Day Seven at Wigtown Book Festival


'The Art of Conversation'  - Blog post by Laura Hudson Mackay

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The day began early with a breakfast event with author Catherine Blyth, on the Art of Conversation. A lively talk where audience participation was key. Lee Randall hosted the talk and the room soon filled up with anticipation. The hour passed quickly with each person, invited using the author's top tips, to practice the art of conversation with another who sat beside them and although meeting as strangers many left as friends.

Later in the Writer's Retreat, deciding to put my new conversation skills to the test, I met up with fine art and event Photographer, Colin Tennant. Each year Colin documents Wigtown Book Festival in his own beautiful style. We chatted about the festival, some of the events we had attended and our own upcoming photography projects. Filmmaker Jessica Fox joined us, I'd been wanting to chat to Jessica about Confluence and ask her questions about her own work and storytelling. Jessica told me the story of the 'Brownie of Bladnoch' a tale so special it requires a post all of its own. Jessica wondered if there was a similar story in other cultures and set me the challenge of finding this space.

While I attended another talk, Houssain was editing a new story by Mehdi El Ghaly, "THE GUERAB - The water seller". The Guerab is a Moroccan traditional story which educates us how to be honest and genuine, "A simple sip of sweet juice and whoever seeks God's protection, no one will harm him but if you dig a hole for him you will be the one on it."

Houssain arrived at Wigtown and attended a talk hosted by Visit Scotland, "Innovate Literature" which saw a panel of four speakers showcasing some of the most exciting and innovative developments in Scotland's literary scene. During this talk, the panel highlighted how literature can be used in creative ways to encourage local and international tourism in Scotland. "We think we tell stories, but stories tell us..." The Scottish Book Trust, a national organization based in Edinburgh, promoting literature, reading and writing in Scotland.

"Literature is deeply personal for both readers and educates us.." - Fiona Mackinnon, Lecturer in Adult Nursing and the adviser of studies for the School of Health and Social Care.

Houssain and I then met up and enjoyed cake and coffee and lots of chat about the day's events.


Supported by: The LEADER Programme 2014 – 2020