As summer simpers and finally evaporates into Autumn, the wind picks up, the leaves turn brown and we begin to consider wearing a scarf. It signifies the return to a state of brooding, brisk walks in the fading light and cups of tea by the fire, possibly with a book. So there could be no better time for Scotland’s premier book festival, held annually in Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway.
The town reinvented itself as ‘Scotland’s book town’ in 1997 and since then has attracted visitors from all over the country winning many plaudits for the intimate and lively atmosphere of its book festival, despite the relatively small size of the town.
Not only is it a successful cultural event, it stands as a shining example to other small communities in Scotland, who have been largely ignored by those responsible for economic planning, of how to generate interest in the form of tourism and ultimately money – an especially noble cause in these difficult economic times.
There is clearly an entrepreneurial spirit in Wigtown which has helped garner such a successful event; Historic Newspapers, a business which sells original copies of old newspapers, up to 150 years old, won the British Small Business Championships Awards in 2002.
The Wigtown Book Festival gets underway again this year running from September 24 – October 3. Ian Rankin brings added prestige to the event, launching it today. Other distinguished guests include, Margot MacDonald, Ian Banks and Jackie Kay.