2017 Festival Schedule & Tickets
Click on "Add to Cart" to order tickets - Payments are made through Paypal but can be paid for with Credit/Debit Cards. A full weekend ticket gives free admission to all events but are limited in numbers. If you have any problems ordering tickets through this site, please contact us at once.

PDF Festival Programme, click here...

All sessions will be held in Ullapool Village Hall - in the main hall, unless otherwise stated.

Any tickets sold via the website after Tuesday 2nd May 11.30am will not be posted but will be kept for the buyer at our ticket tent in front of the village hall


Graeme Macrae Burnet, Val McDermid and AL Kennedy SOLD OUT


Proceed to check out:

Weekend Ticket


Weekend Ticket - free admission to ALL events. Limited number. NA
 Village Hall 10.00am WELCOME by LOUISE WELSH
followed by

James Robertson
James Robertson is a writer of fiction, a poet, translator and publisher. He writes for both adults and children, and is a co-founder and general editor of Itchy Coo, the Scots language imprint for young readers. His novels include Joseph Knight, The Testament of Gideon Mack, and And the Land Lay Still. Other recent projects include 365: Stories (a collection of stories, each 365 words long, written over the course of one year) and Pilgrimer, a re-imagining of Joni Mitchell’s album Hejira, created with Karine Polwart and performed at Celtic Connections 2016. His latest novel, To Be Continued, is partly set in the West Highlands and has been described in reviews as ‘a surreal, warm-hearted romp’ and an ‘absurdist Caledonian caper’.

Sponsored by The Ceilidh Place

£8 Stuart Kelly  
Village Hall 11.30am Paul MacAlindin
Paul MacAlindin was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and holds degrees and post-graduate degrees from both the University of York and the University of Surrey. He has been a full time classical musician since 1993 when he was Assistant for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. Since then he has been conductor and guest conductor for many orchestras including New Zealand Symphony, Dusseldorf Symphoniker and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. For six years he was musical director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. Paul MacAlindin is fluent in both English and German. He is author of Upbeat: The Story Of The National Youth Orchestra Of Iraq.
£8 Ruth Wishart  
Village Hall 2.00pm Chris Dolan
Chris Dolan’s novels include Aliyyah (2015), an odd wee Arabian Nights love story between an atheist and a believer; Redlegs (2012), and his two Maddy Shannon crime novels (Potter’s Field, 2014 and Lies Of The Land, 2016). He has two short story collections: Poor Angels, and Hour After Hour. His play, Sabina, won a Fringe First, and The Reader remains the only stage adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s novel. He wrote The Pitiless Storm for David Hayman on the eve of the Scottish Referendum and followed it up in 2017 with The Cause Of Thunder.
Dolan has written for telly and radio, including Taggart and River City, and radio adaptations of, among others, Garcia Marquez and Balzac. His adaptation of Kidnapped was broadcast at the end of 2016. His TV documentaries include Barbado’ed: (BBC/Tg4), and An Anarchist’s Story (BBC). Dolan currently runs a Masters degree at Caledonian University in television scriptwriting. Films include The Ring (BBC), the Imax production, Mistgate, and Poor Angels, starring Peter Mullan. He writes non-fiction including John Lennon: The Original Beatle, and a biography of Scottish Anarchist Ethel Macdonald. He’s also written some songs and published some poetry.
£8 David Robinson  
Village Hall 3.30pm Harry Giles
Harry Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, based in Edinburgh. Their latest publication is Tonguit from Freight Books, shortlisted for the 2014 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the 2016 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and they were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion. Harry founded Inky Fingers Spoken Word and co-directs the performance platform ANATOMY; their participatory theatre has toured festivals across Europe, including Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia) and CrisisArt (Italy); and their performance What We Owe was picked by the Guardian's best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the “But Is It Art?” category..
£8 Peggy Hughes  
Village Hall 6.30pm        A.L. Kennedy
A.L. Kennedy was born in Dundee in 1965. She is the author of 17 books: 6 literary novels, 1 science fiction novel, 7 short story collections and 3 works of non-fiction. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was twice included in the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list. Her prose is published in a number of languages. She has won awards including the 2007 Costa Book Award and the Austrian State Prize for International Literature. She is also a dramatist for the stage, radio, TV and film. She is an essayist and regularly reads her work on BBC radio. She occasionally writes and performs one-person shows. She writes for a number of UK and overseas publications and for The Guardian Online.

