Paisley Book Festival

The 2024 Paisley Book Festival, themed 'Imagine Something Different', invites attendees to embark on a transformative journey, embracing the festival's renowned radical edge.

Paisley Book Festival

About Paisley Book Festival

Over four days, from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 April, Paisley will welcome some of the UK’s finest literary talent for discussions and events in venues including the recently refurbished Paisley Town Hall and the new Paisley Central Library. Now in its 5th year, the 2024 Festival theme is ‘Imagine Something Different’ where audiences will embark on a journey of discovery into the world of stories and storytelling. To assist in helping make the arts as accessible to all, the majority of events will be on a pay what you can basis.

The 2024 Paisley Book Festival highlights at Paisley Town Hall include:

• Sally Magnusson (Music in the Dark) on Thu 25 Apr, 8pm
• Andrew McMillan (Working Lives) on Fri 26 Apr, 5pm
• Pat Nevin (The Beautiful Game) on Fri 26 Apr, 7.30pm
• Aasmah Mir (A Pebble in the Throat) on Sat 27 Apr, 2.30pm
• Judy Murray (The Wild Card) on Sat 27 Apr, 5pm
• Graeme Armstrong (part of Scottish Masculinities with Alan Bissett and Brian Conaghan) on Sun 28 Apr, 5pm

The Festival kicks off with a celebration of Scotland’s favourite sport in an evening hosted by Daniel Gray, football writer and editor of the Scottish football magazine, Nutmeg. Daniel will interview the legendary Rose Reilly and crime novelist and founder of the Scottish Crime Writers football team, Craig Robertson with poetry interspersed from Graham Fulton, Stephen Watt and St Mirren’s own poet in residence Julie McNeill. The Beautiful Game series also welcomes national football hero and football media pundit, Pat Nevin to the festival on Friday 26 April.

Other festival highlights include Sally Magnusson who will talk about her latest novel Music in the Dark and her career as a writer.

Historical fiction writers Sara Sheridan and Lesley McDowell will be in discussion about how they transform the people and places we know (or think we know) into fiction. Sara will also be taking part in a relaxed session on the Friday when all book lovers can ask the questions they have always wanted to ask of one of Scotland's top writers.

London-based Nigerian German author, Olumide Popoola, introduces her new novel, Like Water Like Sea, which deals with themes of grief and mental illness.

Andrew McMillan introduces his debut novel - Pity - to festival audiences. The book narrates the lives of three generations of men from a South Yorkshire mining town, which was once a hub of industry but now struggles to find a new identity in the wake of seismic social change.

Asamah Mir will read from her book and discuss the nuances of growing up between two continents.

Local writers' group Nights At The Round Table celebrates their 10th Anniversary, featuring regular and familiar Paisley Buddy faces from a decade of poetry and spoken word.

Another strand of the festival is its Oot and Aboot series exploring the human drive to get out into nature. Author Merryn Glover, will be joined by musician Hamish Napier for a magical journey through Scottish landscapes via music, images and words. Audiences will also have a chance to get outside and create their own work inspired by nature in a special workshop, Walking and Writing Paisley.

Writing the Wrongs of the Past, Ajay Close and Donna Moore will chat with fellow author and ex-police officer Karen Campbell about the events that inspired their books, and whether in light of social campaigns such as the #MeToo movement, we might begin to imagine a better future for women in their dealings with the law.

Join the conversation about being a woman in the public eye with Tik Tok sensation and Scots poet Len Pennie and award winning film-maker and author Sarah Grant, who discuss stereotypes, marginalised identities, the importance of visibility, and imagining something different from the mainstream in their new books.

Local Scottish author, Victoria Williamson, will launch her latest book Red Runs the Witch's Thread, which re-imagines the story of Christian Shaw and the Bargarran Witches of Renfrewshire.

