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Ness Book Fest line-up in-person and online emphasises local talent and themes

By Margaret Chrystall

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Ness Book Fest is back with a programme of 15 free events that includes both Zoom sessions and live in-person appearances, with guests including Robin Ince alongside a wealth of Highland talent.

Scaled-down, organisers say, they have, where possible, tried to place the emphasis on local Highland writers and themes in order to minimise travel during the pandemic and also to promote the culture here during the festival from Thursday to Saturday, September 30 to October 2.

Robin Ince is one of this year's on-line guests.
Robin Ince is one of this year's on-line guests.

Carrbridge crime writer Lin Anderson opens the festival with an in-person launch at the Junction Church on Thursday, September 30 from 7pm, talking about her latest book, The Killing Tide.

Also on Thursday, young creative talents are catered for with four online workshops: award-winning writer Cal Flynn leads one secondary pupils; Nairn teacher, writer and illustrator Corrina Campbell will hold a session with primary pupils; writer Catriona Lexy Campbell will work with Gaelic primary children; and Gaelic writer, translator and publisher Raghnaid Sandilands will create a graphic story with Gaelic secondary school pupils.

Comedian and radio star Robin Ince who presents one of the world’s most popular science podcasts will be online looking at The Importance Of Being Interested (Friday, 8pm).

Those interested in honing their own writing skills should enjoy writer and Sandstone Press publishing director Moira Forsyth’s in-person editing workshop (Friday, 2pm).

Writer and publishing director Moira Forsyth – workshop on editing. Picture: Gary Anthony
Writer and publishing director Moira Forsyth – workshop on editing. Picture: Gary Anthony

Other events include Inverness-based Irish poet Aoife Lyall (Friday, 5pm), Gaelic bard Sandy MacDonald Jones (Friday, 5pm), a city trail for youngsters with writer Pauline Mackay (Saturday, 2pm), and well-known Inverness writer Barbara Henderson returns to her latest book, Scottish By Inclination, a collection of profiles of EU citizens (Saturday, 5.30pm).

Poet Aoife Lyall.
Poet Aoife Lyall.

At the Playhouse Cinema at Eden Court, former Scotsman film editor, now novelist Brian Prendreigh, shares his love of movies from his book Man In The Seventh Row (Saturday, 7.30pm) and the 1987 film 84 Charing Cross Road is the final event of the festival.

As ever, festival tickets are free for all events, though donations are welcome. And this year, the always-varied venues include Inverness Botanic Gardens, Eden Court Theatre, Highland Archive Centre and Junction Church on Bank Street.

More information: at the website www.nessbookfest.com

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