Wigtown book festival expected to welcome around 20,000 visitors

10-year-old author Rebekah McCrorie with her first book "Monster Monster!", at the launch of the 19th annual Wigtown Book Festival. Picture: PA
10-year-old author Rebekah McCrorie with her first book "Monster Monster!", at the launch of the 19th annual Wigtown Book Festival. Picture: PA
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ORGANISERS are predicting a literary festival in “Scotland’s book town” will be the biggest ever this year.

The 19th annual Wigtown Book Festival got underway on Friday September 22 and is expected to welcome an audience of up to 20,000 over ten days.

The programme features a range of talks, lectures, debates, workshops and many other activities for both adults and children.

Those on the line-up include crime writers Chris Brookmyre and Denise Mina, former BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall, Martin Bell, Judy Murray and Katie Morag author Mairi Hedderwick.

Adrian Turpin, the festival’s artistic director, said: “The festival has got off to a great start and looks like being the biggest ever, with an audience of up to 20,000 being welcomed in a town with under 1,000 residents.”

Each morning begins with breakfast sessions in The Chat Room where the Wigtown-based Bookshop Band play tunes and welcome special guests while the audiences enjoy coffee and pastries.

One of the new names in literature on the programme is 10-year-old Rebekah McCrorie from Prestwick who was reading from her first book Monster, Monster at Curly Tales bookshop.

She said: “I want to encourage other boys and girls to write their own books.”

The young writer is currently working on her second book, which she says is a mystery with an unexpected twist.

The festival runs until October 10.