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!

     Joshua Rozenberg QC (hon) is Britain’s best-known commentator on the law. He is the only full-time journalist to have been appointed as Queen’s Counsel honoris causa. Joshua is known for his independence, his authority and his ability to explain complicated legal issues with simplicity, clarity and wit. Because he trained as a lawyer before becoming a legal journalist, he is often the first port of call for broadcasters faced with a breaking legal story.

 Mungo Bovey, QC is a Scottish advocate. He is Keeper of the Faculty of Advocates Library and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, .




                                         Colin Ballantyne is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. Following on from Colin’s wonderful illustrated talk and afternoon tea,
BOOKMARK Chair, Gail Wylie, will be revealing who will be coming to BOOKMARK’s 2020 Festival in October

It’s that time of year again BOOKMARK  is holding it’s Annual General Meeting in St Catharine’s Community Centre where all members and guests are welcome to hear about the successes of 2019 and be the first to hear what Chair, Gail Wylie, has in store for BOOKMARK 2020.  Following the meeting, BOOKMARKs Hospitality Team will be serving tea, coffee and home bakes.  Continuing on, the Committee is delighted to welcome to Blairgowrie, Sandra Ireland who will be in conversation with and discussing her latest novel, The Unmaking of Ellie Rook with Angie Crawford, Scottish Book Buyer for Waterstones.

Graeme Macrae Burnet. BOOKMARK is delighted that Graeme, the award winning crime writer of His Bloody Project and The Accident on the A34 is coming to St Catharine’s Community Centre for an afternoon of murder and intrigue. Graeme will be joined by Alasdair Macrae, retired Senior Lecturer of English at University of Stirling and uncle of Graeme, in the Chair.

:: 2019 BOOKMARK Festival Authors

       Ali Smith                     Nicola Sturgeon
Born in Inverness and now living in Cambridge, Ali Smith has excited the world of literature since her first collection of short stories was published in 1995. Her novels take the reader on journeys through time and into worlds of overlooked artists, forgotten people and open our eyes to perceptive insights on familiar themes. Her latest novel Spring is the third in her ‘Seasons’ quartet. She will be discussing this, and no doubt much more, in conversation with Nicola Sturgeon. Her many other works include novels such as Hotel World, The Accidental and How to be Both; essays including Public Library and a lecture commissioned by the Muriel Spark Society In the Spirit of Spark.
This event is sponsored by Castle Water     

    Sarah Maine               Magnus Linklater
Sarah Maine’s work as an archaeologist was the launch pad for her fiction which deals with the literal and metaphorical uncovering of secrets. Of Scottish ancestry, she grew up in Canada and has returned to the UK where she now writes full-time. She likes to explore how the past affects the present, the power of landscape on people and likes working within a dual (and sometimes triple) narrative framework.

     Dean Nelson                  Ken Cox
is an award winning journalist and foreign correspondent who lived and worked in India, covering India and South East region from Myanmar to Afghanistan and beyond for ten years. He now lives in Edinburgh but continues to travel to Asia.

     Hania Allen                          Joyce Caplan
Hania was born in Liverpool of Polish parents and has now lived in Scotland longer than anywhere else. After studying at St Andrews, she has worked as a researcher, maths teacher, IT officer and now writes full time. An unforeseen experience in Swedish Lapland steered her toward her career as a crime writer… 




  Kathleen Jamie          John Glenday
Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland and now lives in Fife. Writer and now Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Stirling, Kathleen’s work has always shown a profound, and quiet, interest in the world she lives in. She has won the Costa Poetry Prize, the Forward Prize and her last collection of poetry The Bonniest Companie won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award.

          Alan Riach
Born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, educated at Cambridge and Glasgow, Alan Riach went to the University of Waikato, New Zealand, as Associate Professor in 1986. He returned to Scotland in 2001 as Reader in the Department of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, where he is now Professor. He is the author of works of criticism on the poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid, editor of MacDiarmid’s collected works from Carcanet Press, and has written or edited several volumes on twentieth century Scottish literature. He is co-author with Alexander Moffat of two books on art and culture in modern Scotland.
Riach has published six collections of his own poetry and has recently worked on English-language versions of 18th-century Gaelic poems.

