A view of the Galloway Hills over Wigtown Bay. Cumulus clouds and a partial rainbow cover the blue skies.



Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of the Wigtown Festival Company stands in front of Wigtown County Buildings.

Adrian Turpin - Artistic and Strategic Director

Adrian has been involved in the  Wigtown Book Festival since 2006 when he began to help with booking authors as a volunteer. Under his creative leadership, the festival has won a Creative Places Award, Thistle Award and Arts & Business Scotland Award. He is responsible for the strategic development of Wigtown Festival Company and is leading on the Spot-Lit Literary Tourism project. A journalist by training, he formerly worked as an editor and writer for The Independent, The Scotsman and The Sunday Times among others. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Oxford and diploma in journalism from the City University, London. In 2017, he received an OBE for service to literature and the economy of Wigtownshire.

Anne Barclay, Operational Director of Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a stone wall.

Anne Barclay - Operational Director

Born and raised in Wigtown, Anne returned to the area after graduating in 2006 and has worked for the company since 2007. Anne is responsible for the day to day operations of the company, as well as fundraising and accounts. Having witnessed the desolation Wigtown experienced in the late 80s and early 90s, Anne thrives on seeing the town flourish, with busy streets and shops brimming with happy customers. She loves working with our army of volunteers and dedicated staff team to help others experience Wigtown's unique charms.

Lee Randall, Guest Programmer at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a tree in a garden.

Lee Randall - Festival Programmer

With nearly 40 years' experience in journalism, publishing and producing cultural events, Lee's history with Wigtown Book Festival began with a request to chair an event. Lee has been heavily involved in the festival ever since, returning each year as a chair as well as hosting online events and writing website content during the pandemic. Her recent projects include producing Borders and Carlisle book festivals, mentoring through Creative Scotland and programming the Granite Noir Crime Fiction Festival. Lee is thrilled to be curating a unique and exciting programme for Wigtown Book Festival's silver anniversary this year.

Rosie Littler-Davis, Commercial and Sales Officer at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of yellow flowers.

Rosie Littler-Davis - Commercial Officer

Rosie, born and brought up locally, joined the Book Festival Team after graduating from Dundee University with an Honours degree in Biomedical Science. Rosie manages commerce and stock control, including overseeing the annual festival bookshop and managing Number 11 bookshop. She organised last year's annual Kist; our art fair showcasing local talent, and manages upkeep and booking for the The Print Room, our year-round event venue.

Rosie is passionate about animal welfare, sustainability, climate change and books. Her hobbies include music composition and foraging.

Laurie Bannister, Event Coordinator at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a green bush.

Laurie Bannister - Event Coordinator

Having grown up in Wigtownshire, Laurie is no stranger to The Wigtown Book Festival. Working for almost ten years in the festival’s Writers’ Retreat, she went on to gain a degree in Festival and Event Management from Edinburgh Napier University. With over five years experience in the events industry, predominantly working with luxury spirits brands, Laurie has returned to work in Galloway. After years of working in Glasgow and Edinburgh she is thrilled to be able to bring her skills home and make a positive contribution to the local area.

Bee Williams, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of yellow flowers.

Bee Williams - Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Children’s literature enthusiast and aspiring author, Bee is deeply passionate about good storytelling. She is therefore thrilled to be a part of the Book Festival mission of cultivating the literary culture of the region. Bee oversees marketing strategy, campaigns and content creation, including email marketing, social media administration, asset design, copywriting and market research. Bee also manages the Wigtown Book Festival website and is responsible for ticketing administration. Bee writes in her spare time and has won a number of literary competitions, most recently long-listed for the Mslexia Flash Fiction Award. She has two young children and enjoys writing and performing folk music.

Claire Yuen, Administrative Assistant at Wigtown Festival Company sitting at the beach.

Claire Yuen - Administrative Assistant

The daughter of local booksellers Claire has been visiting the area since 2001. Originally from Bedfordshire she relocated to Bladnoch with her family in August 2022 and received such a warm welcome through all of the local events that she felt at home straight away. Claire is a lover of stories, Art and good food. Her background is in the voluntary sector where she has held various roles all focussed on helping people. She has two school aged children, who are loving life at Wigtown Primary. As well as general administration and office management, Claire is supporting the administration of Wigtown Poetry Prize and The Autumn Kist.

