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New Literary Stage at Belladrum Festival Posted on Wed 22nd June 2011

Belladrum Tartan Heart FestivalPhoineas, By Beauly, Inverness-shire, IV4 7BA

NEW LITERARY STAGE AT BELLADRUM FESTIVAL MARKS START OF INVERNESS BOOK FESTIVAL WEEK

Literati will join musical ‘glitterati’ at the sold-out Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (5th/6th August – Beauly, Inverness-shire) when a range of authors will bring a new cerebral element and a literary stage to the event and make a fitting opener to Inverness Book Festival week (Eden Court and elsewhere in Inverness, 10th-14th August).

Bella’s Prose Bed literary stage has been curated by Black Isle author and journalist Mary Miers in cahoots with Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre. Guests on the stage include: Alan Bisset, author of ‘The Moira Monologues;’ Charlotte Cory of the comic Radio 4 series ‘Thinking Of Leaving Your Husband?’ Justine Picardie, journalist and best-selling author of The Mysterious Life of Coco Chanel’; and the Highland author Mairi Hedderwick. They will be joined by Roddy Martine, author of ‘Haunted Scotland;’ Roger Hutchinson, who wrote ‘Calum’s Road’ and whose book ‘The Silent Weaver’ is soon to be published; Jason Goodwin, author of the best-selling Yashim detective stories set in C19th Istanbul; Barnaby Rogerson who has written numerous travel books; and William Campbell and Kevin MacNeil from Lewis performing their work ‘Local Man Ruins Everything.’

“Inverness Book Festival and Bella were pushed in their prams together – they are both exactly eight-years-old – and so it seems sensible to bring a ‘lit’ element to Bella to signal the opening of Inverness’s own book festival as it take place the week afterwards,” said Belladrum promoter Joe Gibbs. “Increasingly at festivals, people are looking for add-ons to the music element. Mary Miers has assembled a fantastic programme for us in the Prose Bed which will appeal to a wide range of tastes.”

Also brought to the festival under the auspices of the Prose Bed will be three debates: The Highland Clearances will be hotly debated by revisionist historian and broadcaster Michael Fry (‘Wild Scots’) and Herald journalist Iain McWhirter amongst others. Two foreign correspondents and writers, Patrick Bishop (‘Bomber Boys,’ ‘3 Para,’ and ‘Ground Truth’) and Alec Russell (‘After Mandela’) will look back on their times in some of the world’s trouble spots. And the shape of future architecture in the Highlands will be debated by David Sutherland, chairman and chief executive of Tulloch Homes, Lachie Stewart and Neil Sutherland, renowned Highland architects, and Stuart Black, director of planning and development for Highland Council.

Inverness Book Festival will feature: Christopher Brookmyre, whose new book ‘Where The Bodies Are Buried’ came out this month; Andy Wightman, the author of ‘Who Owns Scotland; Louise Welch, one of the UK’s best crime authors; and John Eunson, author of ‘Caledonia Dreaming’. For information and tickets go to www.invernessbookfestival.co.uk

Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre working in association with the Arvon Foundation delivers tutored, residential courses in the Highlands. 2011 tutors and guests include Carol Ann Duffy, Patrick Gale, Andrew Taylor, Louise Welsh, Kate Clanchy, Michel Faber, Andrew O’Hagan, Bernard MacLaverty, Chris Stewart, Niall Griffiths, Margaret Elphinstone, Monique Roffey and Ronald Frame.Moniack Mhor can tailor-make writing courses for schools, further education establishments, charities, community groups and commercial organisations. For further information go to www.moniackmhor.org.uk

Details of the Prose Bed programme are as follows:

Alan Bisset is Falkirk's Hardest Woman: Novelist, playwright, performer and rising star Alan Bisset chats and reads excerpts from his cult books 'Boyracers' and 'Death Of A Ladies' Man' and, as Falkirk's Hardest Woman,  provides a scary burst from his hit one woman show 'The Moira Monologues' which has recently been bought by the BBC.

Fancy Swapping Your Husband? Or Maybe Even Your Wife? Artist and writer Charlotte Cory wrote the BBC Radio 4 comedy series 'Thinking Of Leaving Your Husband?', An hilarious and painful account of dating in middle age. A novel inspired by the series is soon to appear. Charlotte will talk about the internet dating revolution, and discuss the new web site www.ffity.com.

