Bestselling author to visit Callander school for Book Week Scotland

Joanne Harris and Blue Salt Road book cover
Category: Press Releases

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has announced that bestselling author Joanne Harris will visit McLaren High School for Book Week Scotland 2018 on Monday 19 November, 4.30pm – 6pm.

Book Week Scotland is a national celebration of reading and writing that runs this year from 19 November to 25 November, linked to the theme of ‘rebel.’ Joanne Harris will appear in conversation with Scottish storyteller Amanda Edmiston. The event is free and open to the public but tickets must be ordered in advance from Eventbrite. The discussion will be followed by a book signing in association with Waterstones Stirling.

An author of novels, novellas and cookbooks, Joanne Harris is best known for her 1999 novel Chocolat, which would go on to be adapted for the big screen in a production starring Dame Judi Dench.

The event forms part of ‘Pitch It’, a new programme for Book Week Scotland 2018, where libraries, community groups, organisations and individuals were invited to pitch for one of four literary stars to pay them a visit. McLaren High School was selected alongside five other ‘Pitch It’ hosts in a process open to applicants from all over the country. In addition to covering the authors’ fees, Scottish Book Trust has provided each successful host with £500 to help deliver their event.

Joanne’s latest book, Blue Salt Road, is inspired by traditional folk tales. Callender’s rural setting was a key factor making for a successful pitch, with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park considered to be an ideal backdrop to explore the book’s main themes.

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.

Joanne Watson, School Librarian at McLaren High School, said:

“All of us at McLaren High School in Callander are delighted that Joanne Harris has chosen to visit us to talk about her new book, Blue Salt Road, with Scottish storyteller Amanda Edmiston. McLaren is the only high school in the Trossachs national park and our community does not usually host world-famous authors. This will be an excellent event for our young people, their families and the community at large. We are very grateful for the support of Scottish Book Trust in making this a free to attend event. We look forward to welcoming Joanne on 19 November.”


Marc Fleming, Headteacher at McLaren High School, said:

“Everyone at McLaren is very excited that Joanne Harris has chosen to visit us for her only current appearance in Scotland on her book tour for Blue Salt Road.  The Trossachs are full of stories of the wee folk and we will all be very interested to learn how Joanne has been inspired by similar Scottish folktales.”


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“We’ve been so impressed by the standard of pitches we received to host these authors. The energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by all applicants throughout this process is a great reflection on the health of book-loving communities all over the country. I want to congratulate each organisation that has been selected to work with us on a Pitch It event: I’m sure that the opportunity to host one of our handpicked line up of celebrated rebel writers will entertain and inspire.”


Notes to Editors

For all press queries, please contact: Christopher Silver or call 0131 524 0160

Keara Donnachie 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.


Creative Scotland

Scottish Book Trust is supported by Creative Scotland 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


Joanne Harris is an author of novels, novellas and cookbooks, best known for her 1999 book Chocolat.  She will be coming to Scotland to talk about her new book Blue Salt Road. The perfect autumn and Christmas read, it combines the harshness of nature with the spookiness of a ghost story and the comfort of a great folk tale, in one beautifully told novella, stunningly illustrated by Bonnie Hawkins, with a beautiful cover by Sue Gent.