Scotland’s first virtual book festival announced

Michel Faber, past winner of the Saltire Literary Book of the Year Award, has signed up for the #Scotlitfest. Picture:
Michel Faber, past winner of the Saltire Literary Book of the Year Award, has signed up for the #Scotlitfest. Picture:
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The nation’s first virtual book festival is to be held this summer under plans to mark 80 years of celebrating Scottish culture by the Saltire Society.

Michel Faber, AL Kennedy and Angus Peter Campbell are among the writers signed up for the #Scotlitfest - a literary festival which will be staged entirely online.

Live video streams, as well as Twitter and Facebook chats, with leading literary figures will be part of the three-day event in June.

The Saltire Society has also instigated a £50,000 programme to help encourage a new generation of creative talent.

READ MORE: Michael Faber wins Scottish Book of the Year title

International travel placements will be offered to students across a range of disciplines, including the chance to spend three months in New York.

Composer James MacMillan, playwright David Greig, entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl and broadcaster Richard Holloway are among the guest speakers lined up for special events over the next few months.

MacMillan said: “I am delighted to have been invited to contribute to the Saltire Society’s 80th anniversary celebrations.

“It is important, in the present climate, that Scottish advocates of the arts continue to support and celebrate an excellence that has international reach.

“Scotland, now more than ever, needs to hear a wide range of perspectives rather than a narrow orthodoxy. The Saltire Society could be such a platform - just as important now as it was in 1936.”

READ MORE: Book review: The Book of Strange New Things

The Saltire Society organises Scotland’s flagship literary awards celebration, which includes the major honour of Scottish book of the year, won by Faber in 2015 for his novel The Book of Strange New Things.

The eight-month programme of events will be rounded off with a special St Andrew’s Night celebration headlined by singer-songwriters Blue Rose Code and Karine Polwart.

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