Wraith Rover: Roddy Martine, author of Haunted Scotland, talks to parapsychologist Shari Cohn-Simmon on his searches for the supernatural in the Highlands and the stories behind medieval Templar chapel covered in his book Secrets of Rosslyn. 

Madness & Art In The Modern Highlands: Roger Hutchinson, acclaimed author best known for his book 'Calum's Road, 'discusses his latest book - 'The Silent Weaver. The Extraordinary Life and Times Of Angus MacPhee.' A South Uist crofter who spent most of his adult life in Craig Dunain mental hospital, MacPhee created startling art out of grass and leaves.

Local Man Ruins Everything: The two Lewismen William Campbell & Kevin MacNeil perform songs from their upcoming album 'We Are Visible From Space' which will include The Guardian single of the week 'Local Man Ruins Everything.' Willie, a singer-songwriter, fronted indie legends Astrid and was part of the Snow Patrol collective The Reindeer Section. Kevin is a multi-award winning novelist, poet and playwright whose books include 'The Stornoway Way' and 'Love & Zen In The Outer Hebrides.'

Sex, Death & Superstition; Jason Goodwin, author of the award-winning Yashim detective stories set in C19th Istanbul, talks about his latest book, 'An Evil Eye.' set in the sultan's seraglio. Exploring old Istanbul and the forbidden world of the harem, he will also demonstrate the Ottoman art of boning, stuffing and grilling a fresh Scottish mackerel without breaking its skin! 

The Mysterious Life of Coco Chanel: The journalist, novelist and fashion writer Justine Picardie unravels the legend and iconography of Coco Chanel, the subject of her best-selling new biography (shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards) and talks about Chanel's unexpected links with the Highlands.

Wandering Scots: Travel writer, historian and publisher Barnaby Rogerson explores the ambitions, bravery, adventures, deaths and literary legacy of three great Scots travel writers: Mungo Park, Alexander Burnes and Gavin Maxwell. Barnaby's publications include 'The Last Crusaders'. He runs Eland Publishing which specialises in keeping classic travel writing in print and has recently co-edited 'Ox Travels', a contemporary collection of travel writing published in aid of Oxfam 

Adventures of a Victorian Artist Traveller In The Highlands & Islands: Katy Morag author Mairi Hedderwick retraces the footsteps of John G Reid whose publications inspired her books 'Art Rambles In The Highlands & Islands' and 'Shetland Rambles' (to be published October).

All tickets to award-winning Belladrum Festival have sold out nearly two months in advance.Twin Scots rock legends Texas and Deacon Blue are to headline the eighth staging of the festival. Also announced for the event are: Guillemots; Kassidy; Echo & The Bunnymen; Frank Turner; Newton Faulkner; Ed Sheeran; Anna Calvi; Admiral Fallow; Easy Star All Stars; Eli ‘Paperrboy’ Reed; Teddy Thomson ; Little Comets; Dry The River; MC Xander; Young Rebel Set; Birdy; Roddy Woomble; 3 Daft Monkeys; Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire; Emile Sande; Ben Howard; The Amphetameanies; Lucy Rose; Wooden Box With A Fistful Of Fivers; The Dangleberries; The Staves; The Webb Sisters; Rachel Sermanni; CW Stoneking and His Primitive Horn Orchestra; The Xcerts; Skerryvore; Saint Saviour Benjamin Francis Leftwich; James Mackenzie & The Aquascene; Cousti; King Charles; Suzette & The Neon Angels; Findlay Napier; Diddums; Torridon; Iain MacLaughlin & The Outsiders; He Slept On 57; Tom Odell; Scooty & The Skyhooks; Stetsonhead; Hoodja; Bronto Skylift; The Raghu Dixit Project; Giant Steps; the Horndog Brass Band and the Rooty MaToot Big Band.

Belladrum 2011 takes place in the beautiful Highland surroundings of Belladrum Estate, near Beauly in Inverness-shire. The independent festival has built a reputation for its eclectic line-ups, its offbeat non-musical entertainments and its all-ages approach. The festival won a VisitScotland Thistle Award in 2009 and is a past winner of the Grassroots Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards, the festival industry’s ‘oscars’.

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Last modified on: Tue 6th May 2014

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