Louis de Bernières         Gail Wylie
Louis de Bernières much acclaimed novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best Book in 1995. Since then, his novels have continued to chart the huge changes that world events have on personal lives in Birds Without Wings, A Partisan’s Daughter, The Dust that Falls from Dreams and So Much Life Left Over. He also has a collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry Imagining Alexandria, Of Love and Desire and The Cat in the Treble Clef, which focuses on the connections made and broken with other people.
This event is sponsored by Lyon & Turnbull

Gordon Kerr                        Gail Wylie
Gordon Kerr, originally from East Kilbride, studied at Glasgow University. He then lived in France before returning to the UK to work in the wine trade. He has also worked in the book industry for Waterstones and Bloomsbury Publishing, before becoming a full-time writer in 2005 publishing books on history, travel, biography and humour. He lives in Dorset and southwest France. 

   Claire Hunter          Fiona Armstrong         Esther Rutter
Claire Hunter has been a banner-maker and community textile artist for over 30 years, establishing sewing enterprises such as NeedleWorks in Glasgow in the 1980s. Threads of Life is her first book and was chosen as Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’. It reached the Sunday Times Best Seller List in its first weeks of publication.

Esther Rutter is a non-fiction writer based in Fife. She grew up on a sheep farm and learned to knit, spin and weave as a child. She is currently Writer in Residence at the University of St Andrews (in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development). She describes herself as a ‘knitter, natterer, singer and hill-walker’.

Melanie Reid                   Sally McNair
Melanie Reid MBE is a writer and journalist with The Times. On Good Friday, 2010, she fell from her horse, becoming paralysed from the neck down. She spent a year in hospital, determined to gain as much movement in her limbs as possible and learning to navigate through a previously invisible world. She decided that words would be her means of travel and since then has continued to write for The Times, as well as co-writing with Gregor Fisher his memoir The Boy from Nowhere. She lives in Stirlingshire.
This event is sponsored by A Proctor Group Ltd

Freeland Barbour        Gerda Stevenson
Freeland Barbour, a very well-known figure in Scottish music circles, comes from Glen Fincastle near Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire. He is also a radio and record producer, a studio manager and owner, a music tutor and publisher and designer of accordions. He is the author of the two-volume The Music and the Land ‘a sound map of Scotland’.

Gerda Stevenson, actor/ writer/ director/singer-songwriter, trained at R.A.D.A., London, winning the Vanbrugh Award. She has worked on stage, television, radio and film throughout Britain and abroad. In 2014, she was nominated as one the Saltire Society’s OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF SCOTLAND.
Gerda is an award-winning writer of drama, poetry, prose, and children’s stories. Her poetry and prose have been broadcast on radio and published widely in newspapers, literary magazines, anthologies and in her own poetry collections throughout Britain and abroad.


Lyn McNicol & Laura Jackson present Badger the Mystical Mutt

Badger the Mystical Mutt is a loveable, toast eating dog with a heart of gold, dodgy magic skills and a peculiar flying machine! Authors McNicol & Jackson have written nine Badger books, and each one subtly addresses issues such as bullying, healthy eating and disability. They have visited schools, libraries and book festivals all over the UK with their larger than life character and are proud to be Patrons of Reading at a school in West Lothian. Their events are full of fun, magic and mischief. BBC Radio Scotland made a documentary about their journey called “The Mystical Mutt”

Angela Proctor is a business woman, author and mummy to two wonderful children, Skye and Kyle. These little bookworms love stories, which is one of the reasons why she got involved in writing. She’s been telling stories to her children all of their lives, and in 2014 decided to turn their stories into books. Since publishing her first book she found she had a passion for writing and storytelling. Angela has visited over 170 schools across Scotland spreading the word about Thumble Tumble and converting thousands of children into ‘Arranites’ on the way. She has also raised over £20,000 for her partner charity, the Beatson Cancer Charity as the sudden death of her mum to cancer in 2014 was the other reason why she turned to writing details.



