Calling in the prose for second Tobermory Book Festival

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Tobermory Book Festival – West Over Sea – is about to open a new chapter, and what a page turner it appears to be.

Taking place from Thursday October 24 to Sunday October 27, this year’s programme is a veritable feast of literary indulgences featuring a smorgasbord of authors from near and far.

Put together by Duncan Swinbanks, of Tackle and Books, Hugh Andrew of Berlinn Ltd and Hugh Raven of Ardornish and launched last year, the festival is designed to showcase Tobermory as book capital of the Hebrides.

‘What better way could there be of spending a few days in Scotland’s most beautiful small town, than listening to superb speakers and enjoying the best of Highland food?,’ asked Duncan, who was joined last week by An Tobar’s literature and music director Gordon Maclean and published local author Yvonne Marjot for a pre-festival chin wag.

Events at the Tobermory Festival are themed around Mull, the West Coast and the outdoors – hence the title West over Sea, after Dorothy Pochin Mould’s classic book.

Douglas Skelton, author of Thunder Bay, and Alex Gray, Keep the Midnight Out, are kicking things off on Thursday October 24 with a discussion on crime writing and place, followed by a buffet dinner with wine.

Children’s author Ben Blathwayt, Roy Pedersen, Chris Whatley, David McClay, Sue Lawrence, Chris Fleet, Jim Hunter, Alan Johnson, Colin MacIntyre, Jim Hunter, Jamie Crawford and Trevor Royle will also be hosting a variety of talks covering topics of local and national interest.

Gordon, who will be attending his first home book festival having been travelling last year, added: ‘I’m really looking forward to it. I see all the work that goes on behind the scenes to put everything together and it certainly looks like it’s going to be an entertaining and busy few days.

‘An Tobar is delighted to be supporting the book festival and getting involved with this amazing event.’

As well as the main festival programme, the event is developing its own fringe.

Tobermory Library is holding a Bookbug event on the Saturday as part of the growing number of fringe events popping up at the festival.

‘Our event will tie in with workshops that Comar are holding, also on the Saturday, for slightly older children,’ she explained.

‘We are really keen to get all ages involved in the book festival and the fringe provides a great opportunity to get everyone involved while complimenting the main event. It’s going to be great.’

Read more about the individual events in The Oban Times in coming weeks.

A full programme of Tobermory Book Festival events is shown on the festival website www.comar.co.uk . Tickets for the events are available from Comar, the Tobermory and Mull Arts Centre, by following the link on the website to the Comar Box Office or phoning 01688 302211.