stevenson, filmmaker Sarah Forrest and writer Sarah Neely
Friday 12 April Orkney Library and Archive
12-5pm    Book Fair      
including local booksellers, publishers, and a special exhibition of Margaret Tait material from the Archive
2pm          Young Orkney Writers’ Prize     
2.30-4.00 Seriously Sassy               
Session for young people with Maggi Gibson

Friday 12 April Pier Arts Centre, Stromness
(booking essential, please phone 01856 850209)
7pm        GMB Memorial Lecture  
Margaret Tait: filmmaker and writer
Dr Sarah Neely, including short films by Margaret Tait
Followed by
Margaret Tait: Film Poet, by Marissa Keating and Michael Thomas Jones, commissioned by the Glasgow Women’s Library
Introduced by Magi Gibson, and a selection of readings and short films by Margaret Tait, from the Pier Arts Centre collection.
Saturday 13 April Orkney Library & Archive
9.30-5     Book fair 
10.30       Beating the Blues Various Orkney Writers                            
11.30am  John Rae in Canada                 
Struan Sinclair, University of Manitoba
2pm  Books that changed our lives        
Magi Gibson and Alison Miller
4pm          Brian Murray and John Flett Brown                           
on Robert Rendall, with Orkney readers

Saturday 13 April Kirkwall Hotel
7.30pm    Readings with music                
Struan Sinclair, Gerda Stevenson, Alison Miller, hosted by Ian Macpherson

Sunday 14 April Stromness Library
11-12        Stromness and John Rae        
                  Bryce Wilson
2-4pm       Workshop – comedy writing        
                  Ian Macpherson
Sunday 14 April Stromness Hotel
7.30pm      Bemused                                   
                  A special evening with Ian Macpherson and Magi Gibson

The Orkney Book Festival is run by the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, funded by Creative Scotland, with the support of Orkney Library and Archive, Reader-in-Residence, the Pier Arts Centre, West Side Cinema, and the Glasgow Women’s Library. The support of the Glasgow Film Festival and the British Film Institute is also gratefully acknowledged.


Tell me your stories about reading; share your experiences of Orkney Libraries; let me know your favourite books and tell me why you like them.