Programme Launch of Book Week Scotland 2018

Drag queen Nancy Clench in library with Rebel book
Category: Press Releases

Book Week Scotland 2018 runs from 19 November to 25 November   


  • Joanne Harris and Akala involved in ‘Pitch-it’ event with libraries
  • Claire Askew to tour colleges with All the Hidden Truths
  • Hundreds of free events will take place across the country including Juno Dawson, Ann Cleeves and Cameron McNeish
  • Almost half a million books will be gifted to pupils in Primary 1-3
  • Public invited to vote for their favourite rebellious book of the 21st century
  • 100,000 free copies of the Rebel book, with submissions from writers across Scotland
  • Return of the Digital Festival – packed with free, exclusive online events

The programme for Scotland’s seventh national celebration of books and reading was launched today, Wednesday 3 October, with a photocall of rebellious librarians held at Central Library, Edinburgh. Drag queen and Book Week Scotland ambassador, Nancy Clench, and bestselling author Claire Askew posed with copies of the Rebel book, which features a story from herself, as well as others submitted from the public.

Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing – will deliver events and activities across the country during Book Week Scotland 2018, which runs from 19 November to 25 November, linked to this year’s theme of Rebel.

There are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). Authors holding events include: bestselling YA writer and activist Juno Dawson; crime writer Ann Cleeves and outdoors expert and broadcaster Cameron McNeish.


Rebel Book

Free copies of the Rebel book can be ordered via Scottish Book Trust’s website. 100,000 copies have been printed and the book will also be available from libraries across Scotland during Book Week. The book contains 40 stories, including work from: bestselling author Sara Sheridan; playwright and performer Jo Clifford; Book Week Scotland ambassador and forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black, and Gaelic writer David Eyre.

An ebook and audiobook version of Rebel will also be downloadable from Scottish Book Trust’s website. Scottish Book Trust has once again partnered with Royal National Institute of Blind People, giving writers the opportunity to record their stories for the audiobook.



For the first time, Book Week Scotland will run ‘Pitch-it’, an opportunity for libraries and community groups to submit their proposal for an event. Those involved include: bestselling author Joanne Harris, discussing her new book Blue Salt Road; rapper, writer and activist Akala; public speaker Sam Conniff Allende of Be More Pirate; and Scottish Alt-folk musician and author Peter Kelly, aka Beerjacket. Scottish Book Trust will welcome submissions for interesting and creative events that fit the Rebel theme. Submissions are now open, and the deadline is 17 October. Applications can be made via Scottish Book Trust’s website.


College Tour and Young Programmers

Claire Askew will tour colleges on the East Coast of Scotland to talk about her new book, All the Hidden Truths. Claire has years of experience as an educator and is a tutor for women's writing initiatives Write Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon. The events will be chaired by a member of the student body.

Claire will also be involved in other Book Week Scotland events. On 22 November, 6.30pm, she will read her new novel at the Moffat Youth Theatre in Dumfries and Galloway. On 24 November, 7pm, Claire will join the launch of the Uncovered Voices Anthology: a collection of poetry, prose, non-fiction and visual art, all created by survivors of sexual and domestic abuse, held at The Forest Café, Edinburgh. This event has been organised by a Book Week Scotland young programmer, Eloise Birtwhistle. There are four young programmers and each has been granted funding of £500 to coordinate events for their peer group.


Digital Festival

Book Week Scotland’s popular Digital Festival will return for a second year, with a jam-packed programme of virtual events. Last year, the Digital Festival campaign was a finalist in the Scottish Charity Award’s Demonstrating Digital category. Highlights from this year’s programme include:

  • Scotland’s Greatest Football Rebel with Nutmeg Magazine: featuring Daniel Gray, Alan Pattullo, Ginny Clark and Pat Nevin.
  • Live-streamed Poetry Slam with Tom Pow, Nadine Jassat and Jennifer Williams.
  • Delphine Dallisono, Wikimedian in Residence at Scottish Libraries and Information Council will deliver a live workshop on how to use Wikipedia like a rebel.


Public Vote

Scottish Book Trust has also launched a vote to find the most rebellious read of the 21st century. The public were asked to enter non-fiction suggestions through Scottish Book Trust’s website and social media. The shortlist was decided by a panel, including: Head of General Collections of the National Library of Scotland, Graeme Hawley; Mairi Oliver, owner and bookseller of Lighthouse Books; and Literature Officer of Creative Scotland, Erin McElhinney. The public is invited to vote for their favourite rebellious read from the shortlist, available on Scottish Book Trust’s website.


For Schools

School pupils across Scotland will have the opportunity to join in Book Week Scotland. The three picture books shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize will be gifted to every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag. The Bookbug Picture Book Prize is sponsored by Browns Books for Students – voting is open to all children in Scotland and closes on 6 December, with the winner announced on 16 January.

