The 2022 Programme

See below for events by date and time


Programme by venue


Programme by speaker

 
Maps

Ways to buy tickets

Tickets for all events are priced as low as possible at £5 except the writing workshops at £15 and Dyad Productions which is a Maltings' production.
Some live events and all Zoom events are free but booking is still essential. Prior booking is much preferred as entry on the day cannot be guaranteed.

Thursday 13 October 2022

9am
10am
11am

Martins the Printers Tours

One of the few remaining book printers and binders left in the UK, Martins produces a wide range of books for both international publishers and first time authors.  The event includes a tour of the working factory. Note that this is a working environment with some noise and changes in floor levels. Tours will begin…

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10am

Tom Murray: Creative Writing Workshop ∼ Place is in the Eye of the Beholder 

  The details of a particular place may seem common to many, but everyone sees or remembers a place differently according to their own emotional narrative. A fiction workshop exploring techniques of how to create character and place so that they work in unison to create a unique narrative.  Further information about Tom can be…

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1pm

Anne Ryland: Poetry Writing Workshop ∼ Painting the Poem

The ekphrastic poem is inspired by another art form, often a painting. Transcending mere description, it is a poetic and imaginative response in which the painting is ‘entered’ and explored. We will immerse ourselves in a range of visual art forms, using them as starting points for poems that are fresh and colourful creations. All…

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7:30pm

Cabaret of Words

A celebration of the spoken and (occasionally) sung word in this lovely venue. Come along and listen to local writers, poets and performers sharing their creative efforts. This will be a friendly, informal event. Pier Red is licensed, so you will be able to relax with your favourite drink while you enjoy the performance.  Doors…

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Friday 14 October 2022

9am
10am
11am

Martins the Printers Tours

One of the few remaining book printers and binders left in the UK, Martins produces a wide range of books for both international publishers and first time authors.  The event includes a tour of the working factory. Note that this is a working environment with some noise and changes in floor levels. Tours will begin…

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10am

Wendy Joseph QC: Unlawful Killings

∼ Life, Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey Wendy Joseph has just stepped down as one of only a handful of judges qualified to preside over murder trials at the Old Bailey. And one of the few  female ones at that. For the first time, she can talk about what it’s really like…

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12pm

Suad Aldarra: I Don’t Want to Talk About Home

I Don’t Want to Talk About Home is not a memoir about war and destruction. It’s not about camps or boats. It’s about the enduring love for a home that ceased to exist, building a life out of the rubble, and the parts of yourself you lose and find when integrating into a new world.…

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2pm

Bea Setton: Berlin

A wry, surprising, piercingly contemporary debut about a young woman who moves to Berlin to escape her demons – and what she finds there. For fans of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Exciting Times and Acts of Desperation. Channelling the modern female experience with razor-sharp observation and witty flair, Berlin announces Bea Setton as…

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4pm

Nine Arches Press Poetry Reading

Jane Burn is a poet and illustrator based in the North East of England. She has won many awards, including the Silver Wyvern at the Poetry on the Lake Festival. Poetry is her true love and the only place where she feels confident, fluent and able to express the unique way she sees the world.…

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6pm

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason: House of Music

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason lives in Nottingham and is a former lecturer in English at The University of Birmingham. She has seven children, all of whom are classical musicians and the family has been the subject of several documentaries. What truly sparkles in this eloquent memoir is the joyous affirmation that children are a gift and we…

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7:30pm

Dyad Productions: A Room of One’s Own

Rebecca Vaughan (Dalloway, Orlando, Christmas Gothic, Austen’s Women, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) performs Woolf’s 1928 exploration of the impact of poverty and sexual inequality on intellectual freedom and creativity.  Take a wry, amusing, and incisive trip through the history of literature, feminism, and gender. Meet Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, and Shakespeare’s sister –…

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Saturday 15 October 2022

10am

Amanda Thomson: belonging ∼ Natural histories of place, identity and home

Rooted in a Scots pinewood in the Highlands of Scotland, belonging is part nature writing, part memoir. Snags are standing dead trees that are so important for the ongoing health of pinewoods, and are what led Amanda to consider how the past (and our pasts) nurture the present. In her session, accompanied by photographs and…

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Brian Groom: Northerners A History ∼ from the Ice Age to the Present Day 

