NICOLA Sturgeon has responded to the news that a top Scottish festival has been cancelled.

The former first minister spoke out after Aye Write, a book festival held in Glasgow every spring, was pulled for 2024 due to funding issues.

The Scotsman reported that the festival had applied for £77,500 from Creative Scotland, but has been cancelled after the bid was rejected.

Sturgeon had appeared at the 2023 edition of the festival alongside Scots comic Janey Godley.

Responding to the news of the cancellation, Sturgeon said she hoped a route forward for the festival could be found.

The former SNP leader said: “Really bad news.

“I know money is tight but very much hope that a way is found to get @AyeWrite back on track.

“Books, culture generally, are so vital to our wellbeing – and never more so than in the troubled times we live in today.

“Book festivals are opportunities to celebrate the wonder of literature and those who create it. We mustn’t lose that.”

Other writers also spoke out about the cancellation.

Author Damian Barr said: “I was scheduled to appear with others at an event about the play of [my book] Maggie & Me.

“It’s been such a vital part of my life as a writer and reader. It’s such a shocking and damaging loss for Scotland’s literary eco-system.”

Poet and magazine editor Stephen Watt said: “Hugely surprising and disappointing – an enormous date in the literary calendar.”

The Publishing Scotland trade association said: “This is really disappointing news. A major city without a flagship book festival is not something to be proud of.

“All those cancelled events which had already been programmed? A huge loss for writers, their publishers and the audiences.”

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GlasgowLife runs the festival, but it said doing so is dependent on additional funding. The charity also confirmed that the kids Wee Write festival has been cancelled after a failure to secure any.

However, GlasgowLife said that there would be some “pop-up events” in place of a full festival.

A spokesperson said: “The Aye Write and Wee Write book festivals celebrate the joy of reading, writing, and books, bringing audiences and authors together.

"Their delivery is dependent on securing external funding and while bids for funding support continue to exceed monies available, especially during the current difficult economic climate, some events will inevitably miss out.

“Aye Write and Wee Write have developed and grown over the years thanks, in part, to support through Creative Scotland.

"Our 2024 funding application to Creative Scotland was not successful so Aye Write and Wee Write will not be able to take place as festivals this year. We appreciate this will cause considerable disappointment.

“Glasgow Life will organise some pop-up Aye Write events during 2024 and will develop an application for multi-year funding starting in 2025, which if successful, means a return for the festivals next year.”