So, why host a virtual book festival?

ScotLitFestWe’re with you – there’s nothing that’s quite like leaving the house, heading out into a town or city and just revelling in seeing both authors you love and great new discoveries, pick up a book and head home again to delve straight in.

But there’s also something nice to have that comes to you when you’re out and about, when you can’t make it. Steal a glance at your phone when you’re waiting on a train and see a Twitter chat with a favourite author, throw in a question or two. Watch a video of two authors in discussion, maybe bookmark it to watch it later. It’s not a case of having to be there, just having to pop online to enjoy.

As part of the Saltire Society’s 80th anniversary celebrations, the virtual festival is another way to mark this milestone by finding new ways of celebrating the sheer scope and talent that rests in Scotland. From twitter chats, video streams, Facebook events and one or two surprises thrown in for good measure, we’re putting on a real mix that spotlights Scottish literature in all senses of the word –  the authors, the publishers and those who simply love our wee Isles. We want to bring this to an international audience, not restricted by timezone or location.

That’s what Scot Lit Fest is hoping to do for one glorious weekend this summer – bring the kind of events you can see at a book festival to your emails, twitter feeds, and more. The practicalities of our event can be found on our About page, and you can sign up to get the latest information and exclusive content for free over on Eventbrite. We’ll be engaging with Gaelic readers and writers as well as English so follow the #fèislitalba hashtag for our Gaelic content. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr to keep up with what we’re up to.

So worry not! Scot Lit Fest will not be trying to pave the way to moving the book festivities exclusively online. It’s a weekend this summer where you can revel in Scottish literary culture from wherever you are, world over. There will be plenty throughout the build up, the weekend itself and beyond, that will point you towards physical bookstores and our best book festivals. Really, we’re just going to shout ‘Look at how amazing this is!’, and hope you’ll join us, whether it’s from work, a day out, or even the comfort of your own couch.

We realise we’ve gone on an awful lot without mentioning any of our participating authors. All in good time…

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