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Big names for Wordplay book festival

Highly acclaimed Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead will be at this year's Wordplay book festival in November. Photo: Alistair Cook

A NUMBER of big names have been confirmed to appear at this year’s Wordplay festival, including Liz Lochhead, Christopher Brookmyre and Judy Murray.

They will be joined by The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee and David Walker, while Neu! Reekie! – who bring together spoken word, music, animation and film – and Americana music trio The Stray Birds will also appear.

Wordcard tickets offering unlimited access to Shetland Arts’ annual writing festival in November are on sale now.

Christopher Brookmyre has written a number of highly successful crime novels featuring investigative journalist Jack Parlabane. Photo: Chris Close

This year’s Wordplay festival has been curated for the first time by Karen Cunningham, who founded Glasgow’s AyeWrite! event and was a former head of Glasgow’s libraries.

She has secured a string of high profile guests, with Lochhead the national poet of Scotland between 2011 and 2016 and a recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Judy Murray, mother of Scottish tennis star Andy Murray, has released her autobiography earlier this year. Photo: Marc Atkins

Brookmyre is a well known figure in the UK crime writing scene, with the Scottish author penning 18 books including Quite Ugly One Morning and One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night.

Murray – the mother of tennis star Andy – released the autobiography Knowing the Score: Our Family and Our Tennis earlier this year.

The sixteenth Wordplay festival will take place between 2 and 5 November, with the programme due to be released later this month.

A Shetland Arts spokeswoman said it would feature a “vibrant mix of readings, writing workshops, children’s events and book signings.

“It offers a unique opportunity for readers and writers to meet with their favourite authors, hear them read their work and answer questions from the public.”

Wordcards on sale now at £40/£25 and they can be bought in person at Mareel, over the phone on 01595 745500 or online via the Shetland Arts box office.