West Over Sea Tobermory Book Festival

West over Sea, the Tobermory Book Festival which launched in 2017, takes place over the last weekend in October. Past festivals have featured an impressive list of distinguished visiting authors and writers, who present readings, talks and book launches during a series of gatherings, lunches and dinners.

The 2021 festival will take place from Thursday – Sunday October with the programme yet to be confirmed.  However if the standard of previous festivals is anything to go by, there will be a treat in store, with a variety of topics covered in the past from wildlife, whisky, food and history, to photography, music, maps and even transport, which is always a hot topic for islanders. Previous presenters have included crime writers, children’s authors, poets, journalists, musicians and specialists in their subject. Their writing tends to have a connection to Mull or its near neighbours, or island life.

The Book Festival was founded by Duncan Swinbanks of Tackle and Books, Hugh Andrew of Birlinn Ltd and Hugh Raven of Ardtornish. In their words, this is why they felt inspired to make it happen.

“The Tobermory Book Festival is organised by people with a passion for Mull and the Islands. It is attended by people that share this passion or perhaps just want to experience a unique event.  The Festival has become a showcase for Tobermory as Book Capital of the Hebrides and is an opportunity for the many attendees to spend a few days in Scotland’s most beautiful small town listening to superb speakers and enjoying the best of Highland food. To make the Festival a fixture in the cultural calendar the organisers have worked hard to create an intimate yet community feel. Gone are any corporate overtones. The Tobermory Book Festival is primarily a social event and not just a mechanism for selling books. People very much enjoy chatting and mixing and hosts ensure there is always a warm welcome. Each event becomes an opportunity to make new friends or meet old ones. Tobermory is in a stunning setting with many places to eat fabulous food and relax with a drink. The Festival takes every advantage of this and fosters a laid-back atmosphere. Our most popular events are meal inclusive. This brings both visitors, locals and authors together to relax and enjoy the setting with ample opportunity to talk about what we all love – books – especially the increasing amount with a Hebridean flavour! Attendees have compared attending the Festival to “being at your house with good friends for a few days”. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our Island home.

Learn more about the festival and buy tickets here.

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