BOOK Week Scotland, the country’s biggest celebration of reading and writing, returns for its eighth year between Monday and next Sunday (November 24).

There are a number of events taking place in East Lothian, featuring both local talent and invited guests.

Crime novelist Quintin Jardine, historian and author Alistair Moffat and outdoor commentator Cameron McNeish are among the well-known names holding events.

Kicking off the week, local authors Stella Hervey Birrell, Charlie Laidlaw and RL (Rebecca) McKinney speak at a free, non-ticketed event called Local Blethers on Tuesday, 6-7.30pm in the John Gray Centre, Haddington.

Stella is an award-winning poet and writer based in Pencaitland. She is the 2019 poet-in-residence for Lanterne Rouge Cafe, Gifford.

Charlie lives in Gullane, has previously worked as a journalist and is now an author. His three books are set in East Lothian.

Rebecca is the author of two novels, The Angel in the Stone and Blast Radius, as well as multiple short stories, poetry and the occasional blog. She is now working on her second two, one which is a paranormally-infused crime noir story based in Edinburgh, and the other about the effects of climate change in Colorado.

On the same day, David Munro talks about his time-travelling book Awakening at Dunbar Library, 12.30-1.30pm.

On Wednesday, Gullane resident Quintin Jardine discusses his new title The Bad Fire, book 31 of the Bob Skinner series at Longniddry Community Centre at 7pm. The event is free but ticketed, tickets available from Longniddry Library.

Also on Wednesday, Margaret Halliday, from Musselburgh, appears at Musselburgh Library at 3pm.

Next Thursday (November 21), Alistair Moffat promises to take guests on “a pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints and scholars” in his discussion on the historical landscape of Scotland and Northern England.

Mr Moffat is a former director of both STV and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His event, To the Island of Tides: a Journey to Lindisfarne, is at Greywalls Hotel, Gullane. The talk begins at 11.30am.

Cameron McNeish’s talk There’s Always the Hills will look back on his adventurous life and examines some of the books which inspired him the most. It takes place at The Brunton in Musselburgh, 7.30pm. Tickets £12 (£10) are available from the box office.

On the same day, Moira Cormack speaks to East Linton and Campie Primary School children in East Linton Library at 11am and Musselburgh Library at 2.15pm respectively.

North Berwick author Emma Salisbury is also appearing at North Berwick Library at 6pm, talking about her latest crime thriller Flesh and Blood.

Next Friday (November 22), nine short films featuring iconic wildlife from around the world are shown at 7.30pm at The Brunton in Musselburgh for the Wilderland film festival.

On the same day, Gifford’s Judy Hayman speaks to Ormiston Primary School children at the village’s library at 9.30am about her book Dragon Tales.

Several events then take place next Saturday (November 23), including author and photographer Peter Cairns at The Brunton in Musselburgh at 2pm on Scotland: A Rewilding Journey.

On the same day, North Berwick man Peter Hammond, author of Dangers of Pilgrimage, is at North Berwick Library at 4pm.

Finally, at 7pm, the Dunmuir Hotel in Dunbar hosts Bad to the Bone: Scotland’s Darkest Crime Writers Unearthed, with four authors appearing.

The quartet are Barry Graham, Shona MacLean, Douglas Skelton and Dunbar man Tony Black.

Tickets cost £5 and include a glass of wine or soft drink.

Meanwhile, as part of the annual story project, a collection of real-life stories submitted by members of the public was collated into a book called Blether. It contains a selection of 30 stories, including those of Jane McCarry, who played Isa in the hit sitcom Still Game, and Hings author Chris McQueer.

A total of 100,000 free copies of the book, which celebrates the theme of conversation, are available from libraries and other community venues during Book Week.

East Lothian’s contributor to Blether is Lynn Fraser, from Tranent.

Her contribution Mighty is about a conversation between Lynn and her mother, days before her mother goes for a high-risk operation.

The free Blether book can also be ordered via Scottish Book Trust’s website.

This year’s Book Week Scotland also features a fundraising initiative called Big Book Swap next Friday (November 22) in aid of the Scottish Book Trust.

The full list of Book Week Scotland events is available on the Scottish Book Trust website.

Visit for more information.