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Celebrated writers to appear in Edinburgh free live literature event

25th February 2015

JOIN acclaimed authors, Alan Bissett and Anne Donovan, along with poets, William Letford and Ryan Van Winkle, at Summerhall, Edinburgh, on 26 February 2015, for an evening of readings and reflection on how travel informs and inspires new writing.

The quartet will tell stories about their excursions to some of the most challenging parts of the world. They will also read poems, fiction and explore the unexpected narratives they uncovered along the way.

Writers Return is an event series by the British Council that is touring across the UK, visiting Derry-Londonderry, Swansea and York and has featured writers including Kei Miller and Elif Shafak.

The event is part of the British Council Writers Return live literature series, a programme that sees writers recently returned from overseas share new work inspired by their trips abroad, talking about where they've been; where they're going and how it informs their writing. The Edinburgh event is held in partnership with Canongate Publishers.

Cortina Butler, director, Literature, British Council said: "Writers Return is reaching a whole new, home-grown audience for our international literature work.

"Authors who have travelled abroad, often on visits organised by the British Council, have the opportunity to share the insights and experiences they have gained with people in the UK through live events and the extended audience that comes by capturing those events digitally."

The event will be held at Summerhall from 6.30-7.30pm. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance.

For more information or to reserve a free ticket, please visit Summerhall’s website:

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff - including 2,000 teachers - work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit:

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About the writers

Alan Bissett is a novelist, playwright and performer who lives in Glasgow. In 2012 he was named Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Writer of the Year. The short documentary that he wrote and narrated, The Shutdown (2009), won numerous awards at international and domestic film festivals. He was also short- or longlisted for the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short-Story Competition for four years running between 1999 and 2002. His novels are Boyracers (2001), The Incredible Adam Spark (2005), Death of a Ladies’ Man (2009) and Pack Men (2011), the latter two of which were both shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Fiction of the Year Prize. His plays include The Moira Monologues (2009), which is now in development as a sitcom with BBC Scotland, Turbo Folk (2010), which was shortlisted for Best New Play at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, and Ban This Filth! (2013), which was shortlisted for an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. Alan has also written essays for the Guardian and the Scotsman and is currently working on a play about the former footballer Graeme Souness.

Anne Donovan is the author of the short story collection, Hieroglyphics and other Stories (2001) and the novels Buddha Da (2003), Being Emily (2008) and Gone Are The Leaves (2014), all published by Canongate. Buddha Da was shortlisted for several prizes, including the Orange Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year. It won Le Prince Maurice Award in Mauritius. All That Glisters won the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Award. Gone are the Leaves was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Literary Book of the Year Award.

William Letford was born in Stirling. He has received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust, an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary, and was named as one of Canongate’s Future Forty. He has been involved in poetry projects in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and India. His debut collection Bevel was published by Carcanet in 2012. A chapbook of his poems And Then There Was Skin was translated into Slovakian and published by Vertigo in 2014.

Ryan Van Winkle is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, the Prairie Schooner, the American Poetry Review, AGNI and the Australian Book Review. His second collection, The Good Dark, is due out in May from Penned in the Margins