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07 May 2013
Rankin Hails ‘Magical’ Colonsay Book Festival




Top international crime writer Ian Rankin has lead the tributes to the organisers of what is arguably Scotland’s most boutique literary celebration, the Colonsay Book Festival (CBF)




There was standing room only when the creator of Detective Inspector Rebus brought the second-ever CBF to a close by reading an excerpt from his forthcoming novel Saints of the Shadow Bible.

The whole weekend was declared a roaring success by audience members and participating authors alike, with visitors coming from as far afield as Germany and Canada to attend.

Ian Rankin, whose CBF appearance coincided with his birthday, said: 'It is no mystery - take a wonderful island, add readers and writers, sprinkle the whole with outstandingly good organisation ... and a magical festival results!!”

At the close of Ian Rankin’s in-conversation event, he was presented with a birthday cake inspired by the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed album cover, together with 12 special bottles of Colonsay IPA, labelled “Ian Rankin’s Bierthday Brew”.

Also appearing at the CBF on 27 and 28 April were Candia McWilliam, Sara Sheridan, Ron Butlin, Maggie Fergusson, Angus Peter Campbell, Mairi Hedderwick and Tom Pow.

Poet Tom Pow, who stood in at the last minute after John Burnside cancelled, added: “The expert organisation was accompanied by genuine warmth and interest from organisers, helpers and audience. This is definitely a festival that has so many reasons for the book lover and book writer to attend. All that and in the beautiful island of Colonsay!'

Meanwhile, famed Scottish illustrator and writer Mairi Hedderwick, creator of the Katie Morag series, said: “Thank you so much for the wonderful hospitality - and opportunity to revisit old thoughts and places on Colonsay 25 years! on since Eye upon the Hebrides was published.”

Dilly Emslie, Director of the Colonsay Book Festival, said: “We really couldn’t be happier with how the second ever CBF went, it was just brilliant. The Hall was full or nearly full for every single event and the feedback we’ve had from audience members was absolutely fantastic.

“We couldn’t do this without the tireless hard work and enthusiasm of our festival committee, who should be very proud of what they have achieved. Huge thanks must also go to all our supporters, especially Caledonian MacBrayne, who entertained the authors royally on their voyage from Oban to Colonsay.

“Plans are already afoot for next year’s CBF – it’ll be the last weekend of April again, so save the date!”

Last year’s inaugural festival saw Colonsay play host to Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson, Margaret Elphinstone, Kenneth Steven and Sophie Cooke.

For more information about this news release, please contact Katie Spence on 07904 519779, colonsaybookfestival@gmail.com.

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