Tag Archives: Alan Durant

Your top ten for Book Week Scotland

In just two weeks’s time Book Week Scotland will be upon you, at least if you’re in Scotland. Otherwise Scottish Book Trust’s powers might not reach all the way to where you are. But it won’t be for want of trying.

Many events are for schools and not public, but I have found a few I like the look of, and were it not for my vow of not stirring ever again, I’d head off for some of these.

Top choice is obviously Mairi Hedderwick in Helensburgh, when it’s Party Time with Katie Morag on Saturday 26th November at 10.30. It hits the right spot for me in so many ways.

Jonathan Meres is a very funny man. His show May Contain Nuts at Fauldhouse, West Lothian, on Wednesday 23rd at 9.30, should be great. If you can get out of bed that early.

Children’s Book Swap with Alan Durant in Strathpeffer on Friday 25th at 15.00. Get rid of books you don’t want, and choose someone else’s unwanted books instead…

Stories by Starlight in Inverkeithing on Saturday 26th at 16.30. How they can be so sure of stars I am not, ahem, sure, but it sounds good.

A Beginner’s Guide to Electricity and Magnetism. Well, what could be more fun? That’s Gill Arbuthnott and Nick Armstrong in Fife on the 24th at 18.30.

John Fardell will be in Orkney on Saturday 26th at 10.30. Lovely, for anyone already up there.

Tom Nicoll: Writer of Nonsense! (and Mini-Dragons) entertains in Airdrie, also on Saturday 26th at 11.00.

Badger the Mystical Mutt and the Loch Ness Mystery (and Lyn McNicol) are in Glasgow on the 24th at 11.00. (Actually, make that the 26th! See Lyn’s comment below.)

A Library Ghost Tour in Rutherglen, also on the 24th, at 18.00. Boo!

City Lines featuring Chris Brookmyre in Glasgow on the 22nd at 19.00.


And number eleven is a Book Trail in Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral, every morning Monday 21st to Saturday 26th at 10.00. Clues to be found to win a prize.

Go on, go!

No room at the Plaza

And let me start by saying this has got nothing to do with the nice people at the Plaza.

This is where I would have told you all about last night’s glittering ceremony for the Stockport Schools’ Book Awards. Quite logical to cover something so close to home, for a change, with no tiring travel. I thought so. The organiser with the library service thought not. I hadn’t been invited. (So, invite me.)

After months and months of helpful behaviour from publishers and friendliness from authors (thank you), I should have known better than to expect anything at all from those whose pay comes from our rates. They are from the very same organisation which informed me that my (then) eleven-year-old shouldn’t read Terry Pratchett. They are working for the same local council that refused practical assistance for child on crutches to get to school.

Anyway, after I found out about the event (Daughter was invited through school), I spent ten days trying to work out who to contact about getting a ticket/invitation/whatever. You’d think they would have a website/page that can be found. (But I now know that Stockport has a Curry Chef award.)

So, knowing that Tim Bowler had been shortlisted, I asked him. He was coming, he said, but any information would be with his publisher. So, on to OUP, where I now have contacts, and they put me in touch with the right person. She in turn gave me the name of the one who then took such delight in saying no.

A book award in Stockport doesn’t sound like much, but I understand it’s good. Many excellent and well known authors are shortlisted. For Key Stage 4 (where Daughter voted) we had Tim, Michael Morpurgo and John Boyne. In another group Lee Weatherly. This is why I persevered, when I’d normally give up. But my “sparring partner” was made of stronger stuff. What I read in her replies was that I was a suspicious character trying to sneak into a children’s event. (According to Daughter one of my friends was there…)

A very last minute plea to Daughter’s headteacher got a sympathetic reply, but I was too late. At least he was nice.

I don’t know if the Stockport Express was there. They have a larger readership than I do. However, my readers are interested in books, and cover the globe, and my blog reaches parts the SE doesn’t. But who cares about spreading the word about their book awards scheme?

You’ll be pleased to hear that Tim Bowler won the KS 4 award. And from another source of information I believe that Alan Durant won in a younger category.

And you’ll be even more relieved that after this little outburst the witch will attempt to be her normal sunny self for a long time to come. Attempt to, I said.