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Nicola Sturgeon to headline Book Week Scotland 2018

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Nicola Sturgeon and Maggie O'Farrell will headline an exclusive event at Stirling Castle

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell will headline Book Week Scotland 2018 with an exclusive event at Stirling Castle.

Book Week Scotland - which runs from 19 to 25 November - is the annual national celebration of reading and writing, and the First Minister and the Instructions for a Heatwave writer will be in conversation on 22 November, 7.30pm.

The event is programmed by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES). In keeping with this year’s theme of Rebel, thepair will discuss what being a feminist means to them, and how their reading lives have contributed to their wider identities.

The First Minister is a self-confessed book lover, and often shares her reading recommendations via her social media channels. In 2016, the First Minister’s Reading Challenge was launched to encourage a reading culture within schools. It was recently expanded to support children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 develop a love of reading.

Maggie O’Farrell is the author of seven novels and winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award for The Hand That First Held Mine. Her recent work I Am, I Am, I Am, is an astonishing memoir of the near death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The title has been critically acclaimed and is a Sunday Times bestseller. After the event, Maggie O’Farrell will be signing copies of her memoir.

There will also be representatives from ROAR (Represent, Object, Advocate, Rewrite) present at the event, seeking consultation on their current research into the inequalities in Scottish writing and publishing. Guests are welcome to suggest their thoughts or ideas.

Mairi Kidd, interim head of literature, languages and publishing, said: "Book Week Scotland’s aim is to help everyone, everywhere discover the transformative power of books and reading and it’s fantastic to see the First Minister getting involved with what promises to be an inspiring event, exploring the ways in which reading can shape identity.

This event is a must-see for so many reasons – a remarkable writer, a remarkable book and a wonderful location – and it’s great to see partner networks facilitating attendance by those who might otherwise struggle to cover travel and ticket costs.”

100 free tickets and a travel bursary will be offered to young women aged 16-25, through various partner networks.

Priced from £8.10, tickets are limited and are available from Stirling Castle’s website. The event also be live-streamed as part of Book Week Scotland’s Digital Festival, and can be watched on Facebook.

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by National Lottery funds through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding, Book Week Scotland is delivered by Scottish Book Trust and its partners from 19 November to 25 November 2018. There are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

For more information about Book Week Scotland 2018 and how you can get involved, visit where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area.