Edinburgh Book Festival 2.
In Edinburgh yesterday for the Book Festival. As usual, met up with several friends – Brian Osborne, Richard Medrington, Elspeth Murray, Andrew Forster. Brian and I spoke about twinning experiences and travels in Russia, France and Japan. Richard and Elspeth are running a show at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in the Netherbow. It sounds great, and I’ll go along on Friday when I’m next back in town. Andrew is the Literature Development Officer in Dumfries & Galloway. We spoke about the Scottish Arts Council, and their perceived criteria for funding writer’s posts. I came away with some ideas for our next application. Andrew also wants to invite me to Dumfries to talk to their writing groups about publishing programmes.
The event I attended in the evening was A L Kennedy’s session in the main theatre, which was packed. She was extremely entertaining, charmed the audience, and filled the hour. She ran the risk of being merely whimsical, but I thought she pulled it off successfully, managing to score some serious points while keeping the tone light-hearted. The particular one which got me thinking was the whole business of ‘women writers’. Is there a perception that there are separate writing genres for women and men? Why are women writers treated differently from men? I enjoyed the evening much more than the Paterson/Kenndy ‘discussion’ at StAnza, which I thought patronising and unsatisfactory.