We are delighted to announce two plenary lectures by highly distinguished speakers.


Stuart Kelly is Scotland’s foremost literary journalist.  He is Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday and the author of two books, The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History Of All The Great Books You Will Never Read and Scott-land: The Man Who Invented A Nation.

Stuart Kelly

He has written introductions to new editions of Scott’s The Highland Widow and John Buchan’s Midwinter, and has edited an anthology of 25 contemporary Scottish writers, Headshook. He has written extensively on Scottish and world literature, including the Scottish Government’s Introducing Scottish Literature for the European Year of Culture, and contributed to the Dedalus Book of Decadence and festschrifts for Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan and Kenneth White.

He regularly appears on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Book Cafe and has presented documentaries on Disraeli’s abortive attempt to start a newspaper (Stealing The Thunderer) and the Portmahomack Scriptorium (The Lost Gospels of the Picts), as well as featuring in BBC4 documentaries on Balmoral, Scottish tourism and the history of shortbread. He blogs at He is Reader in Residence for the MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University and has guest curated a strand, “The Future of Fiction” for this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival.


James Robertson, according to Irvine Welsh, has already cemented his position as ‘one of the foremost Scottish (and British) writers’.

James Robertson

His ambitious first novel, The Fanatic (2000), was highly praised for its unsettling blend of 1670s and 1990s Scotland. Andrew Marr wrote ‘it is hard to finish this remarkable book without a strong sense that Scotland is darker and less glibly liberal than the establishment likes to think’.

In 2003-4 his second novel, Joseph Knight, won both the major prizes for Scottish book of the year; in 2004 he served as the Scottish Parliament’s first Writer in Residence. His third novel, The Testament of Gideon Mack (2006), is a skillful blend of religion, the supernatural and mental illness, and was described by one reviewer as ‘an astonishingly accomplished update of Hogg and Stevenson, [which] could well be the best novel published anywhere this year’. His new novel, And The Land Lay Still, is a searching examination of postwar Scotland (published this August).

James has also published stories, poetry, anthologies, compiled a Scottish Dictionary of Quotations, and is editor of an educational imprint publishing in the Scots language. He was raised in Bridge of Allan, the village adjacent to the University of Stirling campus, where Stevenson spent many summers in his youth.

Contact Us

To contact the conference organisers:

Scott Hames
Tel:+44 (0)1786 466205

Adrian Hunter
Tel:+44(0)1786 467507


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