14 March 2023

Gordon Brown and Douglas Stuart join book festival line-up

14 March 2023

Booker prize-winning author Douglas Stuart and former prime minister Gordon Brown will be among those appearing at a book festival this summer.

The Borders Book Festival, which is celebrating its 20th edition this year, takes place from June 15-18 at Harmony Garden in Melrose.

Comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti, award-winning Irish novelist and poet Sebastian Barry, civil rights campaigner and lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy KC and rugby legend Will Carling will also be among those taking part.

More than 100 events will take place over the course of the festival, covering topics ranging from literature and politics, to sport, health and lifestyle.

Alistair Moffat, festival director for all of the 20 editions of the Borders Book Festival, said: “The festival is the biggest event in the Borders, not only in terms of the pleasure it brings, but also financially, bringing in £2.5 million to the local economy in only four days.

“For those four days it is the centre of cultural life in Scotland – the only place to be.

“When I started the Borders Book Festival 20 years ago, it was a case of: Why not? Why not bring some of the biggest names from across the UK – indeed, the world – to share, debate, argue and entertain?

“That is exactly what we did, and are still doing, 20 years on. I could not be more proud of what we have achieved over the last two decades and what we continue to pull off each year.”

Scottish author Stuart won the Booker Prize in 2020 with his debut novel Shuggie Bain.

The Children’s Programme, sponsored by Baillie Gifford, will take place throughout the day on Saturday June 17 and Sunday 18 and will feature author events, kids’ craft activities, storytelling and interactive creative workshops.

Organisers said the full book festival programme will be announced on Tuesday April 25, after which tickets will go on sale at www.bordersbookfestival.org.

The winner of this year’s £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, last year won by Scotland’s own James Robertson for News Of The Dead, will be announced at a special event at the book festival.

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