Bookends’ story starts for 2022

Silverwing author Kenneth Steven with pupils from Lochnell Primary School as part of Bookends Festival, Benderloch

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Benderloch’s Bookends Festival has started an exciting new chapter for this year.

More than 50 people turned up to its first pop-up event at Victory Hall to browse books and have a blether on March 3, while pupils at Lochnell Primary School got a visit from author Kenneth Steven.

Childminder Maureen Maitland with two young charges who she entertained for a full hour with the huge selection of books in the Reading Room’s children’s corner at Benderloch’s Victory Hall and Bookends’ first pop-up session of 2022.

Kenneth’s workshop with older pupils focused on his newest novel, Silverwing, and the younger ones were treated to a reading from his latest picture book, St Kevin and the Blackbird.

The author’s visit was fully funded by The Scottish Book Trust and was the first of Bookends 2022’s outreach events for schools.

Bookends founder Joy Cameron says book fans have lots to look forward to over the year.

Instead of a solid seven-day festival, the enjoyment will be spread from now until the winter with a series of regular pop-up events at the Victory Hall – usually on the third of the month.

Bookends supporter and Seil writer Kenneth Steven will be returning to one of those sessions on May 3.

And the festival is working on a line-up of other visitors from authors and storytellers, including award-winning novelist and playwright Alan Bissett and author of bestselling  book Scabby Queen, Kirstin Innes.

Glen Lonan’s Leonie Charlton, who picked up second prize for the prestigious Lancaster University’s Future Places Environmental Essay and Poetry Competition in December, is also on the list of guest authors.

National Lottery funding is helping make it happen.

‘Instead of running a week-long festival we are spreading it throughout the year with our popular pop-up sessions at the Victory Hall, as well as events with authors and storytellers added in,’ said Joy.

Bookends Festival began in 2016, with the help and support of friendly authors including Kenneth Steven, giving people in our area the opportunity to attend a literary event closer to home without travelling miles.