Non-fiction events at Book Week

Calling all readers of non-fiction! Check out what’s on offer during Kirkcudbright Book Week

Monday February 27 Screening of ‘S.R.Crockett: The Kirkcudbright Connection’ (20 minutes) followed by virtual chat/ Q&A with Cally Phillips of Galloway Raiders.

The Kirkcudbright Galleries, St Mary Street 11am £5

S.R.Crockett (1859-1914) is the most famous and prolific novelist of Galloway. His stories range across the region, but his Kirkcudbright connection is little known. The short film explores Crockett’s relationship with the town and some of her more famous sons, including E.A.Hornel and William Mouncey. William Stewart MacGeorge was a boyhood friend and the central character in Crockett’s sole Kirkcudbright novel is based on him. Published in 1907, Little Esson features fictionalised romance and mystery among the Kirkcudbright Artists. Crockett’s Kirkcudbright connection is explored through rare Galloway Raiders archival material and other stories. Cally will be available ‘virtually’ after the screening to chat more and answer questions regarding Crockett’s Kirkcudbright Connections.

Wednesday March 1 Confessions of a Novice Motorcycle Guide Book Writer with J.G.Fergusson  Selkirk Arms High Street 2pm £5

J.G. Fergusson is a former BBC Scotland journalist/producer and author of several walking guides for the ‘Pocket Mountain’ series. Born in the Rhins of Galloway, and now living in Moffat, he has been riding motorbikes since the 1970s. A lifetime’s love of Scotland, her landscape, highways and history led to the publication of The Motorcyclist’s Guide to Scotland in 2018, a guide book aimed at bikers. In this illustrated talk, he shares some of his amusing and alarming adventures and also what he has learned about the publishing business.

Thursday March 2 A talk on Scotland’s future and the independence debate by Gerry Hassan The Garret Hotel & Restaurant 116 High Street Kirkcudbright 11am £6

The independence debate is the defining issue of our times in Scotland with huge implications not just for the people who live here, but the rest of the UK and internationally and in the recently-published Scotland Rising: The Case for Independence, academic and author Gerry Hassan explores where the debate is going. He explores both sides of the argument, examines the importance of culture, stories and collective voices in reshaping how people see Scotland and seeks out the thoughts of people who have historically haven’t voted or see themselves as don’t knows. Known through his work as Professor of Social Change at Glasgow Caledonian University and as a leading commentator on Scottish and UK politics, Gerry is the author of a number of books, including The People’s Flag and the Union Jack and Caledonian Dreaming.

Saturday March 4 An Evening With Laurence Bristow-Smith with musical illustrations by Gordon Mursell and David Preston Broughton House, 12 High St  7pm £6  

Laurence Bristow-Smith spent twenty-six years as a diplomat serving in Taiwan, China, eastern Europe, the Balkans, Norway and Italy but one of the most important events in his life was when a peripatetic music teacher came to his school to give a demonstration how to play brass instruments. He was seized with the desire to play the trombone and though his performing career did not last long, his passion for music has lasted ever since, eventually resulting in his two-volume History of Music in the British Isles. His other books include Landscapes for the Turning Earth, a study of the life and work of the artist Alan Rankle, and Half-an-Eye on History, a biography of the diplomat, writer and politician Harold Nicolson.

Laurence’s latest book, published in November 2022, is Tribes into Nations, which takes a fresh look at the ethnic and cultural evolution of the British Isles and challenges the long tradition of Anglocentric history which saw the past through the prism of Empire. It views the British Archipelago as inescapably caught up in the movements of peoples and cultures that have swept across the European Continent over the millennia. It shows the importance of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and of lost polities such as the Kingdom of the Isles and the Kingdom of Strathclyde, in shaping the political and cultural identity of the British Isles. Tribes into Nations is available online through Amazon and the Book Depository; it can be ordered from any bookshop; or it can be ordered directly from Letterworth Press.

Sponsored by Stewartry Literary Society: It is with great pleasure The Stewartry Literary Society (TSLS) is partnering with Kirkcudbright Book Week by sponsoring “An Evening with Laurence Bristow Smith” celebrating books and music. Working collaboratively, we believe we can offer a high quality,diverse and entertaining literary offer through the winter months and for communities within and without the town.

How to acquire your tickets

Tickets for both paid-for and a number of the free events during Kirkcudbright Book Week 2023 can be booked by visiting and searching for Kirkcudbright Book Week Collection where all the events are listed. Alternatively, a direct link can be accessed via the book week website’s Acquire Your Tickets section  at

Published by johndean1

I am a UK-based journalist and author

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