Aye Write will go ahead this year after an “unexpected” donation of £65,000 from the charitable foundation established by the late Euromillions winner, Colin Weir.

A spokesperson for the charity said the cancellation of the Glasgow book festival was “unthinkable.”

It will operate on a far smaller scale than normal, with a number of stand-alone events taking place throughout the year, rather than over the course of ten days as it did last year when around 175 authors appeared in more than 120 events.

The funding has also secured this year’s Wee Write, the book festival for children and young people.

READ MORE: Aye Write book festival cancelled after rejected funding bid

Events include appearances from Holywood a-lister Alan Cumming, the award winning novelist Lionel Shriver and an in conversation event with Nicola Sturgeon and Val McDermid.

The Herald: Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon chairs an event with comedian Janey Godley at the Aye Write

Last month, Glasgow Life, the organisers of the festival said they had been forced to cancel after a bid to secure £77,500 from Creative Scotland was rejected.

At the time, the council-run arms-length organisation said the delivery of the festival was entirely “dependent on securing external funding.”

Without the money from the funding body they had no choice but to cancel this year’s events.

The news was greeted with dismay by writers and book lovers.

Douglas Stuart, the award-winning author of Shuggie Bain, said it was "unacceptable" that his home city of Glasgow might not have a literary festival.

Taking to X for the first time in a year, the writer said Aye Write was “not just about one city or one festival, it’s about a nation’s pride in her art.”

“It’s about working class access to literature – and let’s not be coy here: working class people are crucial to Scottish literature. Get a haud of yersels. And let Glasgow be great,” he said.

The first event confirmed in the new lineup is an event with author Damian Barr and playwright James Ley.

They have worked together on adapting Mr Barr’s memoir, Maggie & Me, for the stage.

The two men will be in conversation with Jackie Wylie, the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland on 30 April.

GT Karber, whose “Murdle” books have proved a hit with puzzle fans will be in Waterstones on 16 May.

LBC broadcaster and author of How They Broke Britain, James O’Brien, will be in conversation with Catherine Salmond, the Editor of the Herald on 17 May at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The event with Ms McDermid and the former first minister will take place in The Old Fruitmarket on 21 May.

David Nicholls, whose books include One Day, recently adapted by Netflix, will be at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 14 June.

Mr Cumming will be reunited with his former double act partner Forbes Masson for an event at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 8 August.

The Herald: Forbes Masson and Alan Cumming at the Tron

Tickets are due to go on sale at 10am today on the festival website.

Organisers say more events are expected. 

Wee Write will go ahead in autumn this year “on a smaller scale” with more details “available in the coming months.”

READ MORE: Aye Write book festival must be saved - and quickly

Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Aye Write is a much-loved festival, which is apparent from the outpouring of support over the past few weeks. The generous donation from the Colin Weir Charitable Foundation means it can continue to have a positive impact on Glaswegians and people throughout Scotland.”

A spokesman for the Colin Weir Charitable Foundation said: “We are pleased to be able to support Aye Write to put on a programme of great events in 2024.

"It was unthinkable that Aye Write should be silenced until next year. Happily, the donation means that won’t be the case.”

Glasgow Life has said they are continuing to develop a multi-year funding application to Creative Scotland for future festivals.

They say if this bid is successful then Aye Write should return in full in 2025, 2026 and 2027.

However, the arts funding body has warned that money is limited with only around 30% of applications to their open fund likely to be successful.

Last week, Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, hit out at Creative Scotland, saying that the city does not get any significant support from the national agencies based in Edinburgh.

Writing in a column for our sister paper, The Glasgow Times, the councillor said: “Aye Write is a perfect illustration of this: an event of national cultural significance, rooted in our city and its venues and reliant on our expertise for its success.

“But it’s also an example of how Glasgow does so much of the heavy lifting ourselves, with comparatively little support from national governments and agencies. Glasgow punches well above our weight within Scottish culture and it’s high time that got the recognition it deserves.”

Mr Weir and his wife at the time, Christine, won £161m on the EuroMillions in July 2011.

He died following kidney complications in December 2019, aged 72.

Shortly before his death, he helped saved Partick Thistle, brokering a secret £2million deal, which saw him take over the Glasgow club, with his 55% majority share then gifted to fans.