5 Questions with Anne Barclay

22 September 2014

Tell us about your connection to Wigtown and the Book Festival

I was born and bred in Wigtown.  When Wigtown applied to become Scotland’s National Book Town, I was a pupil at the local primary school and we were hugely involved, along with the rest of the community, in the process – we created a video to show to the judging panel.  My first ever ‘job’ at the festival was as a Girl Guide, handing our programmes to visitors who may not have known the festival was on!  16 years on from there (and having now worked for the company since 2008), I’m the Festival Manager.


Sum up your festival experience in 5 words

That’s like asking me to write a tweet in 140 characters – I can’t do it! ... I live, breathe, love WBF!


What's your favourite festival memory?

I’m not sure about favourite but my most hilarious memory is finding myself hanging onto a yurt at 8am on the second Friday of the festival about 5 years ago.  The wind and rain were absolutely horrendous and there was no one else around - I’m standing there at 8am, handing on for dear life as this construction threatens to blow away over the Solway Firth – desperately trying to clutch my mobile phone between my ear and shoulder to call for help (Dad, of course) and in hysterics thinking, really if this thing decides to go, what makes me think I can stop it?  Dad and several other volunteers came to the rescue – just one of many stories where our incredible army of volunteers saved the day and make Wigtown Book Festival the special event that it is.  You can read more of these memories in my novel (one day)!


Who would be your dream author to appear at the Festival?

Oh, it’s so hard to choose.  I’m an enormous Russell Watson fan and his book Finding My Voice was incredibly humbling and inspiring.  I’m also an in-the-closet fan of The Hunger Games so I’d love to see Suzanne Collins as part of the WTF programme one day.


Give us one recommendation or top tip for Wigtown, the Festival or D&G

My first top tip for the festival is to embrace the community and festive atmosphere here in Wigtown.  Talk to people you don’t know and particularly our fabulous volunteers – wherever you are, we’ll guarantee you’ll meet new friends in Wigtown.  My second top tip for the festival would be ‘Pot Luck’.  This year, we’ve introduced Pot Luck tickets which are exactly as they sound – you take a chance on which ticket you get allocated.  We’ve had lots of people tell us that when they’ve ‘taken a chance’ on an event in the programme, they’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so we’d love everyone to give something new a try.  At £1 a ticket – what have you got to lose?