Shetland Arts’ Literature Development Officer, and organiser of Wordplay, Donald Anderson said: “This year, you will notice a couple of changes: the festival is in November, rather than September, and it no longer runs at the same time as Screenplay, Shetland Arts’ annual film festival. What has not changed is that we still have a packed programme of events lined up featuring a wide range of different writers, styles, and genres.”
Included among these events is sports journalist Richard Gordon who’s here to talk about his new book, Scotland ’74: A World Cup Story, and comedian, broadcaster, folk singer, flyfisher and poet, Mike Harding who is here to read his poetry. The festival also welcomes back Sally Magnusson who will be presenting her book Where Memories Go: How Dementia Changes Everything. This event is in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland.
Continuing the strong BBC Scotland connection to this year’s festival, Steven Canny (Executive Producer of Comedy) and Jack Docherty (writer and actor) will run a free workshop about writing comedy for television.
And, as ever the festival features a number of collaborations and partnerships, including the generous support of Amnesty International in bringing poet Ghazi Hussein and the equally generous support of the Shetland Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland, who once again have supported a series of author visits to Shetland Schools. Among the authors visiting schools is Ollaberry’s very own Julie Dennison, who is also appearing in the Mareel Auditorium to give an illustrated reading.
Julie is not the only Shetland resident to appear at this year’s festival: it will also welcome Donald S Murray, Nat Hall, Sheenagh Pugh, and Marian Armitage who feature alongside a wealth of talented writers and artists from across the country including Roseanne Watt, Douglas Robertson, Ron Butlin and Regi Claire.
Jen Hadfield appears with Elizabeth Reeder to celebrate 21 Revolutions, a project by Glasgow Women’s Library. And from Glasgow, the festival will also welcome Italian born best-selling novelist, Daniela Sacerdoti.
Last and most certainly not least are Ian Stephen and Lawrence Tulloch who will be at Wordplay to deliver a session of storytelling, both spoken word and from the page.
Donald added “We’d like to say thank you to all of the guests, funders, supporters and volunteers, without who none of this would be possible. We can’t claim to have something for absolutely everybody, but we have tried! We hope you enjoy it.”
Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer, Lisa Ward, said: “The full Wordplay 2014 printed programme will be available to pick up from Mareel at the beginning of October. For now, all this information is available on the brand new dedicated Wordplay 2014 website, or via Shetland Box Office.”
Booking is via Shetland Box Office at Mareel and/or Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at shetlandboxoffice.org and/or mareel.org.