Poets come to the stage to compete in the Loud Poets West Regional Slam Heat, hosted by Kevin Mclean and featuring last year’s winner Gray Crosbie, plus a chance to win a place in the Grand Slam Final in Edinburgh this August.

New to this year’s Festival is Ireland in Focus, curated by Northern Irish writer, Jan Carson, bringing five of Ireland's most exciting contemporary voices to Paisley. Writers include Sheila Armstrong, Noel O’Regan, Dawn Watson and Martin Doyle.

Festival favourites Graeme Armstrong, Alan Bissett and Brian Conaghan have been working on a project with young people in Renfrewshire schools talking about Scottish Masculinities. Hear what they’ve learnt with Renfrewshire school librarian Kenneth Naismith.

Another highlight of the festival is The Wild Card with Judy Murray. Hear her read from the book and discuss the real-life events of her career that inspired it.

In memory of the legacy of Janet Coats of the renowned thread-making family, J&P Coats, the Janet Coats Memorial Prize is the Festival’s annual poetry prize for adults and young people. On Friday 26th March, the winners will be announced by the judging panel at an Award Ceremony.

Music has always played an integral part in the Paisley Book Festival and this year is no different. Playwright, poet and Paisley Book Festival’s first Writer-in-Residence, Imogen Stirling and producer and multi-instrumentalist, Susan Bear present a new fusion of poetry, theatre and live drum and bass.

The Festival will close with an evening of Live Literature and Music produced by Glasgow-based Anoraq, featuring Mexican-Scottish poet and translator Juana Adcock, Austrian-Nigerian writer, Titilayo Farukuoye, and Scottish poet, musician and artist Nicky Melville.

The Festival’s Saturday will host a dedicated Family Day, providing a wide range of fun and diverse activity at the Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Central Library that is completely free for families with young children. Interactive workshops and performances - from puppet making to interactive storytelling - all exploring the magic and power of the imagination and featuring Festival favourite children’s authors Alan Windram and Ross Mackay and innovative performances from The Audio Storytelling Company and The Scots Opera Project.

Family day events can be booked in advance, or you can drop in on the day.

All of the above plus a schools programme curated by the school libraries team. From Monday 22 April to Friday 27 April, the programme will feature some of the finest children’s writers with sessions that will appeal to all ages. Making their Festival debut are Eve Ainsworth, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Alastair Chisholm, Victoria Gemmell, Rachel Plummer, Neil Slorance and Alan Windram.

The full 2024 programme can be found by visiting

Sponsored Links

Other Events at Paisley Town Hall or Paisley Book Festival

FOREVER ELVIS - The Ultimate Tribute Experience!

7th June 2024

Elvis is back! Join us for a heart-thumping tribute show that'll have you all shook up. Don't miss the ultimate Elvis experience at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 7th June!


MacFloyd: All That Is Now

22nd June 2024

MacFloyd bring their new show 'All That Is Now' to Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 22nd June, join them on their journey for over two hours of great music and an experience to remember!


Live at the Town Hall: Milton Jones & Friends

28th June 2024

Paisley’s newest and biggest comedy night arrives at the Town Hall this June for an unforgettable night of stand up featuring Milton Jones & Friends!


Heaven 17

9th August 2024

LNP Promotions have announced that Synth-pop icons Heaven 17 will perform a special show at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 9th August!


Paisley Town Hall Wedding Fayre

25th August 2024

Paisley Town Hall Wedding Fayre will take place on Sunday 25th August featuring 40 of industry's best wedding suppliers plus a catwalk & live music!


The Selecter

30th August 2024

LNP are delighted to bring the brilliant and iconic The Selecter back for an extra special show, right in the heart of Paisley at the magnificent Town Hall!


All Or Nothing Experience

6th September 2024

The All Or Nothing Experience tells the story of the iconic Mod band the Small Faces through their electrifying music! Don't miss it at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 6th September!


John Bishop: Back At It

18th September 2024

Comedy superstar John Bishop is getting Back At It – doing what he does best - with a new UK stand-up tour for 2024 and brings it to Paisley Town Hall on Wednesday 18th September!


