BookMark Book Festival

Charity number: SCO45599

BookMark Book Festival


Find out what people are saying about the BOOKMARK book festival

Thank you for inviting me to Blairgowrie.  It was a very agreeable and friendly festival - with a good and appreciative audience.  There was an atmosphere of genuine enthusiasm

Allan Massie, author - 8th Oct 2018

Congratulations to all the Bookmark organisers and volunteersw who made it such a wonderful event.  It was a huge privilege to be included in your Muriel Spark celebration.  The whole festival atmosphere was so welcoming - and what a fabulous audience!

Olga Wojtas, author - 8th Oct 2018

Many congratulations - Bookmark was a tour de force!

 The Muriel Spark day was brilliant and wonderful to close on the poetry with Gerda and Stewart

Deborah Bennett, Lyon & Turnbull, sponsors of Celebrating 100 Years of Muriel Spark - 8th Oct 2018

This exceeded our expectations

Festival attendee - 8th Oct 2018

I really enjoyed the event on Friday, and I am glad the audience did too.  It‘s been an absolute pleasure. It went really well, with a very warm audience - laughter from the start put me immediately at ease.

Off to Canada in the morning with Mark Billingham. Hope they‘re as appreciative as in Blairgowrie.

Chris Brookmyre - 12th Dec 2017

I greatly appreciated the superb organisation and was amazed at the level of enthusiasm for the Festival considering the relatively small size of the community.  It was well worth it for me to come up to Perthshire and I was only sorry I couldn‘t stay around for the main events the next day.

Rachel Crowther - 12th Dec 2017

“I didn‘t wait to be invited back, I invited myself, in fact that‘s why I wrote another book”

BOOKMARK is better than most because it is superbly well organised, you look after me so well and because you, as a community, are so interested in books. I feel you actually want to hear what I have to say It‘s a marvellous event.  I will be back again if I can think of another book to write.

Martin Bell - 12th Dec 2017

It was great fun and beautifully organised. A wonderful community venue, great flowers, fantastic sound and light and I love the army of red t-shirts - I think I’ll be taking a few ideas back to Bloody Scotland with me. Please ask me back and thank you for asking me to Chair Ron

Lin Anderson - 12th Dec 2017

A really big thank you to you and everyone at Bookmark for doing such a splendid job. I felt I was made truly welcome and everything was very well-arranged and proceeded so smoothly. I can only guess at the massive work done to make this possible. Well done! Please pass on my thanks to the other members of the great Bookmark team. I‘m pleased my event seemed to go well. A great venue and a lovely audience. Lin was a fantastic interviewer, too! I‘d be delighted to come back again any time. Also to take part in the schools programme, if possible.

Ron Butlin - 12th Dec 2017

It‘s fantastic and its so nice that its so busy and in our local area.  It has huge crowds for such a small place as Blair and it is so community driven which is lovely.

Flora Sheddon - 12th Dec 2017

Fabulous! I am looking forward to coming to Blairgowrie and this festival as often as they invite me.  My next book is out in September next year so that would work out well.

Alan Johnson - 12th Dec 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed chairing the Flora Shedden session, and thank you most sincerely for inviting me. I am so impressed with BOOKMARK and would love to return.

Cate Devine - 12th Dec 2017

Had a great time at the Blairgowrie festival; nice audience, well looked after by the volunteers.

Russel D McLean - 30th Oct 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was well organised in a friendly heart-warming way. Congratulations on pulling it off yet again!

Richard Holloway - 29th Oct 2016

Another triumph for you all. Please pass on my congratulations and thanks to the team. Hope you are all having a well-deserved rest now. A super location and a great atmosphere there.

Fiona Armstrong - 29th Oct 2016

Thank YOU all for such a wonderful event, Bookmark was one of the most warm, welcoming and efficient book festivals I have attended and have been to a few now.

Sue Lawrence - 26th Oct 2016

Excellent. I’ll definitely be back next year. Sally Magnusson was so interesting and inspiring. The calibre of speakers was first class. Thanks so much.

Audience Member - 20th Oct 2016

Superb venue, so professionally organised. Great P.A system. Good colour coordination and flowers. Strong coffee. You will get the idea that I am feeling positive about this. Edinburgh Book Festival has a rival!

