The Word is out in Aberdeen this weekend as the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival hits the town.
The Word Festival, sponsored by Talisman Energy and Wood Group, will celebrate its 10th birthday in style in May with a packed programme of events to appeal to adults and children alike.
To ensure Aberdeen residents are aware that some of the biggest names not only from the world of literature but from science, music, politics and the natural world, will be on their doorstep the Word team will stage a special event at the Bon Accord Centre.
On Saturday (April 10) shoppers will be greeted by Word Science Buskers – a group of postgraduate researchers from the University of Aberdeen who will showcase the exciting science strand in this year’s festival using interactive and thought provoking demonstrations.
Word 10 boasts the most diverse line-up ever with Father Ted and Shameless actress and author Pauline McLynn, adventurer Benedict Allen, wildlife expert Simon King and former BBC war correspondent and ex-independent MP Martin Bell all topping the bill.
David Peacemakes his first visit to the Festival after his success last year with the film adaptation of The Damned United and the powerful TV dramatisation of his Red Riding quartet, as does ‘the thinking reader’s thriller writer’ Philip Kerr.
Scarlett Thomas, the bestselling author of The End of Mr Y will also make her Word debut while novelists Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh will team up for a special event.
In an exciting new development, Word will host the world premiere of Scottish Opera’s successful Five:15 strand for 2010 – five mini-operas, including two written by the University of Aberdeen’s own academics.
There will also be a strong science strand with journalist and libel law campaigner Simon Singh and Jeff Forshaw, co-author of the groundbreaking E=mc2
For young book lovers, The Marathon Oil Schools’ and Children’s Festivals will again run alongside the main festival with events ranging from Doric storytelling sessions to magic shows, a treasure hunt and even a joking computer.
All events in the Children’s and Schools’ festivals are free, as are many in the main Word Festival – with headline events costing just £5.
The Word team will be on hand to provide information about the events, how to book and how to become a Friend of Word from 10.30am to 3pm in the Bon Accord Centre.
Word festival co-ordinator Carley Williams said: “This is an exceptional year for Word and we will be celebrating our 10th birthday in style with our most diverse programme ever.
“We have events to suit all tastes featuring big name authors, actors and artists as well as experts in wildlife, science and politics.
“Word 10 has something to fire imaginations of all ages and best of all most of the events are free or, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, just a small charge.
“I would urge anyone who has not been along before to take a look at our programme and we look forward to welcoming back regular Word Festival-goers who continue to support us year on year.”
Tickets for Word 10 can be booked online at www.abdn.ac.uk/word/programme or through Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.