2018 Wigtown Book Festival


In May 1998, when Wigtown became the national Book Town, Google was a twinkle in its founders' eyes, Scotland's Parliament didn't exist and the UK was championing European expansion. What a difference two decades makes. And what a difference Book Town status has made to Wigtown, as then-and-now pictures tellingly show.

A book town, or festival, cannot live on books alone. It needs individuals with vision and energy. Wigtown is blessed to have them in spades and, through a collective act of imagination, they’ve touched people way beyond Galloway - as this year’s guests of honour from South Africa’s (Wigtown-inspired) book town demonstrate.

As we celebrate 20 years, we want to thank everyone who has been part of Wigtown’s story, locals and visitors alike, and to offer an especially warm welcome to anyone visiting for the first time. Here’s to 2038!

Adrian Turpin

Artistic director

Please note: we have a new booking system for 2018. Please read our booking information, and also check out our ticket offers and passes.

Children’s Programme

Big Wig makes his debut and welcomes children and families to the 20th anniversary festival which features almost 50 events for our youngest audiences. Aimed at 0-13s, the programme features new authors as well as some of our favourites from the past two decades and includes some special guest-programmed events.

This year, we’re delighted to work with our 10-13 Book Bridge team to programme and highlight a series of events appropriate for their peers. Look out for the logo throughout the programme.

We believe that hearing and telling stories is an experience that everyone can enjoy so whether you’re a reluctant reader, have a reading disability or additional support needs, we promise there’s plenty in the programme for everyone to enjoy.

And there’s plenty for families to do around the festival with The Kist offering local and national food, drink, art and craft, the Picture Hooks exhibition at Craigard Gallery, our World Books window spotting competition and some 20th anniversary surprises.

Save with our Family Day ticket - how to buy

Wigtown the Festival

Curated by Wigtown’s young adult team, this programme of entertaining, thought provoking and creative events is aimed at under 25s. Whether you’re a book worm, a film buff, a comic creator or a hardcore gamer, immerse yourself in this 10-day celebration of creativity and the arts.

Come and read, write, make, discuss and be inspired

WTF tickets are free for under 25s. You can find out about tickets here.

And it doesn’t stop at the Festival – we programme and deliver events for our peers all year round so keep an eye on our social media pages for information about Board, Hooked and a new series of discussions and debates coming soon.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter

This year we’re having a party - and you’re invited. For 2018, the festival marks the 20th year since Wigtown became Scotland’s National Book Town with our largest and most diverse progamme ever. Whether it’s your first time, or you’ve visited before, we’d love to celebrate with you in the autumn.

From sleeping in the Galloway Forest Park and sailing on the Solway, to bat-watching and stargazing at the harbour, WBF18 offers a host of opportunities to get out and about. We’re passionate about what this corner of Scotland has to offer and encourage you to take time to explore the area around Wigtown.

It’s our birthday and we’re going to celebrate. This year’s programme includes a series of events marking our 20th festival and the 20th anniversary of Wigtown becoming Scotland’s Book Town.

We’ll be looking afresh at how the town reinvented itself as a literary destination following the closure of the local distillery (now happily back in operation) and of the creamery in Bladnoch, and we’ll be gathering together some of the key players in that process of regeneration. The 2018 festival also welcomes the founders of Africa’s first book town, the small farming community of Richmond in South Africa’s Karoo desert, who took their inspiration

In association with StageTEXT, we are providing live subtitles for people with hearing loss on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September in the County Buildings, Main Hall.

Supported by the Castansa Trust

Focus on Galloway

Saturday 29 September