Audience Member - 18th Oct 2016

We were here last night and had to come back today.

We know we will have a lovely time.

It’s been absolutely brilliant, such a lot of hard work has gone into this and it shows.

Nice venue - clean, fresh. Fantastic auditorium.

Excellent. I’ll definitely be back next year. Sally Magnusson was so interesting and inspiring. The calibre of speakers was first class. Thanks so much.

What a brilliant festival! Great authors, lovely venue, & everyone I’ve spoken to is just so friendly!

Fantastic art work from the High School pupils.

Fab displays @bookmarkblair from the talented pupils of @BlairgowrieART Some future stars for the walls at PMAG ?!?

Bookmark just gets better and better.

Audience Members - 16th Oct 2016

The best event yet. It gets better every year and deserves every success. I hope it runs and runs.

Audience Member - 13th Oct 2016

Great fun this morning @bookmarkblair keeping that naughty @StuartMacBride under control. Go read his new book. Go on. Go on.

Russel D McLean - 10th Oct 2016

Thanks @RusseldMcLean, weren’t the @bookmarkblair team great? An excellent festival all round, I think.

Stuart MacBride - 10th Oct 2016

A great time was had by all. We also enjoyed The Blairgowrie Players’ version of Whisky Galore at the Town Hall yesterday. Well done to all and the afternoon tea was delicious.

Audience Members - 10th Oct 2016

Absolute pleasure to work with @bookmarkblair today. Fabulous festival, amazing line up, dedicated volunteers & going from strength to strength.

Alison Powrie - 8th Oct 2016

It was absolutely first class in every way and sincerely I wouldn't change a thing about Bookmark! Honestly!

Alex Gray (author) - 27th Oct 2015

Excellent programme, good bookshop and superlative organisation.

Attendee (Main Festival) - 27th Oct 2015

All excellent speakers. Enjoyed all.

Attendee (Main Festival) - 27th Oct 2015

It was fabulous to hear Janice Galloway read from her book Jellyfish. A great evening.

Attendee (Main Festival) - 27th Oct 2015

Karen Campbell was inspiring. Her talk and readings from Rise were memorable.

Attendee (Main Festival) - 27th Oct 2015

Bookmark is a great festival and I hope it goes from strength to strength.

Martin Bell (author) - 27th Oct 2015

I had a wonderful time and can’t think of a single thing to criticise or would wish to be improved.

Nick Hesketh (author) - 27th Oct 2015

Nothing could have been better at all with the event day and my stay in Blairgowrie. Everyone I met was kind and thoughtful, including the audience.

Janice Galloway (author) - 27th Oct 2015

My kids loved the session with Lari Don and found it really inspiring. The event was really good value for money and I would definitely attend others like this.

Speaking to a real author was great and inspirational. I got new ideas within the session! I would definitely do it again.

Audience Members - 1st Nov 2014

Amazed to have Debi Gliori here- incredible author. Great story, kids loved it. We adults loved to meet the face behind the book. Well organised and ticket price just right.

It was very educational for children and very funny, thank you.

Great experience and brilliant yeti imitations. Really brings books alive.

Audience Members - 1st Nov 2014

Nick Hesketh, AMAZING! It was very interesting and I will read all the books. Happy person!

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

All was excellent: the organisation, the efficiency, the warm and friendly welcome, the hospitality and the event venue. I certainly enjoyed coming to the festival, and the audiences were most attentive and engaging. Be great to return one day!

Ron Butlin - 1st Nov 2014

I thought the organisation of the festival was meticulous. The audience was interested and their response was warm.

Tom Pow - 1st Nov 2014

Tremendous, all in all. Keep up the good work. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Gavin Francis - 1st Nov 2014

I have been doing author visits for some twenty years and can honestly say that my Blairgowrie BOOKMARK experience ranks high on my list of Best Organised and Most Helpful.

Nick Hesketh - 1st Nov 2014

I attended Linda Cracknell’s talk. Greatly enjoyed it. Enjoyed the low key way it was presented. A fantastic presentation.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Lesley Glaister was amusing and interesting. Fiona’s interview with Lesley was brilliant, a good mix of personal questions, writing matters and reading of excerpts.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Enjoyed Bruce Sandison’s interview: very relaxed and informative.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

The film on Antarctica and talk were excellent. Really did enjoy it very much. Quickest hour ever. Fantastic images of Antarctica.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Fiona Thackeray’s workshop was valuable and enjoyable.

