West over Sea

This year’s Tobermory Book Festival closed with a gala dinner in the company of world renowned and best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith who read a poem, composed that morning, inspired by the couple of days he had just spent in Tobermory at the Festival. A very special moment for the audience at this sold out event. The 2023 Book Festival welcomed authors and audiences from across Mull, across Scotland and from further afield with conversations ranging from the challenges of rewilding our gardens and protecting our marine mammals to the Hebridean journey of Johnson and Boswell and the life and times of Sir Fitzroy Maclean. Dougie Strang and Kerri Andrews spoke of the creative inspiration gained from walking, both from first-hand experience and also the writing of some overlooked women walkers, and the playwright David Greig explained how his walk to Iona, although unplanned, had inspired his first novel. A number of the talks were completely sold out and Banjo Beale, Isabella Tree, Alexander McCall Smith, Natalie Sanders, Sarah Ross Thompson and Jane Smith all entertained capacity audiences and every author enjoyed a lively question and answer session with their audience at the end of their talk... more in the printed issue

Photo: Bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith chats to Sir Lachlan Maclean at the Tobermory Book Festival.  Photo by Frances Sutton