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Shetland Arts has today released online the complete programme for its annual Book Festival, Wordplay 2013, running from 31 August to 8 September. The full programme for Screenplay 2013, Shetland Arts’ annual Film Festival which runs at the same time, will be released online tomorrow (Thursday 22 August). Tickets for events at both festivals will be available to purchase from Friday this week (23 August), with a special early bird concession rate available for those who book their tickets to Wordplay events before Thursday 29 August at midnight.

Wordplay 2013 Programme

Shetland Arts’ Literature Development Officer, Donald Anderson, said: “This year Wordplay has taken a slightly more relaxed form, spreading out over two weekends. Although the second weekend is largely dominated by Screenplay, there will be some choice cuts for book fans as well!”

Not least among these will be an appearance by Chris Mullin, former Labour Minister, novelist and celebrated diarist. He has been described by Oona King in The Times as “… a creature the public does not think exists: an honest politician,” and by Matt D’Ancona in The Evening Standard as someone who “…will join Chips Channon, Duff Cooper and Alan Clark in the pantheon of truly great diarists.” He will be presenting A View From the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin, which chart the rise and fall of New Labour.

Coming from a similar direction will be hard travelling Professor Will Kaufman, who returns to Shetland with his new show, The Long Road to Peekskill. In this he presents, via pictures and songs the sometimes harrowing story of Woody Guthrie’s journey from Oklahoma racist to a champion of civil rights. Kaufman is Professor of American Culture and Literature at the University of Central Lancashire, the author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical, and a fine singer and guitarist who has performed at Glastonbury as well as various Literature Festivals in the UK and Europe.

Other attractions include Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky (short listed for John Llewellyn Lewis Prize), the film of which stars Kate Winslett and will be shown during Screenplay. Esther will be reading from and talking about her most recent novel, Lucky Break.

Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger - the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of the bestselling Tor Teen/HarperCollins UK novel Little Brother. His latest young adult novel is Homeland, his latest novel for adults is Rapture of the Nerds. He will appear in Screen 2, Mareel, at 10am on Saturday morning, to read from and talk about Homeland.

The final event at Wordplay 2013 will be an appearance by story teller, poet and novelist Ian Stephen who will give a performance of story-telling as well as reading some of his poetry. Ian is currently in Shetland for a Creative Writing Residency, with Shetland Primary Schools. The residency is run by Shetland Arts, in partnership with SIC Creative Links and The Scottish Book Trust.

Donald Anderson said: “The line- up for the second weekend of Wordplay is eclectic and of the highest quality. I believe it will appeal to a wide range of people: lovers of the word, written, spoken and sung.”

To find out more about Wordplay’s partner festival, Screenplay – the annual Shetland film festival – please see this media release or keep an eye on for the launch of the digital programme tomorrow (22 August).

On Friday this week (23 August) tickets for events at the two festivals will be available for purchase via Shetland Box Office.

The New Arts Sponsorship Grants scheme incentivises businesses to sponsor the arts in Scotland. It is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Arts & Business Scotland. An arts organisation receiving an eligible business sponsorship can apply for £1 of funding for every £1 of sponsorship. The funding goes towards additional arts activity, for which the sponsor receives additional business benefits.

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