©2019 Colonsay Book Festival. All rights reserved.

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Come and enjoy Colonsay’s unique
‘literary lock-in’


Sometime child care officer, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard and probation officer, Ann Cleeves is the award-winning author of more than 30 works of crime fiction. She was the inaugural winner of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award in 2006 for Raven Black, the first of her Shetland series featuring DI Jimmy Perez, which she recently completed with the final novel in the series – Wild Fire. She is also the author of the books behind ITV’s VERA, whose 9th series recently aired.


Born in Glasgow, Robin has a Fine Art degree in sculpture. For the past twenty-five years he has been a bookseller and bookshop manager. Into The Peatlands, his first book, is a journey through the Scottish moorland year encompassing social, cultural and natural history – “...makes you yearn for a sip of golden whisky whose barley malt has been smoked over a rich, peaty fire.– Daily Mail. It has been longlisted for the 2018 Highland Book Prize.


Cheshire-born poet Jen Hadfield went to University in Edinburgh and Glasgow and has been around and about the islands of Scotland ever since. For the past eight years, she has lived in Shetland, which persistently influences her poetry and visual art. She was the youngest winner of the T.S.Eliot Award in 2008 for her second collection Nigh-No-Place.  She now works primarily as a poet, creative writing tutor, and classroom assistant, but over the years has also supplemented her creative work with spells as a picture framer and fish-gutter. Her third poetry collection Byssus was published in 2014.


Clare has been a banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over twenty years and has established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, and had a story published in its 2017 Annual. She was also a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. Threads of Life – A History of the World through the Eye of a Needle is her first book and was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. 


Sarah started writing fiction a few years ago, having previously worked as a professional archaeologist who had to stick to facts.  But, in her words, she recognised that “landscapes change people… and landscapes can alter perspectives, holding onto the past and bonding people to them. I like to explore these themes in my books and consider how characters are shaped by wild, unfamiliar places”.  She has published three novels – Women of the Dunes, Beyond the Wild River and The House Between the Tides – all set partly in Scotland, and is currently working on a fourth.


James was a finalist in the 2012 series of The Great British Bake Off. He’s subsequently written books about bread, baking in general and home brewing. He's made many appearances on television and at food festivals – fitting all of that around his training as a doctor. His father is Tom Morton, a ‘recovering’ journalist, radio and television broadcaster and author, who has covered topics ranging from music to golf and whisky to motoring. For a year, he was even the writer behind Oor Wullie in the Sunday Post. Together, they have written Shetland: Cooking on the Edge of the World, part cook-book, part memoir but mainly, in Tom’s words, a book about place ”a culture and community spirit that has been all but lost in the rest of the UK.“

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Colonsay Book Festival