Islay Book Festival 2024

Event information

Date: 29 August 2024 - 1 September 2024

Time: Various times

Cost: Visit our website for ticket prices of specific events

Type: Festival


Founded in 2006, Islay Book Festival grew out of a small book club in the village of Port Ellen into the thriving, volunteer-run event we know today. Set against the stunning backdrop of Scotland’s whisky isle, we are now firmly established within Islay’s busy annual events calendar and Argyll’s wider cultural scene.

Since our first festival in 2006, Islay Book Festival has brought a colourful mix of authors, poets, and storytellers to the Hebrides, including Ali Smith, Ruth Rendell, Val McDermid, Iain Banks, Chris Brookmyre, Julia Donaldson, Alistair Moffat, Mairi Hedderwick, Colin MacIntyre, Bernard MacLaverty and Ian Rankin.

While many of our main events may include a wee dram or two, it’s not always about the whisky! We offer sessions on crime, historical and contemporary fiction, a range of non-fiction and island themes, new writing, children’s events, school visits, poetry, performances, workshops, and lots more.

Providing a platform for Islay’s Gaelic culture is also a key goal of the festival, and every year we send authors to each of the schools across Islay and Jura.

We aim to reach as many class groups as possible, from nursery through to advanced higher, and to offer fun, engaging sessions that inspire our islands’ schoolchildren with an interest in reading, writing and creativity.

We are still working on our 2024 programme at the time of writing, but highlights will include an opening event with Andrew O’Hagan, a panel around George Orwell organised in partnership with The Orwell Society and chaired by Richard Blair, a conversation between Chris Brookmyre and Denise Mina, an afternoon tea with Sue Lawrence, and a closing event with Clive Myrie. Check our website or find us on social media for our full programme announcement!