St Andrews Events and Reading Groups

An Evening with Sir James MacMillan

Tuesday 17th September, 8pm

Renowned composer Sir James MacMillan first burst into prominence in 1990 with The Confessions of Isobel Gowdie. A steady stream of works has followed, with commissions from many of the world’s major orchestras. A prominent part of his work is his religious composition, which includes settings of both the John and Luke passions, Tu Es […] See more »


Ann Cleeves: The Long Call

Wednesday 18th September, 8pm

*CHANGE OF VENUE* Please note that this event will now be held in Hope Park & Martyrs Church. Ann Cleeves is the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed novels, including the series behind both BBC’s Shetland and ITV’s Vera. In 2017, Ann was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger, marking […] See more »


Esther Rutter: Britain’s Knitted History

Tuesday 24th September, 8pm

A writer in residence at the University of St Andrews, Esther Rutter has travelled the length and breadth of Britain, unravelling the story of how wool shaped communities across the country. From the Highland crofts cleared for sheep farming, to mill towns on the borders, and market towns that thrived on the profits, Esther sheds […] See more »


Alistair Moffat: To the Island of Tides

Wednesday 25th September, 8pm

Born in Kelso in 1950, Alistair Moffat has been director of both Scottish Television and the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as Rector of the University of St Andrews and co-chairman of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. He is an informed, accessible, and authoritative historian, known for his Scotland: A History from Earliest Times, The Hidden […] See more »


Children’s Galley Book Club

Sunday 29th September, 10am

The Galley Book club is an informal monthly gathering for young readers where we talk about books and share snacks and recommendations ~  it’s the perfect opportunity for budding bibliophiles to make new discoveries and new friends! We ask that for each gathering you bring along a wee review of a new or an all-time favourite […] See more »


Kathleen Jamie: Surfacing

Monday 30th September, 8pm

It’s surprising what you can find by simply stepping out to look. Award-winning poet Kathleen Jamie has an eye and an ease with the nature and landscapes of Scotland as well as an incisive sense of our domestic realities. This new volume, Surfacing, completes a trio of books in which Kathleen talks about the natural world […] See more »


Dean Stott: Relentless

Tuesday 1st October, 8pm

Dean Stott lives his life in pursuit of excellence. After rising to the top of the Britain’s elite armed forces and taking part in some of the most daring military missions of recent times, he was involved in a life-threatening parachute accident. Told he might never walk again, Dean was determined to keep on moving […] See more »


The Literary Odyssey Adult Book Group

Wednesday 2nd October, 6pm

*The Literary Odyssey will meet 2 October instead of 25 September.*  The Literary Odyssey Book Group will be reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, […] See more »


Kate Kirkpatrick: Becoming Beauvoir

Wednesday 9th October, 8pm

Simone de Beauvoir was a philosopher, novelist, existentialist, and feminist icon. Her novels won prestigious literary prizes and The Second Sex transformed the way we think about sex and gender. She was also the long-term lover of Jean-Paul Sartre, but it was to film-maker Claude Lanzmann that she wrote `You are my destiny, my eternity, […] See more »


Dan Jones: Crusaders

Tuesday 15th October, 8pm

Following up his remarkable The Templars, best-selling historian Dan Jones joins us to mark the publication of his latest book, Crusaders. Following the series of religious wars in which the West attempted to wrest the Holy Lands from Islamic rule, this is a blood-soaked account of conflicts which have left an enduring imprint on world […] See more »


Shaun Bythell: Confessions of a Bookseller

Wednesday 16th October, 8pm

‘Wonderfully entertaining … Bythell is a true believer, who makes a passionate case for the importance of books’ – Observer Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town […] See more »


Philip Marsden: The Summer Isles

Thursday 17th October, 8pm

The Summer Isles, the small group of Scottish islands off Scotland’s north-west coast, captivated writer Philip Marsden since he and his aunt looked upon them from the tops of the mountains they loved to climb. Now, decades after his aunt’s death, he sets sail in a beautiful wooden boat from his home in Cornwall, up […] See more »


John Burnside: The Music of Time

Friday 18th October, 8pm

Professor in the School of English, John Burnside is an acclaimed writer of poetry, fiction, and memoir, and is a familiar name on literary shortlists, not least the Forward, TS Eliot, and Costa Prizes. As Tessa Hadley has said, he has a ‘lovely garrulousness all his own’, and it is with deftness and bite that […] See more »


An Evening with Professor A C Grayling

Monday 28th October, 8pm

A C Grayling needs little introduction: he is a prolific writer, having written and edited over 30 books on philosophy and other subjects; he has been a columnist for the Guardian and The Times; and, he is currently Master of the New College of the Humanities in London. He is, in short, an exceptionally intelligent and celebrated […] See more »


Baking with Kim-Joy

Tuesday 29th October, 8pm

VENUE CHANGE Please note that the venue for this event has been changed to Hope Park and Martyrs Church. If you’ve already booked places, we’ll be in touch to confirm the change. Having charmed the nation during the Great British Bake Off 2018, Kim-Joy’s colourful creations—technically adept, visually stunning, and utterly cute—are the perfect way […] See more »


James Morton: Super Sourdough

Tuesday 12th November, 8pm

Great British Bake Off 2012 finalist, James Morton charmed the country with his technical skill, his delicious flavours, and — not least — his collection of Fair Isle jumpers. Now a working NHS doctor, James has also written various cookbooks, including Brilliant Bread and Brew. Super Sourdough is James’ latest, and is a foolproof guide […] See more »


The Matchsafe: An Evening of Poetry with John Glenday

Tuesday 19th November, 8pm

Raised on the banks of the Tay Estuary, and with a profound lyric sensibility, John Glenday is one of the finest poets writing in Scotland today. His 2010 collection, Grain, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Ted Hughes Award, and 2015’s The Golden Mean was awarded the Roehampton Poetry Prize. In conjunction […] See more »


Flora Shedden: Aran

Tuesday 26th November, 8pm

Flora Shedden is best known for competing in the Great British Bake Off 2015. She finished as the competition’s youngest ever semi-finalist, going on to present food programmes for BBC Radio Scotland and write a weekly baking column for the Sunday Telegraph. She joins us to celebrate Aran, her second cookbook. Taking its name from […] See more »


An Evening with Val McDermid

Friday 29th November, 8pm

Venue Change: Please note this event will now take place in Hope Park & Martyrs Church. If you have already booked, we will be in touch shortly to confirm this change. Ever a highlight of our autumn festival, the incomparable Val McDermid returns to St Andrews with her own blend of wit, warmth, and wonderfully […] See more »


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