Amy Johnson-Stewart, Sponsorship Coordinator at Wigtown Festival Company standing in a garden in the sunshine.

Amy Johnston-Stewart - Sponsorship Coordinator

Amy moved to Whithorn in 2013 after marrying a local farmer. She has a degree in History of Art and Spanish and worked in London and Edinburgh as an account manager in the wine trade for 9 years. She has three children, loves yoga, running and has always been an avid reader. She also enjoys walking her dog – and children – in the glorious Galloway countryside.

Her first foray with the Wigtown Book Festival was in 2015 when she opened a Pop up Wine Bar, 'The Book Cellar'. It proved popular and she loved it so much she ran it again for another couple of festivals. When an opportunity came up to work for the festival company in 2022, Amy jumped at the chance. She is now the Sponsorship Co-ordinator for the book festival and other events throughout the year. Amy is responsible for Friends of the Festival, Legacies and assisting with Fundraising.

Kevin Witt, Sales Assistant at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a white wall.

Kevin Witt - Sales Assistant

Kevin has lived in the Wigtownshire area for 22 years. He is currently convener for Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative and was previously a Councillor for six years on Wigtown & District Community Council. He has BA Honours in Fine Art and Graphic Design from Camberwell College of Art and Design. Kevin is an avid reader and is pleased to bring his previous experience in the book trade to this post. Kevin supports the day to day operations and customer service at Number 11 bookshop.


Cathy Agnew, Chair of Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a waterfall in a forest.

Cathy Agnew - Chair

Cathy’s professional career has always been involved with the arts – initially working for the BBC in London and New York before becoming a freelance documentary television film researcher and producer.

Since moving to south-west Scotland 35 years ago, she has continued to pursue a working life in the arts, mainly focussing on rural cultural development and regeneration. She set up the South West Scotland Screen Commission; the CatStrand Arts and Community Centre in New Galloway; and was Project Director for the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust in Dumfries – a project to create a National Centre for Children’s Literature in the very place that inspired JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Cathy was the founding Chairman of DGUnlimited, a charitable organisation that seeks to bring together and promote a network for Dumfries and Galloway’s artists and creative sector. A former Chairman of LEADER, Cathy is also a Trustee of the Crawick Multiverse in Sanquhar, an extraordinary land art park in a former coal-mine, created by Charles Jencks.

Roger Davis, Vice-Chair at Wigtown Festival Company sitting on a hillside surrounded by mountains and a lake.

Roger Davis

Raised in Edinburgh, Roger moved from the Highlands with his young family to the Wigtown area in 1998 and has no intention of leaving. He has a background in professional social work and social work education having recently completed a 20 year career with the Open University as a social work lecturer/senior lecturer and latterly senior academic manager. Roger continues to sit as a panel member on Mental Health Tribunals and locally is a volunteer delivery driver with the Food Train. Roger joined the book festival volunteer team in 2019 and the WFC board of Trustees later that year. At the AGM in February 2021 he was appointed as WFC Vice-Chair. He retains a longstanding interest in the arts generally as well as in a range of outdoor pursuits including digging holes in the garden and on the golf course.

Nicholas Walker, Trustee at Wigtown Festival Company standing in front of a marquee at Wigtown Book Festival.

Nicholas Walker - Vice-Chair and Company Secretary

Nick grew up in New Zealand but has lived in Scotland for over three decades, recently retiring from work as an NHS psychiatrist. He has always had an interest in community projects and the Arts. He has been involved in various community groups, from developing a community garden in Renfrewshire to setting up Wigtown & Bladnoch Community Initiative, and overseeing its purchase of the former Bank of Scotland in the town and its conversion into affordable tenancies and a small bunkhouse hotel. He lived, and immersed himself, in Wigtown from 2010 to 2022, becoming a Community Councillor, publishing a book by local historians about Wigtown's WW1 Victoria Cross winner, and volunteering for Wigtown Book Festival. For nine years, he was part of the Beltie Books & Café team contributing directly to Scotland's National Book Town, but in retirement has moved to the Highlands where he continues to dabble in community, charity and arts activities. He became a Trustee of Wigtown Festival Company in February 2020, and is Company Secretary.


