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FestWatch 2015 Introductions



I’m Frances and I’m an English Studies MLitt student at the University of Dundee. This is my first time even just attending an event like the Dundee Literary Festival and so I am really excited to be involved!

As previously mentioned by my FestWatch editing buddies, the events this year are truly great. The festival is covering a wide range of genres with some truly amazing guests and even getting involved with important issues! The first event I am attending is the first of the Lunchbox Talks series, namely ‘A State of Nature’? Landscape, Ownership and Conflict in Northern Scotland, C. 1790-1920 with Annie Tindlay (Thursday 22nd October 1pm). I am really looking forward to this talk as the issue of land ownership “both in practical and imaginary senses” will be illuminated. I am personally interested in ideas such as these, having looked at the notion of ‘nature’ in relation to Romantic and Contemporary poetry for my Honours dissertation!

The Dundee Literary Festival is great because not only is it, of course, about literature but you don’t have to be an avid reader to be able to get something out of the events. It is open to everyone, and with other mediums being brought into play, and discussions being held about a wide range of topics, there is definitely something for everyone.


Festwatch 2015 Introductions



AileenHello Everyone!

I’m Aileen and I’m currently studying Mlitt Writing Practice and Study at University of Dundee. If you’re like me and you’re a newcomer to the Dundee literary festival, that’s alright, you’re not alone!

There are some amazing events this year as the City welcomes big names from every medium from poetry to novels, plays to workshops and much more. The festival is not only used as a platform to boast a wide range of excellent works, it is a chance for us to meet the creators in person, to get those questions we’ve always wanted to ask an author answered and inspire us to create something ourselves!

The first event I will be attending is a workshop on Wednesday 21st, “Weaving a poem” run by Scottish Book Trust New Writer Awardee Lindsay MacGregor. This workshop cleverly entwines Dundonian history of Jute mills to encourage us to write a poem based around the Verdant Works Jute museum. Events such as these give us the chance to find our own creative flare, meet others in the community with similar interests and perhaps enjoy a glass of vino to boot!

Check out the Dundee literary festival website below for more exciting events such as these, they are opportunities not to be missed.

See you all there!

FestWatch 2015 Introductions

Hello eager readers. I’m Kate, a fifth year mLitt Writing Practice and Study student here at the University of Dundee. This will be my third year working in and around Dundee’s Literary Festival, and it’s always a week to highlight on your calendar.

With Dundee’s fast growing reputation in the world of comics (D.C. Tho11905402_10207931163140939_5383414540784113219_nmpson being universally recognised for The Beano and The Dandy), and UNESCO City of Design status, Dundee’s cultural  significance is exploding. Yes, we may have missed out on City of Culture to Hull, but with an annual Litfest like this one, we know we were a close contender.

Dundee’s Litfest is as non-discriminatory as possible. There are events aimed at both young and old, starting from 0-3 years on Friday morning’s Book Bug Session. It also covers all mediums, from memoirs, comics and poetry to film, workshops and theatre: the Dundee Literary Festival has it all. I know I’ll be going to as many as possible!

Looking forward to seeing you there, Kate

Festwatch 2015 Introductions

DSCF1400I’m Lorna Hanlon, and I’m one of four Publishing module students on the Mlitt Study and Practice of Writing who is writing and editing this Blog for Festwatch 2015.

I’ve loved reading and being read to since I was a small child; favourites have been anything and everything from Beatrix Potter and Richard Scarry to Michel Faber and AM Homes, and it’s been one of the main passions in my life for over 45 years

I’m excited about Dundee Literary Festival 2015, and looking forward to the wide selection of guests and events; year on year it just seems to get better and better!

One of the first events I will be attending and reviewing is Janice Galloway (in conversation with Zoe Venditozzi) this Wednesday at 18.00.  I absolutely loved her latest short story collection, and you can read my Review of Jellyfish on Dundee University Review of the Arts (DURA).

In order to update my knowledge of the work of this iconic Scottish writer, I have been reading my way through her seminal first novel, The trick is to keep breathing, and I’m also listening to the audio book of her first “anti-memoir”, This is not about me, which is read by Galloway herself, lending it a real authorial authenticity.  Both works are quite different, but share a strong and compelling voice.


I am delighted to have caught up with the work of someone who has already become one of my favourite authors; Wednesday’s event is a must-see for anyone who wants to learn more about one of Scotland’s most accomplished living writers, as Ms Galloway surely is.



Hello all,

FestWatch 2015 is committed to reviewing the events at this year’s Dundee Literary Festival organized by the University of Dundee. The reviews are all written by students but are not necessarily just for students!

We’ve got a great lineup this year (download your guide here) including appearances from Dave Gibbons, Dundee Litfest veteran Jackie Kay, Janice Galloway and featuring debut books by Nick Frost and Gregor Fisher.

Inspired by DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts), FestWatch adheres to its format and integrity in reviewing literary events and launches at Dundee’s Literary Festival. While maintaining a similar house style for our reviews and editing form, we differ in word limit (around 500 words) imposing less restriction and pressure on our writers. Our turn around is fast, with the majority of reviews being uploaded the same day as the event, so be sure to check our site regularly for updates.