Enjoyed the workshop very much. Thank you.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Really enjoyed the experience of watching a chef cook really useful meals at close quarters. Lots of information with lots of humour.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Had a wonderful afternoon making a concertina book with Frances. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Fascinating and absorbing. 2 hours shot past.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Whisky tasting was excellent. The master blender knows his stuff. Good fun and enjoyable.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

It was enjoyable and inspiring to hear people read out their own pieces of writing. Particularly proud to hear one of my pupils read her poem.

I enjoyed reading my poem at ‘Place Settings’ and listening to all the other writers, a very friendly audience.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Tom Pow: Charming captivating and compelling, Ron Butlin: Wonderful and inspiring. Brilliant!

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

Bookmark is wonderful for Blairgowrie and hope it continues for many years to come.

BOOKMARK is a wonderful and innovative event on the local and wider arts/culture calendar. the atmosphere is very friendly and informal but also very obviously carefully planned, efficiently organised and run with care and creative imagination.

An excellent local event and so good not to have to travel far. A good line up of speakers with strong emphasis on some local subjects (Perthshire and Scotland). Well done.

Absolutely fabulous for Blair and the Glens. A tremendous thank you to all the organisers. More please.

Very interesting and varied talks with fabulous slides to enhance the experience. Well done to all the busy bees working to make this weekend so enjoyable.

General Comments - 1st Nov 2014

Kenneth Cox gave a superb presentation on Scottish gardens. An expert in the field, very knowledgeable about the history of gardens. The photos of such a variety of gardens and locations were the best I’ve ever seen. Score 10 out of 10.

Audience Member - 1st Nov 2014

The Bookmark Festival is now building a strong reputation for the quality of the events, and it is undoubtedly a considerable benefit to the local economy. I would be most grateful if you could pass on my thanks to all the volunteers involved.

Murdo Fraser MSP - 1st Nov 2014

 I thought the festival was excellent. It was well organised, warm, friendly, very much itself!

Joan Lennon - 22nd Nov 2013

 I thought the event was very well organised, friendly, nicely informal and great fun.
I joined James Robertson's talk, which was excellent, and my own audience was enthusiastic and not slow with questions.

Charles Maclean - 22nd Nov 2013

 I thought, for the first ever Festival, it was a hugely impressive event. Whether the extremely wet weather helped or hindered ticket sales who can say, but to have sold out, or almost sold out so many of the events is remarkable, and a tribute to your programming and extensive publicity and marketing. I was impressed too by the warm welcome; the fact that volunteers were all readily recognisable in their red tops and were friendly, enthusiastic and helpful; the well put together printed programme and the extras such as BOOKMARK pens.

The Royal Hotel venue was good: very central and pretty easy for getting around. The room upstairs for the children’s events had been very thoughtfully and warmly decorated and laid out and the technical back-up there was first-class – no glitches at all, which is not always the case at Book Festivals!

The downstairs venue for my adult event was a great size and the seating was well laid out. A special thanks to the young team who did the technical stuff down there – they were terrific and I think it was inspired to involve them in the festival in this way.

The 'hub' for book buying and signing was also good. People could mingle and chat as well as buy books. Hospitality and food provided was very acceptable too. All in all, I think it was a great success and an excellent platform on which to build.

James Robertson - 22nd Nov 2013

 I can honestly say I was very taken with the Festival and was very pleased to be in on its first year.  There seemed a real buzz of excitement and interest.  Good sized audiences. And pretty good book sales!

Andrew Greig - 22nd Nov 2013

 Just wanted to say a big 'well done' to you for putting on such a magnificent programme over the weekend. So chuffed to have been part of it.

Kathleen Walker (Hub co-ordinator) - 25th Oct 2013

The festival was really great - a pleasure to be there. Super volunteers, well-organised, good attendance - and some lovely folk too! I hope next year is just as successful.

Many thanks again for asking me to be involved.      

