BIG LIT: The Stewartry Book Festival

BIG LIT 2019 offered five bumper days of poetry, launches, ideas, prose, film, puppetry, history, workshops, politics, music and cabaret not to mention a children’s programme of magical time travel, folk tale and madcappery for four local schools!

We hosted a mixed bag of the best local talent and talent from further afield including Booker Prize nominee Bernard MacLaverty, Sue Lawrence a former Master Chef Winner, Janis Mackay, a winner of a Scottish Children's Book Award and Donald S Murray whose work was shortlisted for a coveted Best First Novel Award – and there was a delicious tasting of award winning cheeses from The Ethical Dairy up at Rainton. Awards all round! 

The Dumfries and Galloway Jazz Orchestra made a welcome first appearance at BIG LIT along with an evening Cabaret at the Mill on The Fleet celebrating songs of the late, great Adrian Mitchell with his daughter the singer Sasha Mitchell accompanied by musician Peter Moser. And Scotland’s story featured large – its history told from the point of view of women who lived it, the benefits of Scottish cooking, the story of the Scottish clarsach, and how The Church of Scotland rose to the challenges of The Great War with BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym – now so brilliantly fronting BBC’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak. We had a memoir about Scottish novelist Muriel Spark, and a commemoration of The Battle of George Square, Glasgow in John MacLean’s centenary year - how he became the early hero of radical Scottish Independence.

It’s a difficult programme to beat, but watch this space for next line up once this awful pandemic is behind us. BIG LIT gets bigger and better every year!

Here are some pictures from BIG LIT 2019 to whet your appetite.