The Pitlochry Winter Words Festival 2014

Winter Words is ten years old in 2014! Now firmly established as Scotland’s leading festival of the written and spoken word, Winter Words offers ‘stimulation of the literary kind which always goes well with a visually stunning setting’ (Guardian).

The festival kicks off today with our very own Sara Sheridan, writer of the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries.

Englandexpects9Sara’s smart and feisty heroine was introduced to us in Brighton Belle, against the sights and sounds of 1950s Britain. No doubt Sara will be talking about the latest in the series, England Expects, which is due for publication in April.

Also on today is the popular Winter Words Literary Lunch. This afternoon’s lunch is hosted by Alan McIntosh Brown. He was born in Dundee but has lived near Aberfeldy for over forty years. He is a full-time entertainer: a singer/songwriter, musician, broadcaster, compere, public speaker and journalist. His play, The Canary-Bird and King Lear – based on the life of Robert Louis Stevenson – was directed by the legendary Scots playwright W. Gordon Smith at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in Edinburgh, and he has had other works performed at various Scottish theatres.


At 3pm today you can catch Julie Summers, author of Jambusters: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War. The Second World War was the WI’s finest hour. A third of a million country women set out to make their lives and the lives of those around them more bearable in what they described as ‘a period of insanity’.

At 4.30 p.m. Kari Herbert talks about Heart of the Hero, a superb book that reveals the fascinating untold stories of remarkable women who loved and married polar explorers, becoming travelling companions, administrators, fundraisers and sources of inspiration!


And last but not least on today’s programmed author events is Lesley Riddoch, whose book Blossom: What Scotland Needs to Flourish looks at topics such as housing, health, language and culture, how we identify ourselves and what needs to change, whether the country is independent or strongly devolved.

Saturday 15 February

Kicking off Saturday’s events is New Writing Scotland. A selection of new writers such as Pippa Goldschmidt, Samuel Tongue, Catherine Simpson, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Lynsey May will read and discuss their work at this event, providing an introduction to some of the most affecting, exciting and engaging new writing being created across Scotland.


Saturday’s Literary Lunch is with Birlinn author Ken Cox. Ken’s lunchtime talk will focus on his his book Fruit and Vegetables of Scotland, which won the Garden Media Guild Practical Book of the Year 2012.

Robin Lloyd-Jones will be appearing twice: at 2 p.m. he will be talking about The John Muir Trust’s Wild Space and at 4.30 p.m. he will discuss his book The Sunlit Summit. This book, a biography of Scotland’s most distinguished climber, William Hutchison Murray, is a fascinating read for anyone who has the mountaineering bug, or an interest in history.

In keeping with the climbing theme of Saturday’s programme The Winter Words Festival is hosting an evening with the legendary Sir Chris Bonington. Join him as he recounts the highlights of an epic climbing career spanning the world’s greatest ranges.

Sunday 16 February

On Sunday morning, Ruth Bailey and Jackie Holt will be working with knitters to bring National Bard Robert Burns, William Wallace, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Scottie dogs, sheep, Nessie, bagpipes and much more to life – all in woollen form.

Sunday’s Literary Lunch is with Eddie Small, biographer of Mary Lily Walker, one of Scotland’s forgotten heroines: a social reformer, she founded the first Nursing Mothers’ Restaurant and Infant Health Service. Eddie Small will also be hosting a writers’ workshop. This workshop will be an invaluable way to get you started or provide a focus to look at your work with fresh eyes.


And last but certainly not least on Sunday is photographer Jamie Grant. At Loch Lyon, the road ends and the hills, scored with tumbling burns, take complete hold. This landscape so fired the imagination of photographer (and author) Grant that he moved to Glen Lyon in 2001. He has been exploring it – with a camera! – ever since. The result is a beautiful book, ten years in the making, which recreates an emotional journey of exile and return, reflected in images that inspire though beyond the physical landscape. This promises to be a captivating, illustrated talk.

The Winter Words Festival doesn’t continue through the week, but will be on again on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of Ferbruary.

For more information and tickets, visit their website!

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