A community of books changes lives

In addition to delivering our autumn festival, we develop new audiences, help writers fulfil their potential, cultivate a love of reading for pleasure in children, and provide creative opportunities for young people.

A 10-day literary celebration in Scotland's National Book Town

Founded in 1999, the Wigtown Book Festival is  one of the UK's best-loved literary events with a programme of 250-plus events and activities for all ages, including music, theatre and visual arts.

Outdoor children's event during Wigtown Book Festival. Families with young children sit in the garden as they are entertained by Renita Boyle.

Raising readers

We run children's and family events across the year

With two children's book festivals and a schools tour we have plenty for young readers

A young people's event at Wigtown Book Festival. Authors gather round a table with a group of young writers.

For young people

We provide creative opportunities for young people

Wigtown YA is our dedicated young people's strand, hosting YA authors and discussions during Wigtown Book Festival. It's also the focus for our year-round creative development programmes.

All activities are free for ages 14-26

A metallic fountain pen rests on a ring bound notebook.

Supporting writers

We champion writers and offer professional development

The Wigtown Poetry Prizes are the only poetry awards which covers all three of Scotland's native languages, offering a prize of £1500 for the overall winner. Additional categories support emerging regional poets and the publication of a pamphlet . 

The Anne Brown Essay prize offers £1500 to the best literary essay by a writer living in or from Scotland.

Inside the Wigtown Festival Company Bookshop. Shelves and tables of books with customers browsing.

Bookshops are us

Regenerated by the power of the word

Books are the lifeblood of Wigtown, transforming it after a period of decline in the 1990s to the thriving destination it is today. Learn more about the town's other bookshops on the Association of Wigtown Booksellers website.

In 2022, Wigtown was named in The Guardian's list of 10 of the best British high streets.

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A view over the rooftops of Wigtown towards the Cree estuary and Wigtown Bay. The County Buildings, a red sandstone building with a large clock tower is prominent.
Wigtown is held up to the rest of Scotland as an example of how to reinvigorate a regional economy.

John Walsh, The Independent