Book Week Scotland takes place from 19 to 25 November 2018. The national charity Scottish Book Trust concentrates its efforts this week on changing lives through books, reading and writing. There is a full programme of events across Scotland and here we highlight the Edinburgh events.

Drag Queen Nancy Clench with the Book Week Scotland Rebel Book at The Edinburgh Central Library. Photograph by Martin Shields

Drag Queen and Book Week ambassador Nancy Clench launched the week at an event involving rebellious librarians.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We’re delighted to present another packed programme for Book Week Scotland, our national celebration of reading and writing. After listening to feedback, Scottish Book Trust is pleased to make 100,000 copies of the Rebel book available to the public. Many thanks to our partners and funders for making this programme possible, and we hope everyone joins us for Book Week Scotland, whether at a physical event, or by taking part in our Digital Festival.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “As a lifelong and avid reader, I know that there’s no greater pleasure than losing yourself in the magic of a book. That’s why I welcome this fantastic launch of 2018 Book Week Scotland programme, a flagship event of Scotland’s culture sector celebrating books, reading and Scotland’s rich literary history and dedicated this year to exploring the theme of ‘Rebel’.

“For the seventh consecutive year, the Scottish Government is proud to support this incredible event, which stems from the Scottish Government’s commitment to literature and as part of our commitment to literature and ensuring more people can access and enjoy cultural activity more often.

“I congratulate Scottish Book Trust and the Scottish Library and Information Council for organising such a fantastic programme of events and activities throughout Scotland, which you can be a part of in your home, at school or college, in your local library or at work, as well as online. I encourage everyone in Scotland, especially during 2018 Book Week Scotland, to commit to finding some time to immerse themselves in the world of books.”

Drag Queen Nancy Clench with the Book Week Scotland Rebel Book at The Edinburgh Central Library.
Photo Martin Shields

Plants on Paper: Flower Painting or Botanical Illustration? November 22, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Colinton Library, 14 Thorburn Road

Join local artist Janet Dyer, who works alongside botanists and collectors, to learn the secrets of life as a plant illustrator. Janet trained and worked as a line artist in the Herbarium of Oxford University, accompanying botanists to Kew and the British Museum. Later, she also illustrated for botanists in the Herbarium at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Recently, she has worked in colour, gaining a distinction in the RBGE Diploma of Botanical Illustration. Janet exhibits widely, gaining gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society. A free ticketed event, please book online or telephone 07516 997 000.

Cinico: Passion, Cynicism and Rebellion in Political Writing, November 22, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Eric Liddell Centre, 15 Morningside Road

Join author of Cinico: Travels with a Good Professor at the Time of the Scottish Referendum, Allan Cameron, to explore themes of passion, cynicism and rebellion in politics, together with author of In Place of Fear II and In Place of Failure: Making It Yes Next Time … Soon, politician and political commentator, Jim Sillars.

With a Scottish professor of politics as his guide, a London-based Italian journalist (the eponymous Cinico) traverses Scotland seeking a ‘big story’ on the Independence Referendum. What he gets instead are small stories from myriad points of view: a Ukrainian nationalist, a Russian religious guru, an eccentric Estonian, an Algerian and a dying man, amongst many others. Beyond exploring Scotland’s political scene and its place in Europe, Cinico’s stories examine how Europeans interpret each other and more generally how people experience politics within a social context.

The night will include a brief discussion on Brexit, where the author’s views diverge. The audience can have a chance to express their views and a Q&A with the authors will take place. A free untickted event, refreshments will be available and all attendees will leave with a copy of the Rebel book.

Human Library workshop event with Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, November 22, 3.30pm – 5.30pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street

Meet staff and learn more about the vital work of the centre and the role of storytelling in healing from sexual violence and trauma.

Storytelling and Survival: Marking 40 Years of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, November 22, 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street

2018 marks Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre’s 40th Anniversary: 40 years of saying we listen, we believe, we support. To help mark the occasion, join the centre for an evening celebration event on the theme of storytelling and survival. The centre will share their ground-breaking publication, A Woman’s Story, launch a pamphlet of creative writing from survivors of sexual violence and announcing a brand new literary patron. A dynamic, engaging and impactful event not to be missed.

Both are free ticketed events, register online to book a place.

In Full Bloom: Liberty Storytelling with Jan Bee Brown, November 24, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street

Storyteller Jan Bee Brown will gather a bouquet of stories of rebels who were inspired by the language of flowers and Liberty prints as part of LIBERTY Art Fabrics & Fashion.

Jan’s stories will feature some rare beauties, from Oscar Wilde daring to wear a green carnation to bouquets of barbed wire at the Battle of Glasgow Green. Come and hear tales of ‘malicious mischief’ at Kew Gardens and why late blossoming botanist Isobel Wylie Hutchinson explored the Arctic Circle in search of the illusive arctic poppy. Tickets are £7.06 and can be booked online or by telephoning 0131 550 3660.

Rebel Book Club, November 24, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Within two years of each other three rock icons died, depriving fans not only of great musicians, but also great wordsmiths: David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Mark E Smith. For one night only, Rebel Book Club delves deep into the words that made them and the words they made. Featuring live music, poetic tributes, video and audio clips, and readings of their work and the rebel authors who influenced them: Camus, Lorca, Burroughs, Eliot, Lovecraft, O’Hara and more. A paid for ticketed event, please telephone 0131 557 2876 for pricing information and to book.

Edinburgh Comic Art Festival, November 25, 11:00am – 4:00pm

Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Leith

ECAF returns to Leith’s Out of the Blue Drill Hall this November, with a packed comic book market full of exhibiting authors and artists, as well as plenty of workshops, talks and events for comic book fans of all ages. Whether you are a diehard comic book lover or just dabbling, come along and immerse yourself in the marvels of this diverse and inventive art form.