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Article published 17/05/2023

Wigtown celebrates anniversary

Wigtown is celebrating its 25th anniversary of becoming Scotland’s National Book Town. The small Galloway community of less than 1,000 has undergone a major regeneration since it was given the title in May 1998.

A key reason it won the race to become Scotland’s National Book Town (which involved six competing communities) was the plan for an annual book festival.

Twenty-five of the people who have helped transform the town gathered to mark the anniversary including booksellers, authors, festival team members and volunteers. As well as some of those involved in the original Book Town bid.

Find out more about Wigtown Book Festival

Wigtown Book Festival

Twenty-five of the original bidders, plus people who are currently making the town a success – and are involved in its famous annual book festival.

Scotland's book town is home to:

  • Wigtown Book Festival

    The festival attracts 13,000 visitors and generates £4.3 million for the economy, supporting the equivalent of 57 full-time jobs plus opportunities for 100 volunteers.

  • 17 book-related businesses

    There is a thriving book community including Scotland’s largest second-hand book shop and the country’s only feminist book shop.

  • High-profile authors

    High-profile authors who write about the region including Shaun Bythell who wrote the Diary of a Bookseller series and Kathleen Hart who wrote the blockbuster Devorgilla Days and Jessica Fox writer of Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets.

  • A VERY unique Airbnb

    The immensely successful Open Book Airbnb where visitors can enjoy a holiday running a book shop – there is also a literary-themed guest house.  

  • The Bookshop Band

    The Bookshop Band are writers and performers of literature-based songs who tour independent bookshops and other venues worldwide.

  • An annual Wigtown Poetry Prize

    The annual Wigtown Poetry Prize celebrates Scotland’s three indigenous languages and with a worldwide reputation for excellence.

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