About The Event

Mallaig book festival


They flocked from near and far for our second Write Highland Hoolie, held over the weekend of November 10th in the West Highland Hotel. This year’s authors included Mairi Hedderwick, Bernard MacLaverty, Cameron McNeish, Andrew Greig, Kenneth Steven, Ray Perman, Polly Pullar, Colin Speedie, Lesley Glaister & Alasdair Roberts. The literary celebration opened with a toast to Mairi Hedderwick’s Scottish Book Trust Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award, and was followed by her Art Rambles in the Highlands & Islands, whilst next day the venue filled with children keen to hear about Katie Morag. A hauntingly beautiful Gaelic singing performance from Canna’s archivist Fiona Mackenzie accompanied Ray Perman’s moving story of the Man Who Gave Away His Island.


Bernard MacLaverty also had an event at Mallaig High School for senior pupils, whilst Colin Speedie too presented the story of the basking shark in Scotland – A Sea Monster’s Tale, to a hall packed with pupils.


Appropriately, Fort William’s new independent bookseller, The Highland Bookshop, joined the party whilst The Scots Magazine was media partner and their award-winning editor, Robert Wight ran a popular feature-writing workshop, and judged the schools’ writing competitions. Music and craic continued into the small hours with Donald Livingstone, Elsa Jean McTaggart & Gary Lister, whilst several authors, including Andrew Greig, also took to the stage. 


Organisers, Polly Pullar, Sine Davis, Ann Martin & Deirdre Roberts said they were thrilled to have included events for the younger members of the community, and felt the weekend had been an outstanding success. Polly added, ‘We feel it went well but we must now continue to improve in the hope that this becomes an annual event, an eagerly anticipated part of the community calendar with the continuation of outstanding speakers, further school involvement and more local musicians, for this is what will set us apart.’