BookMark Book Festival

Charity number: SCO45599

BookMark Book Festival

BOOKMARK 2018 Programme

Friday 5th October

18.00 - 19.00 £7

Alan Johnson - In My Life - In conversation with Pete Wishart MP sharing their interest in music

Blairgowrie Community Campus

From being transported by music on the radio, as a small child living in condemned housing in ungentrified West London in the late 1950's to going out to work as a postman humming 'Watching the Detectives' by Elvis Costello in 1977, Alan Johnson's life has always had a musical soundtrack. In fact music hasn’t just accompanied his life; it's been an integral part of it.  This book isn't just about music.  In my Life adds a fourth dimension to the story of Alan Johnson, the man.

Friday 5th October

19.30 - 20.30 £7

Isla Dewar - It Takes One to Know One - In conversation with BOOKMARK Chair, Gail Wylie

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Isla will read from her latest book, It Takes One to Know One and will talk about lost ambitions and the tricky business of finding yourself when you discover, as Charlie Gavin, hero of her book, did that you are not who you thought you were. He is a man who runs the 'Be Kindly Missing Persons Bureau' and who is fascinated by families and mothers. Martha, his assistant, failed singer in a dreadful rock'n'roll band, rescues him.

Isla will also talk about her adventures in the writing business.

Sponsored by A Proctor Group Ltd.

Saturday 6th October

10.00 - 11.00 £7

Denise Mina - The Long Drop - In conversation with Brian McConnachie QC

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Based on true events, The Long Drop (Winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year) is an extraordinarily unsettling, evocative and compelling novel from a writer at the height of her powers.

Brian McConnachie QC is a leading Scottish criminal defence lawyer. 

Saturday 6th October

11.30 - 12.30 £7

Allan Massie - The Ragged Lion - In conversation with Magnus Linklater

Blairgowrie Community Campus

The Ragged Lion is an apparently fictional memoir written by Walter Scott.  It is an enthralling insight into a man more famous for his public, rather than personal, image.  Highly acclaimed as a work of historical fiction, Allan Massie brings Walter Scott to life in an unforgettable way.

Magnus Linklater is a Scottish journalist, writer and former newspaper editor. 

Saturday 6th October

13.30 - 14.30 £7

Bill Jones - Black Camp 21 - In conversation with Peter Lovegrove

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Exploring the history of Black Camp 21, at Cultybraggan army camp near Comrie, a place that had haunted him since the 1960s, Bill discovered truly shocking events that culminated in a murder without equal – who was the victim and why was he singled out for such violence?  The answers and the journey to them are what makes Black Camp 21 such a compelling piece of work.

Bill won The Times Best New Writer award at the 2012 Sports Book Awards and an award for Outstanding Writing at the same event in 2015.

 Peter Lovegrove is the Assistant Rector Morrison’s Academy, Crieff, and a History Teacher.

Saturday 6th October

15.00 - 16.00 £7

Rosemary Goring - Scotland: Her Story - In conversation with Elizabeth Quigley

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Our history has been told countless times, but women usually only get a walk-on part. Scotland: Her Story aims to redress the balance, and offer a view of the nation’s high points and darkest times from women's perspectives.

Drawing on court records, diaries, chronicles, letters, newspapers, memoirs and interviews, Rosemary Goring has gathered the experiences of women and girls from all walks of life since the middle ages. The result is an entirely original and often startling take on the past 1500 years.

Elizabeth Quigley is a television reporter, who lives in Blairgowrie. 

Saturday 6th October

16.45 - 17.45 £7

Elizabeth Crawford - Art & Artists of the Women's Suffrage Campaign

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Elizabeth Crawford is the author of The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide 1866-1928 (Routledge), The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a regional survey (Routledge), Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle (Francis Boutle), Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary (Francis Boutle), and The Great War: The People's Story - Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette (ITV Ventures).

She is the owner of Women and Her Sphere, a business in selling antiquarian books, postcards, pamphlets and ephemera by and about women.

Sunday 7th October

11.00 - 15.00 £15

Celebrating 100 Years of Muriel Spark

Blairgowrie Community Campus

11.00 – 12.00  Alan Taylor – Appointment in Arezzo – A friendship with Muriel Spark

12.15 – 13.00 Gail Wylie in conversation with Alan Taylor and Rosemary Goring

Lunch and Book Signing

14.00 – 15.00 Stewart Conn and Gerda Stevenson

BOOKMARK is delighted to offer special events to celebrate the centenary of Muriel Spark one of Scotland's best-loved and most original writers. Alan Taylor, well-known journalist and critic, became her good friend. His memoir Appointment in Arezzo is an exceptional account of this friendship.

He will be joined by Rosemary Goring, Literary Editor of The Herald and Gail Wylie, Past Chair of the Muriel Spark Society to discuss the joys – and difficulties – of abridging Spark's work for radio.

Special guest, Olga Wojtas, will be discussing her debut novel  'Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar'.   A comic crime novel, it features 50-something former Blainer Shona McMonagle, selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th century Russia. But despite having had the finest education in the world, has Shona got the wrong end of the stick about what she is supposed to do?

After lunch: Mistress of Unease: The Poetry of Muriel Spark - Muriel Spark insisted, 'Although most of my life has been devoted to fiction, I have always thought of myself as a poet' and that 'for creative writing of any sort an early apprenticeship as a poet is a wonderful stimulant and start'. With this as his starting point Stewart Conn pinpoints the wry wit, icy eye, love of the Ballads and array of spectral figures he believes mark her out as a Mistress of Unease - and to which Gerda Stevenson gives vibrant voice.

BOOKMARK would like to thank the Muriel Spark Society ( Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh ( for their sponsorship of this event.


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

See more comments »

Our Sponsors

Proctor16.png perth.png
See all sponsors »