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Published 11 April 2019

West Dunbartonshire Libraries and Cultural Services are delighted to announce a line-up of creative talent at this year’s Booked! festival.

Booked! 2019 festival is one of the only free book festivals in Scotland and runs from Tuesday 14 May to Sunday 19 May. 

This year’s Alastair Pearson Lecture will be delivered by Richard Holloway.  Richard will be talking about the difficult topic of death and how we can most effectively come to terms with this.

Historical topics are a firm favourite at Booked! and this year author Henry Bell will explore the life of the Red Clydeside legend, John Maclean. Henry will look at the events that shaped the man and his politics, as well as his enduring legacy. 

Lovers of crime fiction should not miss the event with Alan Parks, whose work has been compared to William McIlvanney.

Polly Clark who made a huge impact with her debut novel, Larchfield, will be discussing her latest novel, Tiger.  Polly will tell of her visit to Siberia and the environment which this apex predator reigns. 

Booked! 2019 has secured the wonderful storyteller, Mara Menzies, who will be performing for a younger audience celebrating the very beautiful and rich heritage of African storytelling. 

Residents can also join leading journalist and author Madeleine Bunting who is making her first Booked! appearance talking about her debut novel Island Song which explores the experiences of Channel Islanders during the German Occupation. 

Northern Irish author Wendy Erskine will read extracts from her short story collection Sweet Home. Wendy’s work has received much critical praise.

Lovers of the natural world will enjoy Dan Richards talking about his book Outposts which looks at our relationship with the wilderness. Fans of the unexplained won’t want to miss the talk by Richard Maclean Smith. Richard has a huge following for his fascinating Unexplained podcasts which highlight strange and mysterious real life events that continue to evade explanation. 

Along with meeting leading writers and performers the Booked! Festival also encourages residents to develop their own creativity.  Leading artist Mitch Miller will be running a workshop on how to use illustration and drawing as a method of documenting the world around us.  Mitch designed the fantastic Dialectogram of Clydebank Library which not only maps the building but expresses in text and images how people interact with a particular environment. Mitch’s work recently featured as part of a major exhibition at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art.

In addition, the Booked! Schools events complement the main programme and ensure that the West Dunbartonshire secondary pupils have the opportunity to experience top authors. 

The Booked! Schools programme features events by John Young who won the2019 Scottish Teenage Book Prize with Farewell Tour of an Eternal Optimist and S M Wilson who was shortlisted with The Extinction Trials for the same prize.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “The booked Festival is a very popular event and tickets for this free event always go fast. This year we have a fantastic line up of exceptional talent and I would urge people to book their tickets now.  I would like to thank the all the artists who have agreed to participate at this year’s festival which really has something for everyone.”

Councillor Iain McLaren, Vice Convener of Corporate Services, said: “This year we have an outstanding showcase of talent and attendees will get insight into a large variety of areas from the mysterious and unexplained to crime talks and storytelling.  We also have the very talented John Young Scottish Teenage Book Prize winner who will offer talks to our pupils.  I would like to thank our library employees who have once again secured a great line up for the festival.”  

All tickets can be booked at:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/booked-2019-west-dunbartonshire-festival

For further information on timings and venues  please visit   www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/booked2019