Monday - Saturday: 9:30 - 5:00, Sunday 12:00 - 4:00

Further From Festival

The Further From Festival was founded in 2016 and is currently the only literary festival in West Lothian. From the beginning, we were determined to curate a festival that had something for everyone, young, old and in between. Every year have presented an eclectic programme of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, food & drink and children's events over three days in deepest winter when everyone needs a bit of cheering up!

We are committed to making the festival as accessible as possible, from ticket prices to venues. We don't receive any external funding or sponsorship, so all the money raised from ticket & book sales goes straight back into venue hire and performer fees.

In 2019 we made the move from our main base being in Queen Margaret Hall to the beautifully renovated and restored St Peter's Church, nestled in the heart of Linlithgow High Street like a hidden Byzantine jewel.

The Further From Festival 2024 is taking place on Saturday 9th March!

The Further From festival returns for 2024!

After a successful event in 2023, we’re back with another full day of fantastic authors right here in Linlithgow! We hope you’ll be able to join us in person on

Saturday 9th March 2024: there’ll be plenty of books and cake galore!

Each session is £8 individually*, or a festival day pass is £40.

Everything is happening in beautiful St Peter’s Church, nestled in the heart of Linlithgow High Street.

More information and tickets are available on our website, or in the shop: read on for the full line-up…

*Includes refreshments and discount on books purchased at the event

The Further From Festival Line-Up

10.00am: Jim Crumley and Leo du Feu, Watching Wildlife

Jim Crumley is the author of more than 40 books, mostly on the wildlife and wild landscapes of Scotland. In Watching Wildlife, he draws us into his magical world, showing how we can learn to watch wildlife well, and what doing so can mean for our ability to care for it, and care for ourselves. Jim’s session is being chaired by Leo du Feu - an expert in watching wildlife and then turning it into beautiful art.


12.00pm: Lesley McDowell, Clairmont

Lesley McDowell’s debut novel The Picnic came out in 2007. In 2010 she published Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th-Century Women Writers, which was shortlisted for the non-fiction prize in the 2011 Scottish Book Awards. Her second novel Unfashioned Creatures, about Mary Shelley's Scottish childhood friend, was published in 2013. Clairmont is her third novel and tells the story of the incredible woman that history tried to forget. But in the year that will mark the 200 year anniversary of Lord Byron's death, Claire Clairmont will finally find her voice, and tell her side of the story of that fateful Geneva trip.


2.00pm: Sara Sheridan, The Secrets of Blythswood Square

Sara Sheridan is a writer and activist who is interested particularly in female history. Her novel The Fair Botanists was chosen as Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Year in 2022. The Secrets of Blythswood Square is her new novel, set in Glasgow in 1846, it touches on class, female friendship and early photography.


4.00pm: Claire Askew, The Dead Don’t Speak and Martin Stewart, Double Proof

Claire Askew's debut novel All The Hidden Truths won the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress, and the 2019 McIlvanney Debut Crime Fiction Award.  Two of her novels have been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. Her fourth novel, A Matter of Time, was longlisted for the McIlvanney Crime Novel of the Year 2022. The Dead Don’t Speak is her fifth crime novel. Claire is also a poet and non-fiction writer.


Martin Stewart’s debut YA novel, Riverkeep, was published in 2016. His second book, The Sacrifice Box, was published in 2018, with The Wild Huntsboys following in 2021. His Bridget Vanderpuff series, for younger readers, launched in 2023. Double Proof is his adult debut, an addictive and darkly funny crime caper set in the west of Scotland.


5.30pm: Mark ‘Mavis’ Reilly, The Lives of Reilly and David Cruickshanks, Stayin’ Alive

Falkirk-based publisher, Nameless Town (and its not-for-profit subsidiary, Razur Cuts Books) brings you a memoir double-header featuring former professional footballer and ultra-event enthusiast, Mark ‘Mavis’ Reilly, and PTSD sufferer, stand-up comedian and Falklands survivor, David Cruickshanks. Come along and listen to these two remarkable men give tasters of their stories, both of which show the importance and rewards of developing resilience and the power of positive thinking.  


7.00pm: An Evening With Ian Macartney

Ian Macartney is a writer from Linlithgow. Previous publications include Shale Bings (Broken Sleep Books), The Infinite Fury and other stories (Strange Region), Notes Towards No Subject (Fathomsun), Turtleshell (Saló) and ! / Object (SPAM). Shorter work has been featured in PROTOTYPE, The Poetry Review, The Scotsman and The Guardian. He can be found online at Ian was a bookseller here at Far From The Madding Crowd for many years. We always knew how talented he was, so we cannot wait to celebrate him and all his achievements: expect a fun evening finishing off the festival with a bang!

Of course, the festival couldn't go ahead in 2021 and 2022, but we are back for 2023!

For all the information on the 2023 festival, follow this link: The Further From Festival 2023
To buy tickets for any of the session, click here: Tickets
And we'll see you there!
Here's a flavour of festivals past and if you'd like any more information on upcoming events please sign up to our mailing list here. Or email:

Tam Dalyell
Liz Lochhead
Michael Pedersen
William Letford
Jenni Fagan
Ian McCartney
Jim Crumley
Leo du Feu
Malachy Tallack
Jean Rafferty
Shirley Mckay
Ron Butlin & Jim Hutcheson
Nick Sharratt
Bruce Jamieson, Ed Hodge, Peter Wright, Harry Knox, John Fowler and Mary Easson.

Stuart Cosgrove
Ash Dickinson
Claire Askew
Ian Macartney
Andrew Greig
                         Rachel Newton                      
Jim Crumley
Leo du Feu
Polly Pullar
Shelley Day
 Sandra Ireland
           Kate Leiper            

Charles Maclean
Gavin Francis
Jim Crumley
Kevin Macneil
Alan Taylor
Gill Sims
Jim Byrne
Stephanie Brown, Pat Byrne, James Carson, Samina Chaudry, James Connarty, Pauline Lynch, Calum Maclean, Gillian Margaret Mayes, Michael Norton and Stephen Watt.

Robin Crawford
Jim Crumley
Christopher Fleet
L.J. Macwhirter
William McIntyre
Isla Dewar
Ambrose Parry
Helen Bellany
Rosemary Goring
Colin Will
Bruce Jamieson

Freeland Barbour
Alison Peebles
Andy Wightman
Bruce Jamieson
Janice Hadlow
Jim Crumley
Kevin Gilday
Lari Don
Sue Lawrence
Trevor Royle


Jim Crumley
Polly Pullar
Michelle Sloan
Rosemary Goring
Sue Lawrence