Watch now – Captivating Crime: a conversation with Jackie Baldwin and Olga Wojtas @JackieMBaldwin1 @olgawojtas

Saturday 3rd October – 4pm
Click the YouTube link below to watch this event

Jackie Baldwin practiced criminal and family law for twenty years before retraining as a hypnotherapist. She has recently moved to East Lothian from Dumfries where her first three books are set.

Her latest novel, Avenge the Dead, was published on 28th February 2020 and features former RC priest, DI Frank Farrell, who is tasked with investigating the brutal murder of a defence solicitor’s wife. It’s been over a year since he left the town after an investigation robbed him of a dear friend and he has struggled to move on. When the son of another solicitor is murdered, a strange tattoo etched on his body, the case takes them into darker, more disturbing territory. It leads them back into the past to a horrific fire that took a young woman’s life, to four friends harbouring dark secrets, and to a killer waiting patiently for revenge.

Olga Wojtas was born and bred in Edinburgh, where she attended James Gillespie’s, the school that inspired Muriel Spark’s best-known work, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Spark renamed Gillespie’s as the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, and her book in turn inspired Olga to write her first novel, “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar.” Olga’s heroine is Shona McMonagle, a former Marcia Blaine pupil, now a fifty-something time-travelling librarian from Morningside Library. Olga’s second book in the series, “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace,” was published this year by Contraband.  Olga also writes a series of cosy crime e-novellas under the name Helena Marchmont. The series is set in the idyllic Cotswolds village of Bunburry which, just like Midsomer, has an alarming murder rate. 

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Listen now – John D Burns – mountaineer, writer and storyteller – talks to Portobello Book Festival – @JohnBurnswriter

Saturday 3rd October – 3pm
Click the link below to listen to John Burns’ podcast

John Burns talks to Portobello Book festival

John’s love of the outdoors, his passion for writing and over forty year’s experience in the mountains of the British Isles form the basis for his books and storytelling. Having walked and climbed the hills of Scotland for over 40 years he is an expert ice climber and was a member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. More recently he has rediscovered his love for remote bothies and regularly visits the wilder places of his Scottish home, which he writes about with humour and compassion.

He began writing almost 15 years ago with a collection of poetry, Wind Dancer.  He followed this with two one man plays performed around the UK; Aleister Crowley: A Passion for Evil and Mallory: Beyond Everest, and his books; The Last HillwalkerBothy Tales and his latest comic novel with a serious environmental message Sky Dance.

Watch now – Edward Ross – Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming @edward_ross

Saturday 3rd October – 2pm
Click the YouTube Link below to watch this event

Local graphic novelist Edward Ross gives an illustrated reading from his forthcoming graphic novel Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming. From Pac-Man to Minecraft, the book covers the fascinating history of this enormously popular pastime, and delves into what makes video games such a powerful artform. Edward has been making comics for over ten years. His first graphic novel, Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film won a YASLA award as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – The Secret Life of Books with Professor Tom Mole @ProfTomMole

Saturday 3rd October – 11am
Click Youtube link below to watch the event

Join Tom Mole in conversation with Paul Hudson of Portobello Library as they discuss The Secret Life of Books.

We love books.  We take them to bed with us.  We display them on our bookshelves.  We write our names in them.  They weigh down our suitcases when we go on holiday.  We take them for granted.  But there’s much more to them than meets the eye.  From how books feel and smell, to burned books, banned books, and books that create nations, The Secret Life of Book is about everything beyond the words on the page.  It’s about how books – and readers – have evolved over time.  And it’s about how books still have the power to change our lives.

Tom Mole is Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Edinburgh, where he runs the Centre for the History of the Book.  He is the author of What the Victorians Made of Romanticism, which won the Saltire Prize for best research book in 2018.  He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives in Edinburgh with his wife and daughter.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – Finding Fulfilment – meet author Anne Stormont – @writeanne

Friday 2nd October – 8pm
Click Youtube link below to watch event

Anne Stormont is the author of four contemporary romantic novels – one is a standalone and the other three make up the Skye series. The books are all second-chance romances where the main characters may be older but are certainly no wiser. She has also published one children’s novel. Anne’s books are set in Scotland – where she lives – and in some of the other places she’s visited.

