Bookends Festival will be another page-turner

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Authors lined up for this year’s Bookends Festival in Benderloch’s Victory Hall make a good read.

Now in its fourth year, the cosy literary event is ready to spread the love of reading again.

From the first men on the moon to artificial intelligence and historical adventure, festival founder Joy Cameron says there will be a chapter for everyone to get stuck into.

This year’s dates are Saturday September 21 to Saturday September 28 with a preview night on Friday September 20 with a live link – fingers crossed – to a radio station in Canada.

Adrian Nation will put on a gig featuring his Benderloch Stone song, inspired by Creagneuk Beach telling the story of a growing friendship between folk of Argyll and Alberta and the connections felt for a group of friends we are yet to meet.

A reading blanket decorated by Bookends’ goers hands will be presented to Adrian on the night for him to take over to Canada when he next goes there to give personally to a Scots radio presenter who festival organisers are hoping will be able to say hello via the airwaves on the preview night.

Joy said: ‘People have asked us before if we are going to have a theme for the festival but we’ve never had to think of that because we think it’s the variety that appeals most to folk.

‘We have not had to go and seek out authors, they have been coming to us. Word spreads among them, which is great. We’ve already got some lined up for 2020.

‘This year we have everything from historical adventure to first men on the moon and artificial intelligence. The idea of Bookends was to make sure there is something for everyone and we’ve achieved that again.’

Among this year’s authors will be Scottish radio broadcaster, activist and journalist Lesley Riddoch and Inveraray’s Ken MacTaggart who wrote the Haynes Astronaut Manual, essential reading for space enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning about what it takes to become a spaceman.

Historical fiction writer Liz MacRae Shaw will be there with her second novel No Safe Anchorage telling the tale of Tom Masters, a 19th century naval officer who jumps ship in search of a captivating stranger.
His adventures, interwoven with the life of a young Robert Louis Stevenson, take Tom from Skye to Canada.

Angus Peter Campbell will also be in Benderloch with his psychological fiction book Memory And Straw, winner of the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the year award 2017.

Outreach sessions to Oban High School and Lochnell Primary School are being funded by the Scottish Book Trust and Taynuilt Medical Practice and Seil published poet Kenneth Steven will be running a workshop on Monday September 23. He will be inviting writers to submit their own poems before the festival and will arrange to meet on a one-to-one basis to give individual feedback followed by the poetry workshop for everyone.

A film night at Oban’s Phoenix Cinema, puppetry from Alison Clark’s Triple Aspect, Wurdplay open mic, a quiz and theatre from Tobermory are just some of the other events in the offing. The reading room will also be open throughout the week for people to browse the shelves.