Wee Mac Arran

Arran’s first Children’s Book Festival

With Arran Theatre and Arts Trust

Wee Mac Arran

Friday 9th and Saturday 10th September 2022

A line up of nationally acclaimed authors, poets and illustrators will be performing live over the two days. Friday is focusing on Island schools and nurseries, with public events in Arran Library. Saturday is open to families and visitors to the Island at all of the venues – Brodick Hall, Arran Heritage Museum and Arran Library. There is also a Wee Mac Exhibition at the Ormidale Pavilion, a book signing tent and a Play Talk Read Bus for younger visitors.

With a host of well-known children’s authors, illustrators and poets participating across several venues, Wee Mac Arran hopes to inspire our children and young people to become lifelong readers and having met some authors, encourage them to become writers too! In Scotland’s Year of Stories, the Wee Mac Steering Group has curated a first class Book Festival for our children. With a programme of 26 sessions over the two days, there is something for all ages and interests. Entry is FREE but spaces may be limited.

For more details and the full programme is available at www.weemacarran.scot

The Voice caught up with one of the brains behind the festival, Alison Page, who told us more about how it came to be:

The seed for a children’s book festival started germinating in 2018, when Alison approached Arran Theatre and Arts Trust with the idea. Together with their support, and a proposal to include it under the McLellan Arts Festival umbrella, organising for Arran’s first children’s book event began. A steering group was formed, made up of local, book loving volunteers who are working in tandem with Arran’s schools and library, and Alison set off to various book festivals to do some research and to ask some questions – how to curate a book festival, who to invite, who would the children like to see?

Alison’s vision had been inspired by visits to Edinburgh book festival and she realised these are opportunities which children generally don’t have on Arran. Her aim was to bring something similar for young people here. And now much-loved authors such as Debi Gliori, Jonathan Meres, and Ross Mackenzie are on their way to lead sessions and read live from their work.

After a two year Covid-19 delay, and despite the potential ferry issues, the authors are all very excited to be coming for this inaugural event. Alison is keen to stress that the festival is for everyone. She said, “You can watch an author, buy a book and then even have it signed. But equally there will be a copy of all the books to borrow from the library.” She added, “It has been a long and fascinating journey, and now with it all coming together, we want to make it a welcoming event for everybody.”

One of Saturday’s highlights is the session with Carol Ann Duffy. Wee Mac Arran writes:
We are delighted to welcome to Wee Mac Arran one of Britain’s best-loved and most admired contemporary poets, when she will be reading from her award-winning work. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow but moved with her family to north-west England as a child. She has lived in Manchester for many years, where she is Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poetry, for both children and adults, has won numerous awards both here and internationally. Carol Ann Duffy was Poet Laureate from 2009–2019.She was appointed DBE in 2015.

Carol will be reading from a couple of her collections on Saturday 10th September at 1pm in Brodick Hall.