Stuart Reid has been a full-time author for over seven years. His book events are filled with energy, fun and excitement, designed to engage and inspire children, especially boys and reluctant readers, to want to love reading. Using slides and props to bring his books to life, Stuart engages, entertains and educates pupils through alliteration, visualisation and volunteers from the audience (pupils and teachers). Small children love the energy and his silliness, whilst everyone enjoys the wacky world his characters live in. Stuart encourages the older pupils to think about their goals and aspirations and to learn from his 25 years in business and as an author.







Children will have a treat in store when they discover just how entertaining education can be in author Stuart Reid’s session with Gorgeous George.


Gerda Stevenson, actor/ writer/ director/singer-songwriter, trained at R.A.D.A., London, winning the Vanbrugh Award. She has worked on stage, television, radio and film throughout Britain and abroad. In 2014, she was nominated as one the Saltire Society’s OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF SCOTLAND.
Gerda is an award-winning writer of drama, poetry, prose, and children’s stories. Her poetry and prose have been broadcast on radio and published widely in newspapers, literary magazines, anthologies and in her own poetry collections throughout Britain and abroad.
Christian Small lived and painted in West Linton for over 60 years. Her work was of remarkable quality and range in many different media. Her choice of subjects was wonderfully imaginative. Her landscapes were drawn from around the village, their colour and draftsmanship brilliantly capturing the countryside she loved: wind-bent trees, pale green grasses and the rolling Pentland Hills.
Woven in and out of the paintings are poems by Gerda Stevenson, and Christian’s thoughts in prose as imagined with poignant eloquence by her daughter Jenny Alldridge – an unusual blend of word and image telling the unique story of a prolific and gifted artist. 

Shaun Bythell

Shaun runs Wigtown’s The Bookshop, the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland set in its only officially designated ‘National Book Town’. When not working amongst The Bookshop’s mile of shelving, Shaun’s hobbies include eavesdropping on customers, uploading book-themed re-workings of Sugarhill Gang songs to YouTube and shooting Amazon Kindles in the wild.





Magnus Linklater CBE – BOOKMARK Patron,  is a Scottish journalist, writer and former newspaper editor. 
Magnus was born in Orkney and is the son of Scottish writer, Eric Linklater.  He began his career in journalism in 1964, worked with The Times from 1969-1983 and moved to The Observer as Managing Editor (News) before being recruited to launch and edit the London Daily News.  Magnus returned to Scotland in 1988 to become editor of The Scotsman until 1994.  Magnus was the Scottish Editor of The Times from 2007-2012.  Since then he has continued as a regular columnist for The Times, presented a discussion programme for BBC Radio Scotland and has written a number of books on Scottish history and politics.  Magnus is currently the chairman of Horsecross Arts Ltd. 

Rosemary Goring – BOOKMARK Patron
Today, Magnus will be joined by Rosemary Goring another BOOKMARK Patron.  Rosemary  is a writer and journalist who worked for many years for Scotland on Sunday, before moving to The Herald and Sunday Herald. Her books include Scotland: The Autobiography: 2000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw It Happen, and the novels After Flodden and Dacre’s

Douglas Skelton
Douglas Skelton was born in Glasgow. He has been a bank clerk, tax officer, taxi driver (for two days), wine waiter (for two hours), journalist and investigator. Now concentrating on fiction, he has written eleven ‘true crime’ and Scottish criminal history books. His previous novel Open Wounds (2016) was longlisted for the McIlvanney Award. Douglas was involved in a long-running campaign to right the infamous Ice Cream Wars miscarriage of justice. He also runs popular ‘You the Jury’ events, presenting a court case and allowing the audience to deliver the verdict…




Marion Duffy
Marion is one half of the creative writing partnership Mirren Jones; her Welsh partner is Elaine Atkins.

Together they have written two works of non-fiction and a debut novel, Eight of Cups.  Via long distance communication, the pair have completed their second novel, Never Do Harm.  Born in Dundee, Marion’s working life has been rich and varied incorporation the worlds of education, health and big business.

A seasoned workshop leader, she currently manages her local medical practice which provides a rich seam of contextual background for Never Do Harm.




Olga Wojtas
Olga was born and raised in Edinburgh and attended the school that  inspired Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. 

She became a journalist, writing short stories on the side and her life changed when she won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust.

Her first novel Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar is The Creme de la Creme of crime Debuts. Fifty something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blane School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name…