Karen Campbell (author) - 21st Oct 2013

 Well done (Christine) - what a triumph Saturday was!

Fiona Armstrong (Chair) - 20th Oct 2013

 My daughter and I have had a great day with Kyla Thomlinson and Joan Lennon! Fantastic, inspirational and so much fun. Thank you Bookmark for bringing something so wonderful to our town!

Lyn Harrison (audience member) - 19th Oct 2013

 I wanted to write to say a very well done for Friday, BOOKMARK Launch.  What a super afternoon - everything ran so well, smoothly and very professional - very impressive.  If that is the standard then the whole Festival will go wonderfully well.

Kathleen Walker - 18th Oct 2013

A thank you to all for a wondrous event   The Mad Hatters were outstanding (Louise is a genius and the Mad Hatter outshone Johnny Depp! - Sir William charming in his 'topper' and is such a good sport.)  Little Matthew Swinney  seemed v. happy with his toy truck.  Those who couldn't make it missed a lovely tea party in a rose garden!

I do hope that the bloggers had some material to record.  Blairgowrie High School sixth formers v. efficient!

Catherine MacQueen (supporter and member of the audience) - 5th Oct 2013

 I am delighted to be taking part in the first Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens Book Festival. BOOKMARK - what a good name for a festival! Diaries and calendars to be bookmarked for years in the Perthshire community and beyond. I am specially pleased to be talking books with the young ones - catch 'em young and they'll soon be  doing their own bookmarking.

Mairi Heddderwick - 16th Sep 2013

 I've received Bookmark brochure. It's packed with something for everyone, a wonderful mix. I'm thinking a lot of hard work and discussions took place on this one. Truly believe it will go well and leave a buzz in Glen country for ages to come! I'm honoured to be involved in the first one. Thank you. 

Jess Smith - 30th Jun 2013

Well done to all those at Bookmark who have helped bring the first ever book festival to the Blairgowrie, Rattray and Glens area. Bringing several of Scotland’s top authors to the festival was no mean feat and an exciting programme awaits the inaugural year’s visitors. Pitlochry’s Winter Words festival has proved to be a unqualified success and I’m sure that over the coming years, Bookmark Blair will develop a similar reputation and become one of Scotland’s leading book festivals.


Murdo Fraser MSP Mid-Scotland and Fife - 14th Jun 2013

I warmly welcome the initiative that has been taken to establish the Bookmark Festival in Blairgowrie and Rattray. This is a great initiative that has come about by the creative and inventive energy of local residents and I am sure it will be a great addition to the vibrant programme of local events. The programme will without doubt attract more and more people to come to this very special part of Perthshire and Scotland. I wish the Festival every success and look forward to the events.


John Swinney - 13th Jun 2013

I have enjoyed working with the BOOKMARK volunteers to get the festival off the ground. The hard work and enthusiasm has been fantastic to witness. The Summer Festival in Kirkmichael will be a great start for the main event. I am sure it will also whet readers’ appetites for October’s showcase. Having Liz Lochhead headlining the festival is a real coup for Blairgowrie and I really look forward to taking part.

Pete Wishart - 11th Jun 2013

Congratulations to everyone at Bookmark for getting this first season off the ground. It is fantastic to see how far Bookmark has come - from a couple of us sitting drinking coffee and discussing the idea to the publication of an exciting programme with some of Scotland's top authors.

I am looking forward to the events in 2013 but even more so, to seeing how Bookmark will develop over the coming years and to seeing Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens on the circuit of book festivals around Scotland.

Caroline Shiers - 10th Jun 2013

I am delighted to be helping to launch the very first Bookmark Festival. Local community book festivals are a vital way of keeping the love of real books alive in this digital age, so it's always exciting to see a new festival burst into life.

I am especially delighted to be visiting Rattray Primary School to share my passion for stories with the pupils, and I'm very much looking forward to inspiring them to come up with adventures of their own.

Lari Don (Award-winning Scottish children's author) - 1st Jun 2013


It was great fun and beautifully organised. A wonderful community venue, great flowers, fantastic sound and light and I love the army of red t-shirts - I think I’ll be taking a few ideas back to Bloody Scotland with me. Please ask me back and thank you for asking me to Chair Ron

Lin Anderson

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