JOHN O'GROATS
BOOK FESTIVAL

March - October 2022

This year the John O'Groats Book Festival is even more packed with great events and amazing authors. The Festival will run from March through to October with events taking part across the county.

 

Events will be updated regulalry so check back and see what is taking place.

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PROGRAMME 

13th March

2:30pm

Seaview Hotel, John O' Groats

Donald MacDonald

Life's Too Short for Ironing Shirts

This book by Caithness’ own Donald MacDonald has been phenomenally successful. Come and enjoy Donald’s often hilarious life story.

Entry by donation 

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22nd April

7:30pm

Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth

Neil M. Gunn in Words

Landscape inspired poetry and prose.

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22nd April

8:00pm

Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth

Landscape to Light

Taking inspiration from Neil Gunn’s description of landscape in his collection of essays of the same title. This musical for piano and string quartet with photographer/filmmaker, Minttu Maari Manytnen. 

Book with Lyth Arts Centre here

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5th June

Book Launch

Finn & Friends

Launch of a new John O’Groats book for young people featuring Finn and Friends stories and poems by Gail Brown, Charlotte Platt, Andrea Wotherspoon and Ian Leith.

2:30pm

Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats

18th June

2:30pm

Corporate Lodge, John O'Groats

James Miller

 The story of a Caithness family based on the Dunbar family papers.

Book with Lyth Arts Centre here

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19th June

11am & 2pm

Meet at The Brewery, John O'Groats

Story Walk

A Walk with Our Storytellers

Join us for a walk from the John O’Groats signpost to the John O’Groats Mill with stories along the way.

Booking essential - book here

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10th September

2:30pm

Corporate Lodge, John O'Groats

Alastair Mitchell 

For some 40 years I was an orchestral musician, playing the bassoon in the world of period performance. I have been able to amass a fair number of items relating to the far north of Scotland, an area that I have been visiting since our family discovered it in the 1960s. My parents retired to Talmine in the early 1980s. It is out of this love of the area, and also my interest in what I have collected, that has inspired me to write The Immeasurable Wilds: Travellers to the Far North of Scotland.

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Liz Shaw

 I write historical novels with a Highland flavour. My mother was born and bred on Skye. Although I was brought up in England I spent all my summer holidays  with my grandparents on the island where I became immersed in the music, history and landscape of the island. My love of Skye has inspired  my writing. I aim to combine storytelling with a strong sense of place.

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28th - 30th October

John O'Groats

Book Festival Weekend

A Book Festival Weekend with Margaret Bennett and Barbara Henderson with more authors to be confirmed.

View event poster here

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28th October

7:30pm

Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth

Tom Muir & Bob Pegg

Sharing Stories & Story Telling

Join Tom Muir and Bob Pegg for a recorded film sharing where they tell traditional stories, while also discussing the art of storytelling.

29th October

11:00am

The Inn, John O'Groats

Finn & Friends

Stories from Finn & Friends

29th October

2:30pm

Corporate Lodge, John O'Groats

James Miller

A Trio of Writers

Jenny Colgan, Jennifer Henderson and Barbara Henderson have a discussion with James Miller.

Jenny Colgan

Sunday Times Best Seller

Jenny Colgan was born in Scotland and has lived in London, the Netherlands, the U.S. and France. She eventually settled on the wettest of all of these places, and currently lives just North of Edinburgh with her husband Andrew, her dog Nevil Shute, and her three children: Wallace, who is 11 and likes pretending to be 19 and not knowing what this embarrassing ‘family’ thing is that keeps following him about; Michael-Francis, who is 9 and likes making new friends on aeroplanes, and Delphine who is 7 and is mostly raccoon as far as we can tell so far.  

Jennifer Henderson

Daughters of The North

Jennifer Morag Henderson is a writer from Inverness. Her new book Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots is published in 2022. Jennifer’s first book, the biography Josephine Tey: A Life, is published by Sandstone Press and was listed in the Observer newspaper’s Best Biographies of 2015, the Independent’s Best Crime Books of 2015, and the Telegraph’s list of Best Books of 2016. It was republished in a new edition in 2021.

Jennifer Morag Henderson is the first biographer of novelist and playwright Josephine Tey and has lectured and written extensively about Tey’s life, crime fiction and theatre work, including articles for the BBC and Northwords Now, and talks for Inverness Museum and the British Library.

Jennifer’s particular interest is in history and biography. Other writing and research has included work on 20th-century Scottish writers including M.E.M. Donaldson and Hugh MacDiarmid, on the 17th-century adventurer Donald McBane, historic Inverness, and more.

Barbara Henderson

Scottish by Inclination

Barbara writes novels for children: Fir for Luck  (2016), Punch (2017), Wilderness Wars (2018), Black Water (2019), The Siege of Caerlaverock (2020), The Chessmen Thief (2021) and The Reluctant Rebel (2022). I have also written a non-fiction book for adults called Scottish by Inclination (2021). Alongside writing and visiting schools as an author or storyteller, I also work as a drama teacher in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

First and foremost, my writing is aimed at children, but I also enjoy dabbling in short stories and Drama. In addition, I write reviews of books, theatre, music and spoken word events, plus a bookish column for a clutch of North of Scotland newspapers. In addition, I run a group for those interested in writing for children.

29th October

7:00pm

Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats

Margaret Bennett

Waulking The Tweed

Margaret Bennett is a Scottish writer, folklorist, ethnologist, broadcaster and singer. Her main interests lies in the field of traditional Scottish folk culture and cultural identity of the Scots, home and abroad. 

30th October

11:00am

8 Doors Distillery, John O'Groats

Jennifer Henderson

Josephine Tey: A Life

Jennifer Morag Henderson is the first biographer of novelist and playwright Josephine Tey and has lectured and written extensively about Tey’s life, crime fiction and theatre work, including articles for the BBC and Northwords Now, and talks for Inverness Museum and the British Library.

30th October

2:30pm

Corporate Lodge, John O'Groats

Margaret Bennett

Oral History: An Interactive Workshop with Wick Voices

Margaret Bennett is a Scottish writer, folklorist, ethnologist, broadcaster and singer. Her main interests lies in the field of traditional Scottish folk culture and cultural identity of the Scots, home and abroad. 

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