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John O’Groats Development Trust; Book Festival 2018

25 July 2018
Book festival logo

The John O’Groats Development Trust aims to support the redevelopment and improvement of John O’Groats and the surrounding areas.

Caithness has a strong literary connection, sadly however, people of Caithness who have a love of writing and reading have to travel to attend book festivals. The Trust decided that it would be good to organise a festival for the area, and thus the John O’Groats Book Festival  was born. The Book Festival would try to attract award writing writers to Caithness, as well as providing an opportunity for to discover new authors and learn from the authors.

A grant of £3380 from the Stroupster Community Fund, enabled the organisers to book 4 award winning authors, Christopher Brookmyre, James Hunter, Andrew Greig and Theresa Breslin to attend the inaugural meeting.

The festival weekend was a great success for not only for literary lovers, but also local businesses who saw an increase in takings over the weekend. With over 250 people attending the festivals, there was plenty of opportunities to learn about writing or be introduced to new authors, and for local authors had the chance to learn from established writers.

The first Book Festival was deliberately kept fairly low key to learn from the experience and take that forward to the next one. Planning is now in place for future festivals.

Festival organiser Ian Leith said “The festival is really about giving locals the opportunity to engage with mainline authors”.

Chris Brookmyre, said “Inaugural festivals are always something you approach with some trepidation, but from the minute I got here it has been such a warm welcome and such a beautiful setting. The audiences have been large and enthusiastic and very warm, very responsive and they’ve made me feel very welcome. I will be speaking warmly of the festival when I go back south.”

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