Book a day with top Midlothian talent in Dalkeith

Rena Bell and Lea Taylor of Made in Midlothian.  Photo by Jon Savage.
Rena Bell and Lea Taylor of Made in Midlothian. Photo by Jon Savage.
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A Made In Midlothian sub-group is gearing up to hold what it believes is the county’s first ever book festival next month in Dalkeith.

One Dalkeith’s Eskdail Court hub will host Made in Midlothian Stories’ ‘Bookfest’ on Sunday, February 9.

The event will run from 11am-6pm and feature readings, author Q&As, a pop-up book shop and workshops.

Samantha Cochrane from the Made in Midlothian Stories steering group said: “I came up with the idea for a book festival at the Made in Midlothian event at One Dalkeith last year. I said ‘why don’t we put together a literary festival for Dalkeith?’

“As far as we know nothing has been done like this in Dalkeith. But that was one of the reasons Made in Midlothian was put together in the first place, as a way of showcasing the talent in the area. We have authors, publishers and book sellers here, so it’s about getting them together to show people what we have here.”

Samantha revealed what people can expect at Bookfest.

She said: “Local authors will be there. We will have some performance poetry. Children’s storytelling from Lea Taylor. And Mary Turner has an interesting story to tell and a new book out soon. There will be a poet, Samantha Maw. I publish as Gwen Gates Parker, I will be there with my book doing readings and compering.

“We have interviews with authors and we are looking to do some open mic poetry or readings.

“We are trying to make it a fun festival and accessible, rather than it being high-brow. We want as many people as possible to feel they can come along and access what we have to offer in Midlothian and see books as something fun and interesting.

“We want everyone who comes to see there is something for everybody in the book world.”

Tickets for the festival’s workshops are available at eventbrite.co.uk.