Northern England, fashioned by waves of migration, invasions and battles, has had a profound impact on European culture and the global economy. Brian Groom, author of the bestselling, Northerners: A History, From the Ice Age to the Present Day, will outline 180 million years, showing how the north’s people, including Borderers, have shaped Britain and…

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Brita Granström & Jonnie Wild: The Fussy Flamingo

  Baby Flamingo is a very fussy eater! “I don’t like flingo weed,” says Baby. “I’m going to find a family that eats something delicious.” This highly interactive session will involve both storytelling (with parts for all the children), and Brita drawing live on screen allowing children to learn and practice the basic strokes of…

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10:30am

Tidekettle Paper: Paper making demo (morning)

A whistle-stop tour through the history of papermaking from its origins in East Asia to the state-of-the-art teabag machine at Chirnside papermill. Lucy Baxandall will demonstrate Western and Eastern hand papermaking processes and bust a few paper myths along the way. You’ll never take paper for granted again, and there might even be some samples…

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12pm

Toby Faber: Faber & Faber The Untold Story

Come on an illustrated tour of one of the twentieth-century’s great literary archives, telling the story of how Faber has survived depression, war and the passing generations to become the UK’s leading independent publisher. Read about TS Eliot taking on a ‘boy named Auden’ (but also turning down Animal Farm), Lord of the Flies being…

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Siân Thomas: It’s All Been Rather Extraordinary

Join the actress Siân Thomas (National Theatre, RSC) as she reflects in interview on the excitement of her early life in Stratford, Ontario, her experience on stage and in films, and her life partnership and travels with the poet Tony Harrison. A notable contributor to audiobooks and Radio 4’s ‘With Great Pleasure’, Sian will be reading…

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Storytime at the Library

Come along to the library and enjoy a relaxed storytime session with your little ones in our cosy children’s area. Discover your new favourite stories, explore the space and listen to a selection of picture books read aloud by one of our librarians. Smiles and giggles guaranteed. This event is FREE to attend but booking…

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Roddy McDougall: British Speedway

Why is Speedway Britain’s forgotten sport?  Speedway was once Britain’s second most popular sport, filling Wembley Stadium and getting regular coverage in national newspapers. Now crowds are numbered in the hundreds and it’s ignored by mainstream media. But there are still those who believe in its future and are working to keep it alive as…

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1:30pm

Geoff Aird: Within The Walls

Join Geoff Aird in conversation about his debut novel, Within the Walls, a contemporary crime thriller set in Berwick upon Tweed.  Geoff says, ‘Growing up in Berwick I always thought that the physical layout of the town would be a great setting for a murder mystery, with its bloody history, narrow cobbled streets and dark…

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2pm

Bloodaxe Books Poetry Reading

Bloodaxe Books has revolutionised poetry publishing in Britain over four decades. In this session, founder Neil Astley will introduce three Bloodaxe authors. Jo Clement lectures in Creative Writing at Northumbria University and is the Managing Editor and Creative Director of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine. Her first book-length collection of poems, Outlandish, was published by Bloodaxe…

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Daniel Smith: A Short History of the World in 50 Books

The book is a unique emblem of human culture and civilization, providing a record of what it means to be human. So, how did author Daniel Smith choose his selection of fifty of the most influential of all time – from Gilgamesh and the Analects of Confucius to Don Quixote and Catch-22?  Daniel Smith has…

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Emily Haworth-Booth: PROTEST!

Make a comic and change the world Join author-illustrator Emily Haworth-Booth for a short reading from PROTEST! How People Have Come Together To Change the World, followed by a hands-on drawing and writing workshop in which participants will be guided through the process of making their own comics on the theme of activism and changing…

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Tidekettle Paper: Paper making demo (afternoon)

A whistle-stop tour through the history of papermaking from its origins in East Asia to the state-of-the-art teabag machine at Chirnside papermill. Lucy Baxandall will demonstrate Western and Eastern hand papermaking processes and bust a few paper myths along the way. You’ll never take paper for granted again, and there might even be some samples…

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3:30pm

Peter Hetherington: Land Renewed

Our greatest challenge? Feeding Britain and preparing for climate change are two key issues – yet there’s no strategy for managing that most precious resource: our land. While the UK government has made many promises, there’s little sign of action, as farming subsidies in England are phased out leaving farmers in limbo. Thousands might leave…

