A Scots book festival is moving online to showcase Scotland’s rich writing and publishing culture on the world stage, while celebrating the resurgence of reading for pleasure during lockdowns.  

The 16th edition of the Aye Write book festival will deliver a diverse, digital programme of events over two weekends in May. The live book festival is usually held in March at Glasgow's Mitchell Library, but it was postponed due to the pandemic. 

Instead, the 16th edition of Aye Write will take place online, bringing the book festival to audiences across the world to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.  

Organisers said, in the past year, books were a “great solace" during difficult times. This is reflected in their aim for Aye Write 2021 to provide escapism through a  lively blend of entertaining, uplifting and thought-provoking events.

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The full programme of over sixty author talks and discussion panels will feature more than a hundred writers from Scotland and around the world, like best-selling novelists Maggie O’Farrell and Kate Mosse, and award-winning authors Douglas Stuart and Monique Roffey.

Authors will be joined by stars from stage and screen, politics, current affairs and entertainment, such as Andrew Marr, Nicky Campbell, Ed Miliband, and Lockerbie campaigner Jim Swire. 


Events will focus on issues of the day including mental health and well-being, racism, women’s rights, ethical travel, data security and Scotland after the coronavirus pandemic.

Aye Write programmer, Bob McDevitt said: “Putting the festival together this year in lockdown has brought a few challenges, but the online format has also allowed us to have the most international programme I think we've ever had, with authors joining us from California, New York, Austin, Montreal, Brisbane, Oslo and Dublin, as well as some fantastic authors from Scotland and the rest of the UK. 

“I'm especially excited by our literary prize winners: Glasgow's very own Douglas Stuart; Monique Roffey and Maggie O'Farrell. 

“Aye Write always provides a home for stimulating conversations and this year is no exception, with a mix of well-known faces and some outstanding debut writers, many making their first ever festival appearance."


On Wednesday 28 April, as a warm-up to the main event, Scotland’s top crime writers Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Louise Welsh will be in conversation with each other, with tickets available from today, April 8.

The full programme will be released on the Aye Write website from Thursday 29 April, with tickets on sale from that day too, while all-access Early Bird Passes are available from today. 

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Over two thirds of the programme will be live via an accessible, Pay Per View, digital platform, with the facility for audiences to be able to ask questions and engage in the talks. Most of the live and recorded content will be available online for three weeks after each event, allowing people the luxury of being able to pick and choose when to watch.

Aye Write will run from May 14 to May 16 and May 21 to May 23. All-access festival pass - £40 (early bird), £50 (full price) / Individual tickets - from £5 / Tickets to individual events will be available to purchase from Thursday 29 April here