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Arts / ‘Something for everyone’ as Wordplay gears up for return

LITERATURE lovers are getting ready for the return of Wordplay, which begins next week.

Gavin Esler. Photo: Jeff Overs

The Shetland Arts festival – which runs between 21 and 25 September – is being curated by local writer Malachy Tallack.

There will be a mix of in-person guests, workshops, readings and school sessions.

With an emphasis on non-fiction, one of the headline names is Gavin Esler – a well known face from BBC news programmes – who has written what it means to be British in the 21st Century.

Cat Jarman.

He will promote his recent book How Britain Ends: English Nationalism and the Rebirth of Four Nation.

Chitra Ramaswamy brings one of the most widely anticipated and praised Scottish books of 2022, Homelands, a story of migration and belonging, of the friendship between the author and Henry Wuga, a child refugee from Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile bioarchaeologist Dr Cat Jarman will offer an insight into Viking lives with her research and her acclaimed book River Kings.

Two of Scotland’s finest modern novelists, Sara Sheridan and Kirstin Innes, will also feature. Sheridan will be discussing The Fair Botanists and Innes will be talk about her second novel Scabby Queen.

Chitra Ramaswamy.

There will also be an event in the Uyeasound Hall in Unst, bringing together James Crawford – broadcaster and author of The Edge of the Plain, which explores how borders have shaped history, politics and culture – with Shetland writers John Goodlad and Roseanne Watt.

For younger readers Wordplay will welcome David Macphail to Shetland, author of numerous popular children’s books such as Thorfinn the Nicest Viking and Yeti on the Loose.

Wordplay will feature writing workshops led by Ramaswamy and Sheridan, and a workshop on book illustration led by Tom Percival illustrator of the Skullduggery Pleasant series.

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There will also be a special Q&A event for writers on how to get published, led by James Crawford and Heather Parry.

Curator Malachy Tallack said: “All in all, I think, Wordplay 2022 has something for everyone. I hope to see you there.”

More information on the Wordplay programme – and links to tickets – can be found here.

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