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4pm

Neil Astley: The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me

Neil Astley presents the ultimate reader’s companion to poetry: 100 classic poems from five centuries with lively “companion” commentaries illuminating each poem – edited by him with the late Brendan Kennelly. Poets include Delmore Schwartz, whose sense of conflict between self and society produced the anthology’s title-poem, The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me.  Neil…

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Sean Lusk: The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

Historical fiction with a touch of magic Sean Lusk’s spellbinding debut novel The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, a Sunday Times historical fiction and Scottish Book Trust book of the month, has been receiving rave reviews since its publication in June. Sean will tell us about what inspired him to write his first novel, and…

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7pm

Alexander McCall Smith: An Evening of Sheer Delight

Join world-wide best-selling author and raconteur Alexander McCall Smith for an evening of witticisms, giggles and stories. Find out all the latest goings on in Botswana and the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the news from 44 Scotland Street, and which moral dilemma is currently challenging Isabel Dalhousie. Alexander will also introduce his new collection…

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Sunday 16 October 2022

12pm

Chris Brookmyre: The Cliff House

Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control… She’s rented a luxury cliff house on a private Scottish island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think. It is 25 years since multi-award-winning Sunday Times bestseller Chris Brookmyre’s first book was published. Since then, he has established himself…

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12:30pm

Martin Bellamy & Isobel MacDonald: William Burrell

A Collector’s Life Join Martin Bellamy and Isobel MacDonald to discuss William Burrell: A Collector’s Life, a candid and considered view of Sir William Burrell. Based on recent research made with full access to the Burrell archive, it uncovers what sparked Burrell’s passion for collecting and what his gift continues to mean to Scotland. About…

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2pm

Ann Cleeves: The Rising Tide

Ann Cleeves returns with the 10th in her acclaimed Vera Stanhope series, in which a school reunion turns deadly as the tide rises on Northumbria’s Holy Island.  Ann is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels and is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. …

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Kathleen Jamie: An Afternoon with the Makar

Spend an hour in the company of Scotland’s Makar, Kathleen Jamie as she reads from her work and discusses poetry, nature, culture, and our national life.  ‘Writing has remained the touchstone of my life. It’s where I do my best thinking, and where I rub up against the world.’ ‘Jamie is renowned, justly, as one…

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2:30pm

Douglas Jackson: The Wall

A new beginning at the end of days Historical author Douglas Jackson had lived with the same character for ten years and nine books, but all good things come to an end. Now he must find a new world to inhabit. Where better to start than Hadrian’s Wall and 300 years of history packed with…

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3:45pm

Matt Symonds: Hadrian’s Wall

What did Hadrian’s Wall do? The purpose of Hadrian’s Wall remains shrouded in mystery. While Roman writers were remarkably coy about why it was built and what it did, archaeology provides another way to tackle these questions. The results reveal how this extraordinary monument changed the nature of life in its shadow, both in the…

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4pm

James Holland: Brothers in Arms

One Legendary Tank Regiment’s Bloody War from D-Day to VE-Day Through compelling eye-witness testimony, and renowned historian James Holland’s expert analysis, Brothers In Arms brings to vivid life the final bloody scramble across Europe, from the powerful perspective of one of the greatest tank regiments: the Sherwood Rangers. ‘James Holland is the best of the…

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4:30pm

Elisabeth Wilson with Linda Bankier: The Memoirs of Jock Wilson

∼ A Berwick Boyhood Between the Wars How did a messy pile of unfinished handwritten memoirs become a published book? Join Linda Bankier (archivist) and Elisabeth Wilson (editor) in conversation about the crucial role of archives and other source materials in bringing this project to fruition. Come with your questions. Come to be inspired! A…

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5:30pm

Trevor Wood: Dead End Street

Trevor Wood’s first novel, The Man on the Street, featuring homeless protagonist, Jimmy Mullen, won the CWA’s New Blood Dagger for best debut and the Crimefest Debut Novel of the Year in 2020.  The sequel, One Way Street, followed in 2021 and the final book in the trilogy, Dead End Street, was published in January.…

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7:30pm

Writers in Conversation

In this informal discussion, locally-based writers share thoughts on how they began writing, their creative process and the writing life. Lisa Hobman and Jules Watson are in conversation with Margaret Skea. Lisa Hobman writes contemporary romance, which are all set in Scotland, simply because she’s quite obsessed with the place.  Her most local book is…

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