Stirling Book Festival in its Sixth Year

September 7th, 2011 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Stirling Book Festival in its Sixth Year
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Stirling’s own book festival, Off The Page runs from 10–17 September (see full listings and venues here). Now in its sixth year, Off The Page boasts a fantastic track record of showcasing the rich writing talents of authors and poets from the Stirling area and beyond. The week-long festival is run in partnership with Creative Scotland, the country’s arts investment engine and provides an eclectic mix of speakers, readings, music and exhibitions. And for the first time ever, the festival this year hosts an evening of Gaelic music and storytelling.

Top names coming to show and tell include contemporary novelist Christopher Brookmyre, crime fiction writer Caro Ramsay and travel writer Gavin Francis. One particular highlight (for me anyway) will be The Mental Feast of Pure Delight, an hour in the company of the wonderfully weird Robert Ritchie, Stirling poet and chair of Stirling Writers Group (meets at 7.30pm every Tuesday at The Tolbooth). The event is on at the very silly time of 12 noon but seeing as it’s the day before the course begins (Tuesday September 13), you’ll be free to go along. Another event worth mentioning is the launch of a book in aid of Stirling Mental Health Charity, AiM. Presented by Dunblane’s first lady of poetry, Helen Lamb, accompanied by Alex Nye and Trisha Smith, ‘these gripping tales aim to break down barriers and challenge some of the stigma still associated with mental health.’ So there. And it’s free: Wednesday September 14 at 7.30pm. You can go to the pub to chew over the first day of the course afterwards.

The City Crime Evening features Dumbarton-born and multi-award winning author Stuart MacBride plus Scots journalist Craig Robertson, who has been just about everywhere and done just about everything. Including writing a bestseller. Sheegh.

And last but not least, if you want some early insights into what keeps authors motivated (or if you are harbouring your own dreams of bypassing the slush pile), get along to How To Get Published (Sunday September 11, 1pm)where lots of people who know a thing or two about it will keep you right. Hachette Scotland publisher, Stirling alumni and course visiting speaker Bob McDevitt is chairing the event and would be delighted to meet members of our new cohort. And really, really last, don’t forget the Literary Quiz at The Tolbooth on Friday September 16 at 6pm. Stun your new-found friends with your literary knowledge! Or just sit quietly.

You might bump into some Centre staff at some of the events, and it’s a great chance for new Publishing students to get in a bit of local culture and a few light ales.

Penguin Books at Stirling

March 6th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Penguin Books at Stirling
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Students last week had the opportunity to get their hands on the University of Stirling Library’s Penguin Books collection as part of their Publishing, Literature and Society module (in the MLitt in Publishing Studies).

The Library has an impressive collection of Penguin Books, which were donated by Dr Angus Mitchell, formerly Chair of the University Court and an avid Penguin collector. From the very first set of 10 books from 1935, to some of the earliest Puffins, Penguin Classics, Penguin Specials and Pevsner’s Architectural Guides, and books on yoga, car maintenance and vegetarian cookery, the collection demonstrates just how diverse a publisher Penguin has been.

Further details on the Library’s Special Collections can be found here. The Library is currently holding an exhibition of ‘Treasures’, which can either be visited in person or via the Library’s flickr set. Frances Sessford, Teaching Fellow in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, chose Penguin as her ‘Treasure’.

Oldest book in Scotland

December 10th, 2009 by Scott_Russell | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Oldest book in Scotland
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The BBC reports that the oldest book in Scotland, dating from the 11th Century, will go on display at Edinburgh University Library from Friday 11 Dec. A hand written Celtic Psalter, the book could be  1000 years old and is believed to be the work of monks from the island of Iona. The book is part of a new exhibition marking the refurbishment of the University’s library exhibition room. Other works on show include an early edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – published in his lifetime – and other examples of early books published in Scotland.

If you have some time over Christmas, this would be well worth a visit to see examples of how the earliest books were created.

Scott Russell