Beth Goodyear

Beth has been working with children and young people her whole career. She worked at Scottish Book Trust for eight years, delivering the hugely popular Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour to children across the UK from Shetland to Brighton. Beth has since managed the LGBT Charter programme as programme manager at LGBT Youth Scotland and Children’s Parliament. She currently works at Scottish Government with a focus on Fair Work.

Beth is passionate about children’s human rights and the power of reading and writing for pleasure to transform young people’s lives.

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Paul Heald

Paul has worked in the Retail, Marketing, Entertainment, Education and Psychotherapy sectors in his career. He has worked in many senior management roles and has considerable experience in public and private sector organisations. He has been on the boards of many public sector organisations in England including Business Link, Chamber of Commerce, Universities Enterprise Group, Chair of Preston City Centre Management Company, North West Centres of Excellence Network and many regional and national forums and partnerships He retired from his Psychotherapy/Counselling practice in 2023.

He is an avid reader and supporter of the Arts and has been an attendee and supporter of Wigtown Book Festival since 2012. His main pastimes include playing the piano, cycling, walking, golf and more recently kayaking.

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Gillian Brown

Gillian has lived in Newton Stewart for nearly 35 years, and has had a lifelong involvement in the arts - studying English and Fine Arts at Edinburgh University and teaching and lecturing for over 30 years. She is one of the first members of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies.

Gillian has been involved with the Wigtown Book Festival since retiring; from volunteering to preparing The Open Book initiative for its first residents in 2015. She is a published poet and member of the Beltie Poets writing group. Gillian is a passionate champion of local and national fund-raising activities: Team Captain for Relay for Life; March for March; the 5K Race for Life, and events in Wigtown for the Chest, Heart and Stroke and Prostate Cancer Charities. For the past three decades, she has been heavily involved in the local community, from singing in the local chamber choir to playing leading roles in the operatic society and drama club.

Gillian is a firm believer that all art forms should be enjoyed by all, and The Book Town and Festival provide the perfect and exciting opportunity to promote this belief.

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Edward Hocknell

Edward Hocknell has had a lot of experiences of various kinds. After a life in business, he has taken up farming, translation, illustration, forestry and cooking. He likes reading books about the Romans.

Portrait of Antonia Clark

Antonia Clark

Antonia has worked with Scottish Book Trust for the last 12 years within the Schools team, working on National gifting and reading programmes. With previous experience chairing committees for large scale local events and volunteer networks, Antonia is excited to join the Wigtown Festival Company Board in 2024.

She is passionate about children’s literature and working with families and communities.

Wigtown Festival Company logo.

Karena Carden

Former secondary school mentor and teacher, Karena is now a self-appointed vegetable grower of misguided enthusiasm. Time is now spent encouraging plants to grow rather than students to complete essays. An avid reader and a commitment to the arts in all its forms, Karena has, in the past, supported numerous art exhibitions for emerging artists and now hopes to encourage locals, the wider community of Scotland and beyond to enjoy the aspirations of Wigtown Book Town.

Portrait of Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell

Andrew has worked in built heritage for the last 20 years in various roles as an architect in private practice; conservation officer with Glasgow City Council; trustee, project development officer and then charity director with Glasgow Building Preservation Trust; and latterly as grants manager with National Lottery Heritage Fund. Andrew has particular experience and interest in governance, organisational resilience, funding and audience development.
Returning to the Machars in 2023 after 25 years in Glasgow, Andrew is (slowly) renovating a house in Wigtown.


Allan Little

Sally Magnusson

Bill Paterson

Lady Emily Stair

A view of a valley with sheep and three people standing in the forefront.
Galloway remains one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. And rather than fighting its rural surroundings the festival embraces them.

Avril Lennox, Sunday Times Scotland