#ScotLitFest: Literary birthdays in 2017.

2017 marks a number of birthdays: detectives doing the rounds for decades, publishers hitting landmark ages, Edinburgh’s festivals continuing to outlive most of us… Here’s a few to celebrate.

John Rebus turns 30!
Ian Rankin and his publisher took over his detective’s own hometown of Edinburgh for a weekend in celebration of the iconic detective Rebus turning 30. The aptly titled Rebusfest was a  celebration of literature, art, film, music and more to mark an excellent three decades. You can learn more about the weekend at Ian’s website. Here’s a video of Ian talking about Rebus recently:

Rebel Inc turns 25!
In the 90s Edinburgh, what began as a literary magazine became a literary revolution. The name? Rebel Inc. The main crux of their message was to stand against the mainstream, and more specifically London. Punk and DIY ethics clashed into the publishing world, and they’ve inspired many an upstart publisher since. The Skinny recently published an utterly brilliant piece from Jenni Fagan exploring the life and legacy of Rebel Inc 25 years on. You can read it here (and we highly recommend that you do).

60 years of Muriel Spark novels!
In 1957, Muriel Spark’s first novel The Comforters was published. While it wasn’t her first ever published work, it was a defining moment for one of Scotland’s most celebrated and beloved writers. The National Library of Scotland also has a Muriel Spark archive, the most comprehensive they hold. A sheer delight for Spark fans. When it comes to fiction, poetry, and essays, there are few of her ilk.

Reams have been written about the wonder of Muriel, but, here, Ian Rankin succinctly sums up the beauty of her writing:

Acair and Birlinn hit big birthdays!
Gaelic publisher Acair celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017, and Edinburgh-based Birlinn hit the quarter-century mark as they celebrate 25 years of publishing. Acair have proven to be critical in the normalisation of Gaelic and increasing literacy in the language while publishing a string of brilliant authors. Birlinn have done wonders for Scottish authors and books, with their various imprints bringing through exceptional authors. Here’s to many more!

Edinburgh Festivals turns 70!
Edinburgh is the place to be in August, unless you want quiet. From film and comedy to theatre and books, the streets come to life in celebration of culture in all its forms, and this year marks Edinburgh Festivals turning 70. The Edinburgh Book Festival also celebrates 20 years since it moved from a bi-annual to yearly event in 1997. Hurrah! Augusts wouldn’t be the same without your booky input. Here’s to many more decades of festival festivities.

Harry Potter turns 20!
Following Bloomsbury picking up a new boy wizard, JK Rowling was awarded funding from the Scottish Arts Council to continue writing a series. How did that go? Well, two decades on and Harry Potter is the literary sensation of a generation – you don’t need the rundown. Excitingly, though, to mark the 20th anniversary it was announced that the Philosopher’s Stone will be translated into its 80th language: our very own Scots. You can read a snippet of that translation over at jkrowling.com.

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