She began making up stories as a child to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult with a busy life as a mother and teacher, it took her a long time and a wake-up call for her to get that first book written. When she’s not writing Anne enjoys yoga, walking and gardening. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Watch now – More Footprints in the Sand with Archie Foley

Friday 2nd October – 7pm
Click the YouTube link below to watch this event

Forty years of publication for a community newspaper deserves to be celebrated, the more so if that paper has always been produced entirely by local volunteers and financed solely by advertisements placed by local businesses. That is why Archie Foley and Peter E Ross decided to draw attention to this achievement by compiling another selection of articles from the history pages of the Portobello Reporter. The articles chosen span the years from 1980 to 2020 and record “Portobello’s history and reminiscences” thus fulfilling one of the key aims of the paper’s founders.

Archie Foley will take you on a tour of Portobello to see some of the places featured in the book. You will be seeing them as they are today but Archie will be able to show how they feature in the Portobello story and that Portobello is not just Edinburgh’s seaside suburb.

Listen to the Porty Podcast to find out about next weekend’s Portobello Book festival @portypodcast

David Calder from the Porty Podcast recently interviewed Joanne from the organising team to find out how the festival will be different this year and to hear about a few of the events.

218 Oscars Gelateria Porty Podcast

When the Oscar’s Group opened its new gelateria on Brighton Place yesterday, it confirmed the company as the largest employer in Portobello – and it has ambitious expansion plans with two more businesses due to open here later this year, plus one in Stockbridge. It’s been making and selling its gelato for some time now, both from the caravan on the Prom and from St Andrews Fish Bar on the High Street. But owner Harem Murdochy wanted to have a special place in the centre of town. 
  1. 218 Oscars Gelateria
  2. 217 Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home – Coming out of Lockdown
  3. 216 20 Minute Neighbourhoods
  4. 215 Edinburgh Science Festival in Portobello
  5. 213 Porty Library Re-opens

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Through Travellers’ Eyes edited by Leonie Charlton and Peter E Ross @charltonleonie

Sunday 4th October – 5pm – online podcast

Through Travellers’ Eyes is the product of two years of collecting stories, poems and snippets of conversation shared by people from Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller communities. A series of workshops and personal interactions in Perth & Kinross, Edinburgh and the Lothians and North & Mid Argyll organised by MECOPP Gypsy/Traveller Carers’ Project led to the publication of this book.

Some of the contributors are regular writers of poems and stories whilst others had never considered that their storytelling skills could be of any interest outside of their own community. Katrina, who has been writing poems for many years, says: “I feel proud that I’ve had some of my poems published. I’ve not achieved much in life but this is one thing I’ve really achieved and I’m proud of. It’s something that my grandkids can look at when I’m no longer here and hopefully they’ll be proud to say that their granny had poems published.”

The book is full of personal stories and reflections of times gone by and of life in contemporary Scotland in an ever changing landscape of social and economic change. 

In its pages you will find gems that will touch you, make you laugh and give you a greater understanding of the traditions, lives and rich culture of Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland.

Books by all our participating authors are available to order from our local bookshop. Click the link to visit the page.
The Portobello Bookshop

Books by participating authors available to order from The Portobello Bookshop @portybooks

Photo credit – The Portobello Bookshop

Books by all our participating authors will be available to buy or order from our local independent bookshop The Portobello Bookshop.

You will find the bookshop at 46 Portobello High Street. Opening hours are 10am – 6pm, seven days a week. You can order books in person or by phone or online either to Click and Collect or for delivery. The phone number is 0131 629 6756.

The lovely people at the bookshop have created a page especially for Portobello Book Festival – just click on the link below.

Portobello Bookshop – PBF page