Highlights from Winter Words Festival 2022

  22 Feb '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s annual literary festival, Winter Words 2022, returned this February to kick off Scotland’s Year of Stories with an outstanding host of Scottish writing talent. A fabulous host of well-loved Birlinn authors were among the lineup of conversations, showcasing their talents in exciting interactive events throughout the course of the festival.

Hannah Lavery, Edinburgh’s new Makar and author of highly anticipated new poetry collection Blood Salt Spring, hosted a free writing workshop brought to audiences in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust. A workshop for newfangled and expert writers alike, this was an evening full of experimentation, reflection and enthusiasm.

The fun continued with Eilidh Muldoon’s interactive illustration session, a unique and engaging exploration of the natural world. As well as finding inspiration from her forth-coming book, The Scottish Nature Colouring Book, Eilidh found creative energy from the local area around Pitlochry, particularly the natural environment along the River Tay. Willing participants, young and old, made their own artistic additions to the riverbank, drawing on Eilidh’s expert advice and instruction to improve their skills.

Alexander McCall Smith discussed his new novel, Love in the Time of Bertie, in a pre-recorded interview with Amy Liptrott, the associate director of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Alexander revealed much about his writing processes and the creative inspiration behind his much-adored novels. Denise Mina equally shared how her critically acclaimed historical fiction Rizzio came to fruition, and how contemporary parallels with 16th century Scotland informed much of her innovative decisions.

The 2022 festival closed with a delightfully insightful conversation with Andrew Painting and Merryn Glover to celebrate the addition of both authors on the Highland Book Prize longlist this year. Both spoke of an admiration for the Cairngorms, a major inspiration in each of their books. While the landscape of Scotland remains a constant muse for Merryn and Andrew, looming ecological disaster also informs how each write about the world around them. We wish Merryn and Andrew the best of luck in the Highland Book Prize with their increasingly relevant and ever enjoyable publications!

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