Authors Live with Joseph Coelho will also be broadcast to schools across Scotland. The poet and author will share his picture book If All The World Were and will talk about how to create poetry. Classes can register via Scottish Book Trust website and submit questions for the author through Twitter.

Free bags of books, writing materials and counting games will also be gifted to all Primary 2 and Primary 3 pupils. These bags, produced in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of ‘Read, Write, Count’, provide fun materials for parents and children to use in support of learning at home. 63,750 Bookbug P1 Family bags containing a total of 191,250 books will be gifted. For Read, Write, Count, 66,000 bags for Primary 2 pupils and 66,000 bags for Primary 3 pupils, each containing 2 books plus fun numeracy and writing resources, have been produced for gifting during Book Week Scotland.

Six schools will also be involved in intergenerational rebellious reading projects, including: researching gender stereotypes in fairytales with grandparents; zine making workshops influenced by feminist and LGBT issues; developing reading cultures within the home and working with women from the wider school community to research figures in history who have broken gender boundaries.


Public Participation

Scottish Book Trust will also be encouraging the public to take part in the National Reading Lunch on Thursday 22 November, taking an hour out for a book at lunchtime, wherever you are.

During Book Week Scotland, schools, companies and communities across the country will be encouraged to hold a book sale or book swish, in aid of Scottish Book Trust. A free fundraising toolkit with top tips on holding a book sale is available here.

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding and £26,000 from SLIC, Book Week Scotland 2018 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 19 November – 25 November.

For more information about Book Week Scotland 2018 and how you can get involved, visit where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We’re delighted to present another packed programme for Book Week Scotland, our national celebration of reading and writing. After listening to feedback, Scottish Book Trust is pleased to make 100,000 copies of the Rebel book available to the public. Many thanks to our partners and funders for making this programme possible, and we hope everyone joins us for Book Week Scotland, whether at a physical event, or by taking part in our Digital Festival.”


Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “As a life-long and avid reader, I know that there’s no greater pleasure than losing yourself in the magic of a book. That’s why I welcome today’s launch of 2018 Book Week Scotland programme, a flagship event of Scotland’s culture sector celebrating books, reading and Scotland’s rich literary history and dedicated this year to exploring the theme of ‘Rebel’.


“For the seventh consecutive year, the Scottish Government is proud to support this incredible event, which stems from the Scottish Government’s commitment to literature and as part of our commitment to literature and ensuring more people can access and enjoy cultural activity more often.


“I congratulate Scottish Book Trust, the Scottish Library and Information Council for organising such a fantastic programme of events and activities throughout Scotland, which you can be a part of in your home, at school or college, in your local library or at work, as well as online. I encourage everyone in Scotland, especially during 2018 Book Week Scotland, to commit to finding some time to immerse themselves in the world of books.”


Erin McElhinney, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland, commented: “Scottish Book Trust have produced a programme that offers a whole host of routes into reading and writing, offering a cause to the rebel in all of us. It’s a week to celebrate new partnerships and connections, between organisations and the public, between digital and the book – and an invitation to challenge our own boundaries around reading.”


Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of SLIC said: “Book Week Scotland provides libraries with the perfect platform to celebrate books and a love of reading. This year’s theme – Rebel – has enabled a creative programme of events to be delivered. Book Week Scotland events are taking place in libraries from Shetland to the Borders which will inspire library users with their reading choices.” 


Notes to Editors

The open photocall will be held on Wednesday 3 October from 9am to 10am at Central Library, Edinburgh. CEO Marc Lambert, Book Week Scotland Ambassador Nancy Clench and author Claire Askew will be available for interview.

Please direct all interview requests to or call 0131 524 0184.


Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure though programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.     @scottishbktrust

For more information about Book Week Scotland, visit Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscotland or like the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.


In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and


The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services.  It leads the implementation of Ambition and Opportunity: A strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015–2020, develops innovative projects like Film Education in Libraries and provides support for libraries in the form of advocacy, consultation and research. It administers Scottish Government funding for public libraries (Public Library Improvement Fund), for school libraries (School Libraries Improvement Fund) and funding for the wider library and information sector (Innovation and Development Fund). It supports public libraries to participate in Book Week Scotland by providing Scottish Book Trust with event funding for every public library service and Further Education College Libraries.


The Read, Write, Count bags for Primary 2 and 3 pupils are produced by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Education Scotland and Scottish Government. The Bookbug P1 Bag also includes Read, Write, Count content. Read, Write, Count is a literacy and numeracy campaign aimed at parents of children in primary 1, 2 and 3 and includes bag gifting, social marketing and an outreach programme.