Would you like to hear about the possibilities of artificial intelligence or the story of how one man beat the odds to escape a life of gang culture? If so, you are in luck, as these are just some of the highlights of this year’s Book Week Scotland in East Dunbartonshire.
The annual event is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November and this year’s theme is “future”. Due to the ongoing restrictions around Covid-19, this year’s event will be a little different. In place of the usual library-based events, EDLC Libraries will be hosting a fantastic programme of free digital events between November 16 and 22, with the help of funding from the Scottish Book Trust.
Authors will be reading from their works and sharing their inspirations through online events which can be booked through Eventbrite. This year’s theme has strands including hopes and aspirations, utopias and dystopias, and changing our future.
In addition to the author events, Strathkelvin Writer’s Group have agreed to contribute Hopeful Haikus. These short pieces of poetry will be posted on the EDLC Culture social media channels and promise to raise a smile.
Changing the Future, Today: Class and Belonging
Graeme Armstrong, author of The Young Team, discusses class and belonging in a YouTube video as part of our digital Book Week Scotland programme.
By his own admission, Graeme was heavily involved in Airdrie and Coatbridge’s ‘young team’ gang culture of the early 2000s. He lived a violent life and was addicted to illegal drugs. His critically acclaimed debut ’The Young Team’ is based upon his experiences and handles the themes of gangs, drugs and violence as well as mental health, trauma and overcoming addiction. It has become a Times bestseller. Please note the readings included in this video include frequent and very strong language, which some people may find offensive.
Uuganaa Ramsay: Mongol Memoir
“I’m a Mongol and proud of my roots,” says author campaigning against misuse of the word ‘mongol’ as an insult. Mongol is a celebration of Mongol culture and is the moving story of how the life and death of a baby boy with Down’s syndrome inspired his Mongolian mother to campaign against prejudice. Uuganaa Ramsay will be discussing her work in a YouTube video.
Queer Words, Queer Futures
A virtual conversation between one of the editors of the LGBT anthology “We Were Always Here” and contributor Heather Parry. Michael Lee Richardson and Heather Parry discuss weird words and queer stories, and take a look at the past, present and future for queer writing.
Local radio presenter Gina McKie’s debut novel ImaGINAtion is a ‘pocket-sized pick-me-up’ designed to boost confidence and overcome barriers. Gina’s virtual event will provide some much-needed positivity and life guidance. No booking is required, this video will be posted on EDLC Culture’s social media platforms during Book Week Scotland.
Artificial Intelligence. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Artificial Intelligence is the technology of the moment, but do we know how it works? This digital event with Professor Vinciarelli from the University of Glasgow,– which will be available during Book Week Scotland through EDLC Culture’s social media platforms - tries to explain it. Prof Vinciarelli will try to show the difference between science and science fiction when it comes to its possible impact on our life. No booking is required.
Author Jan Andrew Henderson will also be working with a group of secondary pupils from across the authority, to inspire ideas for stories set in the future
Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader of the Council and Chair of the East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust, said, “Our library service has worked hard to ensure that, despite this year’s very unique challenges, everyone who loves books can still look forward to a lively and varied programme of digital events.
"We are delighted to be holding these virtual events to celebrate Book Week Scotland. I would encourage everyone to take up this opportunity to find out more about the authors behind the book titles and their inspirations, without having to leave the house.”
Marc Lambert, CEO of the Scottish Book Trust, said, “Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Book Week Scotland will look different this year. However, we’re still excited to present a diverse and engaging programme. Whether it is joining our Digital Festival, reading the Future book or voting for the novel that sums up 2020, we hope everyone is able to take part this year in some form. Thanks also to our partners for working hard to make Book Week Scotland possible despite the difficulties.”
Registration for Graeme Armstrong, Uuganaa Ramsay and the Queer Words, Queer Futures events listed above should be done through Eventbrite: EDLCCulture.eventbrite.com. Once you have registered, the link to the private YouTube video will be accessible during Book Week Scotland (16-22 November). You will also be eligible for a prize-draw to win a £10 book token! For more information, go to https://www.edlc.co.uk/heritage-arts/whats-on
Anyone interested in reading the book to accompany any of these talks can borrow through EDLC’s Connect and Collect service https://www.edlc.co.uk/libraries/connect-collect, or through the Libraries’ ebook service Borrowbox.
Download the Future eBook from the Scottish Book Trust here: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland/future-e-book