Friday, 24 August 2012

3 Days at the Edinburgh International Book Festival – Photo Diary

An early start on Day 1 …

Dawn Departure … mostly sleep walking

By the time I got to London I was awake enough to appreciate the splendour of the architecture.

Now that's what I call a ceiling!
Kings Cross Departures Hall 6:30am

Four hours later …

I can see the sea … the coastline near Berwick

Welcome to Edinburgh

The sight that greeted me as I stepped out of the station.

Red Carpet Treatment at the Roxburghe Hotel

The book festival site from my bedroom window. By day …

and at night.
On the way in to prepare for my event
Playwright and all round nice fella Alan Gordon
from Strange Town Theatre Company introduces Sara Grant and I
Sara talks about The Edge
while I model the back view of our T-shirts
Appealing to the audience …
Under attack from a peach frock
Gloria joins us onstage for some author improvisation
Post-event book signing. Note the scar (thanks Dom)
A photo with fellow SCBWI author Teri Terry 
(Thanks to Stephanie McGregor for the photo)

Day 2: I had a free day on Wednesday, so took the opportunity to have a look around the festival and catch a few of the events. It was great hearing some of my favourite authors talking about their books and being able to chat with a few of them afterwards. I also got the chance to meet up with Keith Gray, one of my all time literary heroes!

Walking around the site you couldn't help but notice the series of festival speaker portraits taken by Chris Close.  There were some great images, but this familiar hirsute gentleman was probably my favourite …

Philip Ardagh and his famous beard

Day 3: On Thursday I headed east to Haddington for a writing workshop with students from Knox Academy. The event was a joint venture between the Edinburgh Book Festival Schools Outreach Programme and The Lennoxlove Book Festival. I must thank Rebecca from Lennoxlove for driving me back to Edinburgh and for taking the photos and selling books at the event. To find out more about the Lennoxlove Book Festival in Haddington (2nd-4th November), visit

I had a great time at the school and the hour seemed to pass far too quickly. The students came up with some superb ideas and great pieces of writing. Thanks to Bill Plain and Dave Swinney for making me so welcome, and to Millie, Charlotte, Rebecca, Ruaridh, Katie, Calum, Owen, Bethan, Lucy, Hannah, Angus, Kalya, Rona, Daniel, Calum, Eilidh and Rachel for being such a pleasure to write with.

Explaining the Story Sprint Relay rules

Discussing strange breakfasts with Millie and Charlotte

I had a great three days in Edinburgh and would like to take the opportunity to thank all the book festival staff, with special thanks to Janet Smyth for inviting me to take part. Thanks also to Jennie Younger at Oxford University Press for taking the event photos and for fantastic tour support as always.

For more information on Alan Gordon's Strange Town Theatre Company visit


  1. Great post - wish I could have been there to see you all in action.

  2. Golly - sounds like so much fun! I've always wanted to go! Well done. YOu must be exhausted.

  3. Thanks folks. Exhausting, yes – but great fun. Edinburgh's such a beautiful city and the book festival itself was a fantastic experience.