AYE Write in Glasgow may have been cancelled due to a funding shortfall but book lovers can still enjoy a stellar line-up of authors in nearby Paisley this month.

Now in its fifth year, the Paisley Book Festival is going from strength to strength. This year, it kicks off with a celebration of football in an evening hosted by Daniel Gray, football writer and editor of the Scottish football magazine, Nutmeg.

He will interview the legendary Rose Reilly and crime novelist and founder of the Scottish crime writers football team Craig Robertson, with poetry interspersed from Graham Fulton, Stephen Watt and St Mirren’s own poet-in-residence, Julie McNeill.

The Beautiful Game series also welcomes national football hero and football media pundit Pat Nevin to the festival on April 26.

Still on sport will be tennis’s Judy Murray (below) who will read from her book The Wild Card and discuss the events of her career that inspired it.

The National: ‘Spectacular’ festival set to be one for the books

Another highlight will be TikTok sensation and Scots poet Len Pennie along with award-winning filmmaker and author Sarah Grant who will talk about being women in the public eye. They will discuss stereotypes, marginalised identities, the importance of visibility and imagining something different from the mainstream.

Meanwhile, writers Ajay Close and Donna Moore will chat with fellow author and ex-police officer Karen Campbell about the events that inspired their books, and whether in light of social campaigns such as the #MeToo movement, there might be a better future for women in their dealings with the law.

Launching her latest book Red Runs The Witch’s Thread – which re-imagines the story of the Bargarran Witches of Renfrewshire – will be author Victoria Williamson, while historical fiction writers Sara Sheridan and Lesley McDowell will be in discussion about how they transform people and places into fiction.

Another strand of the festival is the Oot And Aboot series, exploring the human drive to get out into nature. Author Merryn Glover will be joined by musician Hamish Napier for a magical journey through Scottish landscapes via music, images and words. And audiences will have a chance to get outside and create their own work inspired by nature in a special workshop, Walking And Writing Paisley.

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There will also be a dedicated Family Day, at Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Central Library that is completely free for families with young children. The action-packed day will feature interactive workshops and performances from puppet-making to storytelling all exploring the magic and power of imagination.

The festival will close with an evening of live literature and music produced by Glasgow-based Anoraq, featuring Mexican-Scottish poet and translator Juana Adcock, Austrian-Nigerian writer Titilayo Farukuoye and Scottish poet, musician and artist Nicky Melville.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of OneRen said the programme was “spectacular and diverse”.

“We can’t wait to welcome people to Paisley Book Festival 2024 and to our fantastic venues, whether you are a return visitor, or this will be your first time attending the festival,” she said.

The festival runs from April 25-28