In south-west Scotland, Spot-lit partner Wigtown Festival Company continue to develop their child-and family-centred literature model. Story Book Dumfries – as it is now called – aims to establish the main town of Dumfries & Galloway as Scotland’s home of children’s literature, a destination for families to visit and a national cultural resource.
The Wigtown team has taken inspiration from the recent establishment of Scotland’s new National Centre for Children’s Literature at Moat Brae House, where Peter Pan author JM Barrie played as a child. But Story Book Dumfries is not tied to any one organisation. It offers a platform for a wide range of partners who believe in the power of children’s literature to inspire and bring tangible benefits (economic, cultural, social and educational) to the Dumfries community and beyond.
While Moat Brae House closed due to Covid, the team have concentrated on building links with other leading organisations, such as Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and The Stove artists’ network. The next steps will be to commission a website, a city-centre visual arts project and an inaugural children’s literature conference to take place in January 2022. Delivery of activity is planned to align with Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, a nation-wide umbrella festival that celebrates the country’s storytelling heritage.