Scottish Plant Lore with Greg Kenicer

Saturday 5th October – 10am – Library Upstairs

Image result for greg kenicer

Who would have guessed a humble cabbage was used to treat scurvy or that the taxonomic name for the thistle – Scotland’s iconic emblem – means something like ‘donkey’s fart’? Greg Kenicer, botanist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and author of the beautifully presented Scottish Plant Lore: An Illustrated Guide reveals much more about our ancient and modern Scottish flora.

Chair: George Anderson

Tickets for all Portobello Book Festival events are free and can be picked up from Portobello Library in Rosefield Avenue.

Writing Workshop led by JL Hall @jlhallwriter

Saturday 5th October 11.00am-1.00pm 


Writing workshop open to writers of all abilities and all styles. Come and flex your writing muscles in the company of other local writers and writing enthusiasts. Led by local nature and travel writer J L Hall.

Please note that this event is currently full. Please check the library for any return tickets.

How to get tickets for the Portobello Book Festival

As we pride ourselves on being a very local festival, tickets are only available to pick up in person from Portobello library in Rosefield Avenue. Tickets for each event, which are free, are limited to four per person per event. This is to try to ensure that as many people as possible get the chance to attend the events they would like to.

However, tickets for quite a few of our events this year are already completely gone. It’s always worth checking the library for returns. If you have a ticket and can’t go anymore please return them to the library so others can get the opportunity to attend.

Remember that there are always a few tickets available just before each event. Although we cannot guarantee admission, it is always worth turning up on the day. So far, we’ve never turned anyone away!

First Words… Last Lines



Our ever popular cabaret-style event, hosted by David Francis, takes a new format this year. It will feature local composer/musician Gareth Williams, writer and storyteller James Spence and performance poets Jo McFarlane and Alex Callaghan who will all entertain us with their take on the theme “First words …. last lines”.

Tickets for all Portobello Book Festival events are free and can be picked up from Portobello Library in Rosefield Avenue.

Where Are the Women? with @SaraSheridan at Jameson Gate

Friday 4th October – 2pm – Jameson Gate

Image result for sara sheridan

Our Friday afternoon event sees us pay a return visit to Jameson Gate where you can hear Sara Sheridan who is a successful novelist, activist, feminist and perfumer. In this session she shares an insight into her work and talks about her latest book Where are the Women?: A Guide to Imagined Scotland exploring beyond the traditional male-dominated history and heritage of Scotland.                    

Chair: Viv Cree   

Tickets for all Portobello Book Festival events are free and can be picked up from Portobello Library in Rosefield Avenue.

If you like the sound of this event, you may also be interested in Are We There Yet? which will be on Sunday 6th October at the library from 11.00am-12.00noon. This will look at the road to equality for Scottish women writers with writer and biographer Jenni Calder, novelist Regi Claire and Professor of Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling Claire Squires.


Special event – Michael Pedersen at The Portobello Bookshop @scribepedersen @portybooks


Image result for portobello bookshop

THURSDAY 3rd OCTOBER6.30pm-8pm  

We are delighted to kick off this year’s Portobello Book Festival at our new local bookshop, The Portobello Bookshop. It hosts prize-winning Edinburgh poet Michael Pedersen who will talk about his recent work including his collection Oyster.

Tickets for all Portobello Book Festival events are free and can be picked up from Portobello Library in Rosefield Avenue.

Portobello Book Festival 2019 Programme

PBF prog zoom

The wait is over! The programme for the 2019 Portobello Book Festival, 3rd-6th October, has now been revealed. We have a packed programme as always this year and are delighted to be welcoming an exciting list of authors, contributors and guests. We are especially pleased to be running a special event in conjunction with our new local bookshop, The Portobello Bookshop, and to be paying a return visit to Jameson Gate.

Copies of the programme will be available from the library and local businesses in the coming few days. Tickets to all events are, as always, free and will be available from Monday 2nd September at Portobello Library in Rosefield Avenue.

Click the link below to see the full programme and look out for more info about each individual event over the coming weeks.

Portobello Book Festival 2019 programme




Books by participating authors will be available.


Tickets for all events can be collected in person from

Portobello Library from 2nd September. Some tickets

will be available at venues 15 minutes before events.


is organised by local enthusiasts and Portobello Library.

If you have ideas or would like to be involved, please contact:



14 Rosefield Avenue, EH15 1AU


189 Portobello High Street, EH15 1EU


17-21 Portobello High Street, EH15 1DW


46 Portobello High St, EH15 1DA


77 Promenade, EH15 2EL