An Open University in Scotland event

£8 Stuart Kelly  
Village Hall 8.00pm Hollie McNish
"The world needs this book" The Scotsman. With Benjamin Zephaniah stating 'I can't take my ears off her', Kate Tempest describing her poetry as 'welcoming, galvanising and beautiful' and fans ranging from Robin Ince, Pink, Tim Minchen, Marian Keyes to most of the UK's midwives, Hollie McNish is a poet whose readings are not to be missed. She is an Arts Foundation Fellow in Spoken Word, has garnered over two million Youtube views for her online poetry performances and was the first poet to record at London's famed Abbey Road Studios. Here, she will be joining us to perform poems, read from and chat honestly and openly about her latest book, Nobody Told Me. The book is a unique blend of poetry and storytelling, taken straight from Hollie's personal diaries. As she states herself 'it is not a polished collection'; rather, it is a very candid, at times gutting, at others hilarious, look at her experiences from pregnancy to the pre-school drop off. Expect strong language as she talks colours, cravings, politics, transformers, sex, tree-climbing, feeding, train journeys, lots and lots of love and occasionally locking herself in toilets to cry a little.
£8 Jenny Niven  
Village Hall 9.45pm Cask Strength Ceilidh Band
Renowned for their master musicianship, experience, professionalism and spirited performances, the band has graced stages around the world from the Royal Albert Hall to Edinburgh Castle, and London’s Hyde Park to New York’s Tartan week. Their fun approach adds bucket-loads of energy and fun to any event. Driving reels and jigs played with ferocity intertwine with a high-octane rhythm section that delivers an infectious sound designed to do one thing – get everyone up on to the dance floor.

Enjoy a free taste of food at the interval. Smoked salmon from Wester Ross Fisheries, smoked cheese from Ullapool Smokehouse and oatcakes from Paterson Arran Ltd.

Tickets need to be bought in advance for the dance. NO tickets will be on sale at the door.

   *Free coffee and morning roll will be served from 9am until 9.30am in the marquee beside the hall on production of a ticket for the 10am session.
Village Hall  Committee Room 9.15am Brian Macleod
Brian Macleod, Skerray. His book Where I Eat My Bread has the stories of in-migration to the Highlands and Islands.
free   ticketless
Village Hall                    10.00am David Alston
David was born in the Highlands and brought up in Nigg, Golspie, Boat of Garten, and Rosehall. For the past 30 years he has lived in Cromarty on the Black Isle. He has at various times been a youth worker, school teacher, adult education organiser, museum curator, historian, author, local authority councillor and is now chair of the Board of NHS Highland.
Almost twenty years ago he began to research the involvement of Highland Scots in the slave plantations of the Caribbean. He is now one among a growing number of Scottish historians to acknowledge and explore Scotland’s connections to slavery and the slave trade. In 2015 he was a contributor to Remembering Scotland’s Slavery Past (edited by Tom Devine) - the first book to explore this subject in depth.
£8 Louise Welsh  
Village Hall 11.30am Gavin Francis
Gavin Francis is a writer and doctor, author of True North (2008), Empire Antarctica (2012), and Adventures in Human Being (2015). His books have been awarded prizes in the Scottish Book Awards, Saltire Awards, and BMA book awards. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the London Review of Books, and practices medicine in Edinburgh. Ullapool is one of his favourite places.

Sponsored by Ullapool Bookshop

£8 Ruth Wishart  
Village Hall     2.00pm Michael Winter
Michael Winter has published two collections of stories, five novels, and one work of non-fiction. He has won the CBC short story contest and is the only writer ever to win the Notable Author award, given out by the Writers Trust. His novel, Minister Without Portfolio, was a Canada Reads finalist and he’s been twice nominated for the Giller Prize. His most recent book, Into the Blizzard, sets out to retrace the steps of the Newfoundland Regiment during the first world war. He divides his time between Toronto and Newfoundland.

Sponsored by Canadian Studies at the University of Strathclyde

£8 David Robinson  
Village Hall   3.30pm Donald Meek
Donald E. Meek is a native of Tiree, but spent most of his professional life on the Scottish mainland, teaching Celtic languages and literatures at the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, latterly as a Professor at Aberdeen (1993-2001) and Edinburgh (2002-8). He has published many books and articles, and holds the degree of Doctor of Letters of both Glasgow and Cambridge. Since retiring, he has found room for building model boats (especially ferries), writing the occasional book about CalMac and Hebridean shipping, painting, photography and composing poetry in traditional and modern forms. His first book of Gaelic verse, Sreathan anns a’ Ghainmhich (‘Lines in the Sand’), was published by Acair in January 2017, and an English volume will follow. When back in Tiree, where his daughter has now taken over the family croft, he loves to drive his 1947 vintage Ferguson tractor – ‘the best chair I have ever held’, as he says himself.

