Borders Book Festival Celebrates 20th Edition

A staple in the June diaries of booklovers the length and breadth of the country is the Borders Book Festival, a firm favourite of audiences and authors alike, and this year celebrating its 20th edition.

Once again to be held in its iconic home of Harmony Garden, Melrose, in the Scottish Borders, and this year running from Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th June, the four-day feast of literature, entertainment, politics, sport, health and lifestyle – and much more besides – will see more than 100 events hosted in marquee-clad Harmony Garden heaven.

Early Headline announcements

Organisers have released an early peek at some of this year’s headliners, including: Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart; actress, comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti; award-winning Irish novelist and poet Sebastian Barry; civil rights campaigner and distinguished lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy KC; ex Labour Leader and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown; Royal Lady in Waiting and socialite Baroness Anne Glenconner; rugby legend Will Carling; and many other household names.

Royal Lady in Waiting and socialite Baroness Anne Glenconner

The full book festival programme is to be announced on Tuesday 25th April, after which tickets will go on sale at 12 noon.

The Children’s Programme, sponsored by Baillie Gifford, takes place throughout the day on the Saturday and Sunday (17th & 18th June), packed with exciting author events, kids craft activities, storytelling and interactive creative workshops – everything that curious young minds could wish for to get those imaginations buzzing.


Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain.

20 years and counting

Alistair Moffat, Festival Director for all of the 20 editions of the Borders Book Festival, said:

“The festival is the biggest event in the Borders, not only in terms of the pleasure it brings, but also financially, bringing in £2.5m to the local economy in only four days. For those four days it is the centre of cultural life in Scotland — the only place to be.

“When I started the Borders Book Festival 20 years ago, it was a case of ‘why not!’ Why not bring some of the biggest names from across the UK – indeed, the world – to share, debate, argue and entertain. That is exactly what we did, and are still doing, 20 years on. I could not be more proud of what we have achieved over the last two decades and what we continue to pull off each year.”

In addition, the winner of this year’s prestigious £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, last year won by Scotland’s own James Robertson for News of the Dead, will be announced at a special event at the book festival.

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