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Cancelled book festival to open new chapter online; Virtual read-alongs offer chance to capture a flavour of events.

Byline: JOHN ROSS

A Highland book festival has entered a new chapter by going online in response to lockdown restrictions.

Organisers of Ness Book Fest 2020 arranged a virtual read-along for the coming year to celebrate the authors, poets and performers who were due to take part in the event, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Committee member Elaine Downs said: "We were so excited about our fabulous programme for 2020 and so disappointed that we had to cancel due to global pandemic.

"Books and authors are so vital to all us, and never more so than during these stressful times. We wanted to join together, although we have to be physically apart, and celebrate the joy and inspiration that books bring us.

"The team at Ness Book Fest had curated an incredible group of books and events for 2020 that sadly couldn't go ahead for safety reasons, so we want to create a virtual community of readers and authors throughout the year ahead."

Organisers hope reading together and sharing thoughts on social media, will allow a flavour of the event to be captured.

Ms Downs added: "Each month we will share a book on social media and hope as many people as possible will read along with us.

"Since many people are staying close to home and may have a little more reading time now, we have decided to start with not one, but two books in July.

"One is the delightful nature memoir Marram: Memories Of Sea And Spider Silk by Leonie Charlton, and the second is Matt Killeen's gripping, suspenseful historical novel for Young Adults Orphan Monster Spy."

Ness Book Fest restarted in 2016 after a break, and support had snowballed to bring it into its fourth year.

All events are free thanks to sponsors and volunteers.

Ness Book Fest usually takes place in October at venues across the city. About 40 events take place throughout Inverness.

Anyone who would like to help the organisers with a donation should contact nbfinverness@gmail.com to arrange your contribution.

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Author Leonie Charlton

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Author:JOHN ROSS
Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Jun 29, 2020
Words:348
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