A Bòrd na Gàidhlig event

£8 Mark Wringe  
Village Hall   6.30pm Don Paterson
Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963, and now lives in Edinburgh. His previous poetry collections include Nil Nil, God's Gift to Women, Landing Light and Rain. He has also published two books of aphorism, as well as translations of Antonio Machado and Rainer Maria Rilke. His poetry has won many awards, including the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and all three Forward Prizes; he is currently the only poet to have won the T. S. Eliot Prize twice. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2009. For many years he has worked as a jazz musician and composer, with a strong interest in electronic music. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews, and since 1997 he has been poetry editor at Picador Macmillan. 40 Sonnets won the 2016 Costa Prize for Poetry.
£8 Stuart Kelly  
Dorothy Alexander, Michael Cathcart Froden, Allyson Stack

Dorothy Alexander lives and works in the Scottish Borders. A graduate of Glasgow Creative writing programmes and former Creative Writing tutor for the University of Strathclyde, she writes in Scots and English and is an enthusiastic practitioner of experimental techniques. Her found poetry has been exhibited as visual art and she frequently collaborates with other visual artists. More recently, film has become a new medium for exploring creative potential.
She has recently published a novel, The Mauricewood Devils, which recounts events relating to the Mauricewood Pit Disaster of 1889 in which her great-great grandfather was killed.

Originally from Sweden, Martin Cathcart Froden has lived in Canada, Israel, Argentina, almost Finland and London and worked as a drummer, avocado picker, magazine editor and prison teacher. He won the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize with 'Devil take the Hindmost' (Freight Books), and his story 'The Underwater Cathedral' won the 2013 BBC Opening Lines competition and has been broadcast on Radio 4. He is currently poet in residence at the National Trust for Scotland and is in the middle of a doctorate in Creative Writing / Criminology / Architecture in Glasgow, where he lives with his wife and three weans.

Allyson Stack is Lecturer of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in numerous journals throughout the United States and Britain, and in 2012 ‘The Front’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction has also been featured on National Public Radio and 4’33 AudioMagazine. As a critic she specializes in 19th and 20th century American women’s writing. Under the Heartless Blue (FREIGHT, 2016) is her first novel.

On the way in enjoy a taste of finest Ross-shire malt whisky from Glen Ord Distillery

£8 Zoe Strachan  
The Ceilidh Place Cafe / Bar    10.15pm Anything But Books Quiz
A light-hearted quiz in which a team of 4 UBF committee/volunteers take on a team of 4 writers/chairs. There will be NO literary questions!
Village Hall  Committee Room    9.15am Moniack Mhor prize-winners
Our friends at Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s creative writing centre, have established several writing awards. Some of their prizewinners will be reading from their work today.
free   ticketless
Village Hall      10.00am Val McDermid
Val McDermid is a No.1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over fifteen million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.
£8 Peggy Hughes  
Village Hall      11.30am Graeme Macrae Burnet
Graeme is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents. Born and brought up in Kilmarnock, he spent some years working as an English teacher in Prague, Bordeaux, Porto and London, before returning to Glasgow and working for eight years for various independent television companies. He has degrees in English Literature and International Security Studies from Glasgow and St Andrews universities respectively. His first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a minor cult hit. Set in small-town France, it is a compelling psychological portrayal of a peculiar outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.His second novel, His Bloody Project, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. He is currently working on another novel featuring Georges Gorski, the haunted detective in The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau.

Sponsored by Ullapool Harbour Trust

£8 Mark Wringe  
Weekend Ticket


Weekend Ticket - free admission to ALL events. Limited number. Only available until 7th April. NA

Proceed to checkout:

Any tickets sold via the website after Tuesday 3rd May 11.30am will not be posted but will be kept for the buyer at our ticket tent in front of the village hall


Tickets - see Tickets for more information

Online tickets here


by post from:
33 Seaforth Road, Ullapool IV26 2UY
(cheques made payable to Ullapool Book Festival. Please enclose s.a.e.)

In person only at:
Ullapool Bookshop, Quay Street and The Ceilidh Place Bookshop, West Argyle Street.

Organised groups e.g. reading groups should email info@ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk