A Write Highland Hoolie!
We are looking forward to another busy weekend of fabulous books, music and food in the West Highland Hotel. In the four years since we started, we have gathered a loyal band of followers and we are keen to ensure that every Hoolie retains its own distinctive atmosphere. As a small committee one of our main aims is to help develop a love of books and reading in the youngest members of the community. This year we have greatly expanded our school events and are holding author events in Mallaig Primary School where all the local primaries will be able to join in. We have an impressive line up: this year’s worthy winner of the Bookbug Picture Book Prize, independent publisher Alan Windram from Oban, OBE and winner of the Scottish Book Trust’s Outstanding Achievement award, Theresa Breslin, and the brilliant illustrator Kate Leiper who delighted her young audience here last year. At Mallaig High School there is award-winning author Mick Kitson and Theresa Breslin will also be talking to senior pupils, while Kate Leiper holds an art workshop.
On Monday morning after we have all collapsed exhausted, international prize-winning novelist, children’s author and former Edinburgh poet laureate, Ron Butlin will be paying a visit to the primary school too. Last year’s High School events were an outstanding success. The packed hall was silent, not even a cough or shuffle as Jackie Kay captivated her young audience. I will never forget walking back to the hotel afterwards behind two teenagers with a dubious reputation for being disinterested. Then I overheard one say to the other “Wow, that Jackie Kay is f-ing awesome”. I told Jackie later. She shrieked with laughter and replied, “That’s brilliant do you think I can ask my publisher to print that on the cover of all my books?’ Books are vital and have the power to open hearts and change minds, but the craic and the forging of new friendships is vital too. We wish you a great weekend. Best wishes, Polly Pullar