The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra

28th September 2024

Music lovers of all ages can expect to enjoy toe-tapping reels and jigs, lively strathspeys and marches, and poignant slow airs performed by the skilled members of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra!


Las Vegas Live Featuring The Rat Pack

18th October 2024

NNE are delighted to announce Las Vegas Live With The Rat Pack at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 18th October!


Auld Pals - An Evening With The Cast Of Still Game

2nd November 2024

Whether you're a superfan or just looking for a great night out, 'Auld Pals - An Evening With The Cast Of Still Game' at Paisley Town Hall is not to be missed!


Christmas Celebration With G4

14th November 2024

Jon, Jai, Mike & Duncan are delighted to bring their hotly-anticipated, 20th Anniversary 'G4 Christmas' tour to Paisley Town Hall on Thursday 14th November!


Gee Atherton - Hold Fast

16th November 2024

Mountain biking legend, Gee Atherton, will be live on stage at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 16th November to tell the remarkable story of his riding life!


Sponsored Links

Similar events you might like...

Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions

Renfrewshire Bookbug Sessions

Selected dates between 4th January 2024 - 21st December 2024
Various Locations Renfrewshire

Free, fun and fantastic! Renfrewshire Libraries run several interactive song, rhyme and story Bookbug sessions throughout the week!

IKEA Glasgow’s Book Club

IKEA Glasgow’s Book Club

4th June 2024

Calling all book lovers! Join IKEA Glasgow in their customer restaurant for their brand new monthly book club!

Film & Comic Con Glasgow

Film & Comic Con Glasgow

24th August 2024 - 25th August 2024

The Film & Comic Con Glasgow returns to Braehead Arena on the weekend of the 24th & 25th August bringing you the best in autograph sessions, photo shoots and panels with your favourite celebrities!

Elizabeth Sharkey: Why Britain Rocked - How Rock Became Roll and Took Over The World

Elizabeth Sharkey: Why Britain Rocked - How Rock Became Roll and Took Over The World

4th October 2024

Why Britain Rocked: How Rock Became Roll and Took Over the World travels deep into Britain's history to trace the events that led to its twentieth century musical explosion.

Shaun Ryder: Happy Mondays, and Fridays, and Saturdays, and Sundays

Shaun Ryder: Happy Mondays, and Fridays, and Saturdays, and Sundays

25th October 2024

He's the wild man of rock who became a national treasure, Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman Shaun Ryder will bring his new, spoken word tour to Airdrie Town Hall on Friday 25th October!


Find other events in Renfrewshire

Sponsored Links

Go Radio | Number 1 for Glasgow & The West - Listen on DAB, Online or on your Smart Speaker, just say "Launch Go Radio"

Popular Events

Barshaw Gala Day
It should be a great day for all the family when Barshaw Park hosts its annual gala day on Saturday 22nd June 2024!
Bridge of Weir Gala Day
The annual Bridge of Weir Gala Day kicks off Festival Week and this year is being held on Saturday 8th June, the theme for 2024 is The Circus!
Refractive Film Screening - Loch Ness: They Created A Monster
Join Refractive for a screening of documentary film, Loch Ness: They Created a Monster, by John MacLaverty (Director), at Erskine Arts.
Art Class For Teens
Rundell Art's popular art class for teens runs every Saturday allowing participants to work with local Paisley artist Jac Rundell and art tutor Millie Brown!
Bishopton Day
Bishopton Day 2024 is just around the corner! Held on the 3rd Saturday in June every year, Bishopton Gala Day is a fantastic day out for the whole family!

Popular Listings

Beacon Arts Centre Braehead Arena Johnstone Town Hall Old Swan Inn Paisley Paisley Abbey Paisley Arts Centre Paisley Town Hall Robertson Park Renfrew The Bungalow Paisley Venue Paisley