Graeme Macrae Burnet, Janice Galloway and Douglas Skelton head Tidelines Festival Programme 2018 @TidelinesFest

The Tidelines Festival is fast becoming an unmissable attraction in the calendar of Scotland’s book festivals. This year the sixth Tidelines Book Festival will run from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th September.


18 events will take place in 4 venues around Irvine’s charming Harbourside area and a schools programme will run in addition to the main Festival schedule.

The Festival begins this year with music on the opening night as Tidelines welcomes the traditional music-influenced band, Tide Lines, fresh from their sell-out Spring tour, who appear regularly at HebCeltFest and Belladrum.
Carry On Sleuthing, the troupe of actors, all crime writers, will wrap up the Festival in the traditional way with their new play, the riotously funny and utterly unmissable Murder at the Knickerage.  Authors Caro Ramsay, Theresa Talbot, Michael Malone, and Douglas Skelton will tread the boards once more. Can the audience spot the killer in this whodunit full of ad libs, dodgy accents – and a pantomime horse?

Douglas Skelton will also launch his new and much anticipated thriller, The Janus Run, at the Festival . Described as “Jason Bourne meets the Sopranos” and set in New
York, the action ranges across the Five Boroughs, with Coleman Lang dodging bullets and bodies, while chased by the mob and the feds.

douglas skelton
Douglas Skelton (minus the ears)

There are two new events to encourage writers: one to encourage anyone who fancies picking up a pen and one to support those who are already writing.

Last year one of the many festival highlights was the naughty cocktails and banned books event. This year Fifty Shades of Fiction will feature thriller writer Gordon Brown, and actress Claire Gray of Still Game will host the event once more, while Nippy Nora dispenses cocktails ‘hidden’ in her teapots.

Nippy Nora

For family fun, The McDougalls return this year with Singalong Storybook on Saturday.

The ever popular Ayrshire historian, Dane Love returns to talk about skulduggery and subterfuge involving the most daring fraudsters in Scotland with The Man Who Sold Nelson’s Column and Other Scottish Frauds and Hoaxes.

Cameron McNeish will discuss his life from Glasgow childhood to successful broadcaster and journalist, living and working in the beauty of the great outdoors with There’s Always The Hills.

cameron mcneish
Cameron McNeish

Best-selling author, Fiona Gibson, will present a workshop with lots of tips from how to start writing to finding a publisher. She will also read from her latest book The Mum Who’d Had Enough.

Pitch and Punt is a new addition this year and is is for new writers to tell their stories to an audience with a panel of supportive professionals.

Helen Bellany will discuss her book The Restless Wave, a candid insight into her life with the artist John Bellany.

The life and career of Nan Shepherd, author of The Living Mountain and whose face graces the new Royal Bank of Scotland five pound notes, is discussed by Erlend Clouston  in his Zen and the Art of Rucksack Maintenance. This event was a sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Book Festival.

Corinne Squire, co-editor of Voices from the Jungle, Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp, is joined by Majid Adin, as they discuss the extraordinary journeys, and hopes of those living in the Camp. This promises to be an unmissable highlight in the Festival’s events calendar.

voices from the jungle.jpg

Struan Stevenson brings to the table The Course of History: Ten Meals That Changed The World. Many decisions which changed the world were made over a dinner table and his book explores those decisions and the personalities, and the influence played by the food and drink at those times.

Kilmarnock-born Graeme Macrae Burnet, short-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and winner of the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year for His Bloody Project, will discuss The Accident on the A35 ,a darkly humorous mystery.

Graeme Macrae Burnet

To mark the centenary of Muriel Spark’s birth,  Janice Galloway will give her talk There’s Something About Muriel, The Genius of Mrs Spark.  The work, wit, and no-nonsense style of one of Scotland’s most original writers is being presented as part of the national Muriel Spark 100 programme.

Janice Galloway

Current writer for the Sunday Post’s Francis Gay column, David McLaughlan, joins the Festival to read and discuss the enduring appeal of Mr Gay, a feature of the paper for 117 years (longer than Oor Wullie or The Broons).

Crime writer, Alex Gray, reads from her new book, Only The Dead Can Tell, and discusses her career as a writer against a backdrop of appearance and reality.
Pat Young’s new book, I Know Where You Live, is the sequel to Till The Dust Settles. Hear Pat read from her new book and discuss the scope and setting of the story as it moves from New York to Ayrshire.

During the Festival West Kilbride’s Timberbooks will run a pop-up bookshop at the Harbour Arts Centre.

The full programme details are available at


Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

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