WIGTOWN Book Festival has unveiled a programme of more than 200 events for its annual 10-day celebration of literature in Scotland’s National Book Town.

The popular festival is set to run from September 23 to October 2 as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories.

Visitors are being invited from all over the country and beyond as the event continues to rebuild after the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry across numerous genres will be in attendance including Outlander actor Graham McTavish and Scottish author Chris Brookmyre.

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Sports commentator Andrew Cotter, known for talking about his beloved labradors Olive and Mabel, will also attend the festival.

The festival’s artistic director Adrian Turpin said: “The festival will be celebrating the very best in current books and writing, with a multitude of writers – but that’s just the beginning.

“We are at the very heart of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, by inviting people to discover literature and storytelling in many different forms, whether that’s through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, pictures, theatre, music or art.

“And as we continue to rebuild after Covid, we hope people will join us to enjoy hearing and meeting authors in person, to take part in other events of all kinds and to discover the countryside – and literary traditions – of Galloway.

“Something else that’s very close to our heart is the importance, and the joy, of encouraging a love of literature and storytelling among the next generation – so we have compelling programmes for young people and children.”

Wigtown Book Festival celebrates Galloway and the town’s own bestselling author, and owner of Scotland’s largest second-hand book shop Shaun Bythell, will talk about his latest work Remainders of the Day.

One special event, specifically created as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, will be The Bookshop Untold – a storytelling performance set in an enchanted bookshop aimed at those aged 12 and up – which will take audiences on a journey through history, Scottish literature, art, love, and loss.

Nature, natural history and human relationships with the natural world will be a significant theme throughout the festival.

Perthshire-based conservationist and naturalist Polly Pullar will talk about her latest book The Horizontal Oak, while Edinburgh research explorer Steve Brusatte will discuss The Rise and Reign of the Mammals. 

Also among the guests will be Romain Pizzi, an Edinburgh-based wildlife vet who has performed brain surgery on a bear and endoscopies on sharks.

Braveheart actress Gerda Stevenson and Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross will also make an appearance.

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People will also be able to enjoy other events including a literary walk in the Galloway countryside as well as fireworks and a pipe band on opening night.

VisitScotland’s director of events Paul Bush said: “From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and this year’s Wigtown Book Festival will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s National Book Town with a varied programme of music, performance and literature.”

Tickets are on sale now.