My Weekend with Bloody Scotland

October 3rd, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Weekend with Bloody Scotland
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Lovers of crime writing had a wonderful weekend in Stirling as the Bloody Scotland festival made its mark on the city for the third year. Featuring authors like Ian Rankin, Kathy Reichs, Sharon Bolton and David Hewson, the festival was a great opportunity for readers to engage with their favorite crime writers and hear interesting (and sometimes hilarious) talks about everything from the writing process and getting published to the independence referendum and feminist protagonists. Along with these entertaining talks, the weekend featured interactive events for festival-goers, including a re-enactment of a serial killer’s trial and a crime scene investigation at Stirling Castle.

When I heard about the opportunity to volunteer at the festival, I immediately submitted an application–and I’m so glad I did! It was a fun and informative weekend where I was able to experience first hand the behind-the-scenes workings of a major literary festival. Moreover, attending the event made me realise how festivals like Bloody Scotland provide important marketing opportunities for publishers and their authors.

I was assigned to work in Albert Halls, a beautiful venue near the center of town. My main tasks included setting up the hall before an event, directing audience members to their seats, answering questions from attendees and assisting with author signings. One of the major perks of volunteering was the ability to sit in during author talks–I was lucky enough to sit in on two events. The first was between authors Sharon Bolton, Julia Crouch and Helen Fitzgerald and the second between David Hewson and Peter Robinson. Both sessions were highly entertaining and provided insight into the life of authors and the writing process. Of particular interest to me as a publishing student, author Sharon Bolton discussed the complex relationship she has with her editor; she described the feelings of frustration she gets when her editor sends back notes longer than her original manuscript, but conceded that in the end her editor plays an integral role in producing the best book possible. In a time when some are questioning the necessity of publishers, it was reassuring to hear an author recognize and praise the fundamental role of the editor.

For me, Bloody Scotland provided valuable insight as a publishing student and delightful entertainment as a book lover. I look forward to attending again in the future!