The Further From Festival

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  • Programme Launch 2019


    The Further From Festival is back and bigger than ever before! Now entering its fourth year, for 2019 we’ve extended the programme to cover two weekends: there are just so many exciting authors coming along!

    We start off with a natural history strand on Saturday 19th January – Robin Crawford will be in discussion with festival favourite Jim Crumley on the importance of our fragile peatlands, followed by a talk from Christoper Fleet of the National Library of Scotland who has co-authored several books on Scotland using historical maps as a reference point.

    The following weekend is jam-packed with events from Friday to Sunday across venues in Linlithgow. Carnegie award nominated YA author LJ MacWhirter kicks off the fun here in the shop; we’ll enjoy some beer with our Burns; local legend William McIntyre will be present alongside brand new crime-writing duo Ambrose Parry (Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman); best-selling author Isla Dewar makes an appearance; Helen Bellany will tell the moving story of her life with husband and artist John and Rosemary Goring’s timely and important look at Scottish history, Her Story, is seen through the eyes of the women who lived it and made it. We finish off with a Tiger Who Came To Tea Party ideal for wee ones – I think we’ll all need a large cup of tea and a bun by the end of the festival!

    All events will take place in three venues across Linlithgow: Queen Margaret Hall, Far From The Madding Crowd and the beautifully renovated St Peter’s Church. 

    Weekend and day passes are available and further information can be found at


    Robin Crawford and Jim Crumley: Into the Peatlands

    Saturday 19th January, 3.00pm, Queen Margaret Hall, £10

    The Further From Festival 2019 begins with Robin Crawford in conversation with festival favourite Jim Crumley. The discussion will focus on Robin's recent book, Into The Peatlands, which explores these watery fringes by looking at a year in the moorlands. Robin and Jim will then move on to a wider look at the importance of the peatlands to conservation in Scotland and beyond.

    Christopher Fleet: Mapping Scotland’s Past

    Saturday 19th January, 4.30pm, Queen Margaret Hall, £10

    Join Christopher Fleet of the National Library of Scotland as he explores the history of Scotland through its maps. His latest book, Scotland: Defending the Nation is a 2018 Christmas bestseller. Scotland has had a uniquely important military history over the last five centuries, which has all resulted in significant cartographic activity. Christopher has also co-authored Scotland: Mapping the Nation, Edinburgh: Mapping the City and Scotland: Mapping the Islands.


    L.J. MacWhirter: Black Snow Falling

    Friday 25th January, 7.00pm, Far From The Madding Crowd, £8

    We are thrilled to announce that L.J. Macwhirter, debut author of the bestselling YA title Black Snow Falling, will be discussing her work at the Further From Festival 2019. The book is an update on a classic fairy tale, with echoes of Angela Carter and Naomi Novik, with a strong historical setting in the 16th century. What’s even more exciting is that L.J. has been nominated for the Carnegie Award 2019!

    As this event takes place on Burn’s Night we hope people will stick around to enjoy an Open Mic poetry evening, free of charge. This is the first time we’ve done this at the festival – we’re calling it Beer and Burns, should be a fun mix!


    William McIntyre: The Best Defence Series

    Saturday 26th January, 11.00am, Queen Margaret Hall, £8

    An author that needs no introduction to Linlithgow audiences, William McIntyre returns to talk about his bestselling Best Defence series, set in our very own town! Drawing on his thirty years as a criminal defence lawyer, there is a rich vein of dry-humour running through the series, which William describes as an antidote to crime fiction featuring maverick cops chasing serial killers, emphasising that justice is not only about convicting the guilty, but also about acquitting the innocent.


    Isla Dewar: It Takes One To Know One

    Saturday 26th January, 12.30pm, Queen Margaret Hall, £8

    Bestselling author Isla Dewar is coming to Linlithgow as part of the Further From Festival 2019! Isla Dewar’s first book, Keeping Up with Magda, was published in 1995. Dewar found success with her second novel, Women Talking Dirty; the film of which starred Helena Bonham Carter. Isla recently published It Takes One To Know One, set in 1970s Edinburgh and warmly reviewed for its wit and charm.


    Ambrose Parry: The Way Of All Flesh

    Saturday 26th January, 2.00pm, Queen Margaret Hall, £10

    The making of a new crime series, Ambrose Parry, a new collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, is coming to the Further From Festival 2019! A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh, The Way of All Flesh was an instant bestseller when it was published in the summer of 2018. This is bound to be a popular session, so book early!


    Helen Bellany: The Restless Wave, Life with John Bellany

    Saturday 26th January, 4.30pm, St Peter’s Church, £8

    We are absolutely thrilled that Helen Bellany, widow of John Bellany, will be a part of the Further From Festival 2019. She'll be discussing her memoir, The Restless Wave, an account of her two lives with John. The Restless Wave reflects the mystery, poetry and passion that was at the core of the inner life John and Helen shared.


    Rosemary Goring: Her Story

    Saturday 26th January, 6.00pm, St Peter’s Church, £8

    We are delighted that Rosemary Goring, editor of this important book, will be talking about her experience of bringing it together. Scotland’s history has been told many times, but never exclusively by its women. Her Story takes a unique perspective on dramatic national events as well as ordinary life, as experienced by women down the centuries.


    Colin Will and Bruce Jamieson

    Saturday 26th January, 7.30pm St Peter’s Church, £8

    The writer and musician Colin Will is bringing his unique blend of storytelling and poetry to the festival. Throughout his long and varied writing career, Colin’s themes have reflected a love of people and the natural world, often in language derived from his scientific background. He will be discussing his latest project with lifelong friend and local hero, Bruce Jamieson.

    The Tiger Who Came To Tea Party!

    Sunday 27th January, 2.00pm-4.00pm, Queen Margaret’s Hall, £10 family ticket

    We're having a Tiger Who Came To Tea Party! Join us for stories, face painting, craft activities and lots of buns as we celebrate this iconic story book by Judith Kerr.

    Tickets are £10 which admits up to five people (any combination of children and adults is fine!)

    Babes in arms don't need a ticket.


    Queen Margaret Hall

    Queen Margaret Hall is the original home of the Further From Festival. Conveniently located in Linlithgow town centre. It is 5 minutes-walk from the train station and bus stops. There is ample parking at the venue and good disabled access.

    Queen Margaret Hall, 25 Blackness Rd, Linlithgow EH49 7JA

    Far From The Madding Crowd

    Our bookshop is always a warm and friendly space in which to hold more intimate events, so we can’t wait to welcome LJ MacWhirter and any budding bards on Friday 25th January! We are located in the heart of Linlithgow High Street, directly opposite Linlithgow Train Station and within minutes of all of the High Street bus stops. We are a two-minute walk from Tesco carpark and a five-minute walk from The Vennel carpark located at Linlithgow Cross.

    Far From The Madding Crowd, 20 High Street, Lnlithgow, EH49 7AE

    St Peter’s Church                          

    Nestled in the heart of Linlithgow High Street, this beautiful church has been fully renovated and is now a wonderful space in which to hold literary events. Located half way down the High Street, it is approximately 10 minutes from Linlithgow Train Station and minutes away from all of the bus stops on the High Street. Parking can be found in The Vennel carpark at Linlithgow Cross, or in the free carpark at the Water Yett on the lochside – both are about a three minute walk from St Peter’s Church.

    St Peter’s Church, 153 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7AB


    For further information on the venues, or any aspect of this year’s Further From Festival, please go to: