Tag Archives: strathearn artspace

Literature festivals are awesome (and you should come to Crieff’s)

11138141_527430924073593_2731289479583220078_n(*updated timetable) Many years ago I went to the Edinburgh International Book festival on a trip with my Higher (5th year) English class. We were dropped into the middle of an event that felt like it was part rock festival and partly like sitting down for a cup of tea in  a friend’s living room. There was excitement, humour, and we were introduced to a lot of incredible writing. However, the most striking thing for me was the way it felt to be talking to an author about their work.

Meeting an author, even of a book you haven’t read, can be a really interesting experience, mostly because writing is such an intimate art form and those who do it gain a lot of insight into what makes them tick. It can be genuinely refreshing to get inside someone else’s head and see how ideas form and develop into something tangible, which is then presented openly to the public. Not everyone acts like this and when I saw the type of people that writers are it made me even more sure that I wanted to be one.

crieff arts festivalWell, good news everyone! Now anyone in the Crieff area on the 22nd August can get the chance to have this experience too as, Crieff is getting their own mini literary festival! There will be a huge array of writers with very different writing styles in attendance and there will even be a talk on getting your own work published (for any aspiring authors among you).

1273863_342306299238716_2146995532_oDon’t forget to add the date to your diary, I’ve added a facebook event so that you can join and get a reminder closer to the time (click here to pop over and join the event). I’ve written about the ‘Writers Live’ event before but we now know more about the line-up. I should point out that I previously posted a list of authors who would be attending but was mistaken about Jess Smith who unfortunately won’t be able to make it along this year. Apologies for my mistake.

For those who would like to join me and many other writers on the day, here’s the timetable:

‘Writers Live’ Saturday 22nd August 10am-3pm Strathearn Artspace:

cover with blurb and barcode 2 trimmed10:00am: The day starts with me (John Bray). I’ll be reading from, and talking about, the first two books in the Jack Reusen series (click these links to find out more about ‘Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame‘ and ‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams‘). I will also be reading an exclusive excerpt of (my still very rough draft of) ‘Jack Reusen and the Children of Fate’, so if you want a wee glimpse of what happens next you’ll need to come along.

bronte country10:25am: Peggy Hewitt: Peggy will be reading three of her children’s short stories which were commissioned BBC Children’s television. Peggy is also a real Bronte lover, you can get an idea of her work at her Amazon author’s page here. Probably her best known book ‘Bronte Country: Lives and Landscapes’ looks at the land that the Bronte sisters called home, and its history. Peggy is also one of only a handful of people who can say that they got to read about their own demise in the newspaper. You can read the retraction from The Telegraph and Argus here. It must have been a very odd experience for her, though she seemed to find the humour in it.

oatmeal_f6d37569e639d04c9762cbab553d1c4a10:45am: Margaret Bennet: Margaret is a writer, folklorist, ethnologist, broadcaster and singer. She has so many talents, and such a large body of work to draw on and is sure to bring something to ‘Writers Live’ which will be both entertaining and informative in equal measure. She will also be reading from her latest book: “We Are the Engineers!”

11:25am: Ann Petrie will be reading from her book about the 1920s rent strike

11:45/12 noon: Break for lunch (we’re leaving a bit of space to be safe)

HazelCover30June2015__38474.1439211779.1280.128012.45pm: Hazel Buchan Cameron: Hazel is a well noted poet and In 2014 she was the first Writer in Residence for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Moving away from poetry Hazel will read from her new book “Just Go In” which follows a seventeen year old as she sets off from a council estate near Glasgow to become a farm secretary in the East of Scotland. Her memoir spans the late 70s to the early 90s. “…Life is often stranger than fiction, and this story shows the fine line that is walked in relating true events whilst maintaining a believability.” (Hardeep Singh Kohli, comedian and chef)

FabulousBeast.2701.15pm: Patricia Ace (Poet): Partricia has a lovely, smooth yet disjunctive style to her work and her debut poetry collection ‘Fabulous Beast’ contains some intriguing and sometimes comical takes on some every-day or at least familiar scenes and scenarios. You can hear her read some of her own work by clicking this link. (As it turns out Partricia is also my mum’s yoga instructor, small world)


1:35pm: David Cowan author of books on Ley Lines and the energies of the Earth will be talking about. Crieff’s secret societies and symbols.

1.55pm: Helen Grant: Helen will be reading from her ‘Forbidden Spaces’ trilogy of urban exploration themed thrillers set in Brussels and Ghent. Helen’s research for these books looked like a lot of fun, if you pop over to her Twitter account and look through the pictures you’ll see what I mean (warning, you’ll be clicking for a while). Helen is an international author and thriller extraordinaire who has enjoyed glowing reviews from The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Daily Mail.

2.25pm: Publishing talk with Q&A by Helen Lewis McPhee and Gonzalo Mazzei. Helen has worked with Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communications, and, currently Canongate Books. Gonzalo is from Grace Note Publications C.I.C, publisher of many the books listed here. They will both be there to talk about the publishing process and answer questions from would-be (and current) writers.

3pm: Finish: You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. (Actually you can stay, if you stick around you’ll catch a the concert that follows us, admission for the concert is £3)

So there’s a basic run down of the programme. There will also be the Jack Reusen window and competition over at Fun Junction to look forward to (click here for more information). The competition is a ‘design a Jack Reusen character’ competition which closes during the festival weekend, the winner will see their character feature in a short story to appear on this site sometime after the festival closes (and if I can manage I’ll try and fit it into one of the books so that the winner can see their character in print).

I look forward to seeing you along at the ‘Writers Live’ event, thanks for reading, all the best, John