Exciting new chapter for Bookends

Joy Cameron is one of many organisers of Victory Hall events that are preparing for reopening, whenever that may be.

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Bookends Festival is getting ready to start its next chapter with a page-turning line-up of authors and events this autumn.

The two-week extravaganza celebrating stories is now in its third year and starts on Saturday September 22.

It has just been awarded charity status and is already attracting lots of interest from far and wide.

The festival at Benderloch’s Victory Hall will get thousands of visits by the time the fringe programme, in the second week, ends on Friday October 5. Authors will also be out and about visiting schools.

‘At this festival people will hear heart-rending stories but also lots of stories to inspire, entertain and laugh about. We’ve got so much happening, with extra events and the fringe, and we can’t wait to tell people about it,’ said Bookends founder Joy Cameron.

Headlining this year on Sunday September 23 will be Jess Smith, author of Jessie’s Journey and other books about the life of travellers in Scotland.

Lachlan Munro will be launching his new book, The Scenery of Dreams, on Saturday September 29, telling the true story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, which has Appin connections.

New for this year will be an outreach programme, with Seil author and poet Kenneth Steven as writer-in-residence offering budding writers support.

The Reading Room at the Victory Hall will be open for people to enjoy throughout the festival.

‘The Benderloch community and our Bookends ambassadors who have spread the word since we started have given our festival its legs. We’ve just received charity status and that will open more doors so we can grow even more.’

It costs about £3,000 to put on the festival, with a huge chunk of that money coming from the Big Lottery’s Awards For All.

Bookends will be hosting a pop-up event at the Lorn Show on Saturday August 4, funded by Argyll and Bute Council, and at the Reading Room in the Victory Hall on Monday August 27, to offer people a bigger taste of what is to come.