2020/10/02 18:00:00

BOOKMARK  2020 Programme

BOOKMARK’s first event of the year was a very popular ‘Meet the Author’ event with the novelist Sandra Ireland in a fascinating conversation with Angie Crawford, Waterstone’s Book Buyer for Scotland. Sandra’s third novel The Unmaking of Ellie Rook was highly acclaimed last year and she entertained us with her interest in folklore (the galvanising idea behind her last two novels), how she constructs her stories and imagines her characters. We were also delighted to be the first audience to hear an extract from her forthcoming novel of 2020 – the first in a trilogy.

Sandra and Angie were guests after our Annual AGM, in which we discussed plans for the future. Our Festival in 2019 was the most successful yet and gives us confidence to book many first-class writers who cover a wide range of interests. And to try new types of events too…
The first of these new events will happen on Saturday March 14 at 2 pm in St Catharine’s Community Centre.   One of our favourite writers, Olga Wojtas, will be launching her new book Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace. Olga is a wonderful reader of her work and so BOOKMARK can promise a highly entertaining afternoon listening to the next exploits of Olga’s hapless time-travelling librarian who this time finds herself in fin-de-siecle rural France. Expect the unexpected as far as vampires and librarians go, and a perfect antidote to the dark days of winter!

Our most prestigious event of the spring and summer is our Literary Lunch at Ballathie House Hotel on Sunday 14 June – 12.30 for 1.00pm. We’re delighted that Joshua Rozenberg QC, of BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action programme and the UK’s leading journalist on all things legal, is our speaker. After a two course lunch at Ballathie, our guest will be in conversation with the Keeper of the Faculty of Advocates Library, Mungo Bovey QC. Joshua has a new book coming out in April, Enemies of the People? How Judges Shape Society, and the talk and conversation will be of major interest to all interested in politics, law and society. Tickets (£40 the whole afternoon) are now on sale via our Membership Secretary – rhona.maclean@yahoo.co.uk or 01250 875613. (Our thanks to the Faculty of Advocates for helping to sponsor this event.)

BOOKMARK 2020 Launch takes place on July 25 at St Catharine’s CC at 2 pm when Colin Ballantyne will give an illustrated talk about Scotland’s Mountain Landscape: A geomorphological perspective. This event also gives everyone the first opportunity to buy the ever popular ‘Early Bird’  tickets for October (including the very popular weekend pass). News of who is coming in October (held as usual at the Community Campus) will be released soon – the writers include household-names and new writers of novels, crime fiction, memoir, travel, nature, art and photography. Favourite people will be returning to either chair or speak at an event and we are thrilled to have many high-profile speakers wanting to be part of BOOKMARK.

That’s not all. Our Authors in Schools programme continues to invite inspiring writers and illustrators to local schools and BOOKMARK is still waiting to hear from a few other invited speakers who will either appear at our Festival in October, or at stand-alone events at other times of the year.

None of this would of course be possible without the support of local press, library and businesses, a dedicated committee and the growing involvement of our audiences. Word of mouth is our most important means of publicity so please keep telling everyone you know about us!

You can follow us in various ways:
Our website  keeps you up to date not only with our events, but items of other book interest as well – each month we post four ‘Books of the Month’. We’re on Facebook at Bookmark and you can also follow us on twitter @bookmarkblair.

Gail WyliE


The BOOKMARK Committee
Rhona Christie
Kathleen Walker
Christine Fraser
Jan Farquhar
Jen Geddes
Jacqui Rutherford
June Hastings
Christine Findlay
Jean Squires
Liz Mason
Kay Thomson

Hospitality Team
Jan Farquhar
June Hastings
Anne Glass
Linda Clark
Aileen Davidson



Go With The Flow!

The motto of BOOKMARK is ‘Go with the Flow’; a phrase which evokes the river Ericht that flows through the centre of Blairgowrie, our home. It’s an encouraging and forward-thinking motto, reminding us that it is often a liberating thing to be free of concerns and constraints and to look ahead, not backwards.  It suggests, rather than demands, that we should be caught up in the moment for our own good.

It seems to me that it’s what Book Festivals are all about.  Go with the flow of ideas from all the invited authors – don’t just step into the stream of those you’ve heard of. Trust the direction of the current and meet new writers, new topics, new ways of thinking. Go with the flow and travel to other times, other countries, other ideas.  Re-connect with the familiar by encountering the strange.

BOOKMARK is a unique Festival in a beautiful part of Perthshire. Let us celebrate all that it has to offer, step into that river of ideas and ‘Go with the Flow’.

Gail Wylie




Patrons: Fiona Armstrong, Ken Cox, Rosemary Goring, Magnus Linklater

BOOKMARK, which began in 2012, brings the world of books to Blairgowrie, Perthshire and beyond. Writers and their readers engage with each other in friendly, well-organised events.

BOOKMARK organises not only a three-day Festival in October, but also holds local ‘Meet the Author’ events for adults and local schools. At all our meetings, for adults and children, readers meet, listen to and question writers.

BOOKMARK realises that readers defy categories therefore we invite writers from all disciplines: novelists, historians, poets, journalists, biographers – the list is as varied as the world of books itself.

BOOKMARK’s October Festival is an engaging mix of household names and the up-and-coming; from prize-winners entertaining newcomers; what BOOKMARK promises is a first-class experience promoting the best of the world of books from Scotland and beyond.

BOOKMARK continues to grow in size and reputation. Our four distinguished Patrons are delighted to be associated with us; literary agents and publishers now contact us about possible author visits; increased funding from local sponsors is testament to their acknowledgement of the quality of our Festival.

BOOKMARK is a Festival with a future.

Alexander McCall Smith

Writing makes sense of the world.

Ian McEwan's Advice for Aspiring Writers

Save The Dates

We have lots of events throughout the year, please check our PROGRAMME page for full information

2, 3, 4 October 2020
BOOKMARK Book Festival
will return



By Martin Bell - guest author at BOOKMARK on two occasions

‘BOOKMARK Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens
By blending writers’ words and presence
Distils a very special essence
Its varied ingredients
Command our allegiance
And the pleasure it gives is immense.’


‘What is the bird on your logo?’

We’re often asked, ‘What is the bird on your logo?’

The BOOKMARK bird (liber festival scotica)
A rare sub-species of the Dipper (cinclus cinclus)

Stocky with white breast; red wings, back and tail all with white markings.

13 cm: wing span 18-20 cm. Medium-sized, rotund, aquatic passerine. Plumage generally red with white breast.

Unmistakeable. Flight direct and rapid along runs of water but can often be seen dipping into books.

Territorial throughout the year in Blairgowrie. No discernible song as it spends much of its time feeding on its staple diet of words. Becomes active and sociable at times of ‘Meet the Author’ events and in particular in October at the weekend Book Festival.

Their neat nests, resembling book shelves, can be spotted near libraries and bookshops. Blairgowrie Library and Waterstones Perth are popular nesting sites.

Reference: The Wishful Book of Scottish Birds (2019) published by Cargill Books. POA




BOOKMARK would like to say a big THANK YOU to all its
Sponsors and Supporters