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Wordplay returns!

by Promote Shetland -

Shetland Arts is pleased to announce the return of the popular Wordplay festival on 16th - 27th November. The festival returns after a one year break to make way for last years' crime writing festival Shetland Noir. The programme has been put together with a steering group made up of stakeholders from the local literary scene and is being held in conjunction with Shetland Library, and timed around Book Week Scotland Celebrations. This year the focus is on putting the 'Play' into wordplay, highlighting the range of things that can be done with the written word!

This year's festival features an exciting mix of local and national names including Scots Makar Jackie Kay, much loved children's author Debi Gliori and Between Islands authors Kevin MacNeil (Western Isles), Alison Miller (Orkney) and Roseanne Watt (Shetland). The wide ranging programme celebrates the diversity of the written word with a variety of events, talks and workshops for all ages. Other highlights include a comic book creation masterclass with Edward Ross, creator of the graphic novel Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film, networking events for local writers, the award winning Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, illustrated by local artist Jane Matthews, an exploration of Film Poems with Roseanne Watt, novel writing workshops with Orcadian author Alison Millar, a songwriting workshop with Carol Jamieson and the return of the ever popular Poetry Skelp.

Sunday 27th also sees launch of Bobby the Birdman, a new work compiled by Mike McDonnell and Jonathan Wills celebrating the extraordinary life of Bobby Tulloch, the son of a crofter in the island of Yell who started his working life as a baker only to become the renowned field ornithologist, tour guide, author and wildlife photographer.

And, as if all that wasn't enough, as well as the talks and workshops, Shetland Library will be running a series of free events throughout Book Week Scotland, which runs from the 21st of November through to the 27th. This will include a series of workshops for schools with visiting children's author and illustrator Shoo Rayner, a special evening celebrating reading in the Library with local writers, a variety of 'love your library' events as well as the popular 'The Book Group That's Not A Book Group But Kinda Is A Book Group', which will also be meeting in the run-up to the festival. The programme of events in Shetland Library has been organised by Library staff along with their resident Reading Champion Jacqui Clark.

Steering group member and creative projects manager for Shetland Arts Cara McDiarmid said:

We're so happy to reveal our programme for Wordplay this year; there are just too many exciting events to talk about! From meeting incredible authors to a variety of workshops and lovely events for children and families, our celebration of literature has something for everyone. We have events covering poetry, prose, songwriting, graphic novels, illustration, travel writing, island writing, film poetry and more, plus amazing showcases of local writers.

A full programme will be available at

Tickets will be available from 14th October through Shetland Box Office.

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