Thursday 19th August

Below is our 2021 programme for information only. 
BigLit 2022 will run from 21-24 July.  We look forward to meeting you then.


Bards for Breakfast: David Mark Williams, Anne Dunford, Des Dillon

Prize winning internationally recognised poet, the ‘extravagantly talented’ David Mark Williams reads alongside Des Dillon reading from his limited edition chapbook Daily Bread which is a precursor to a full collection Muscle Work Alcohol And Blame coming out in September 2021. "... he is surely set to become one of our most powerful poetic voices." (Chris McKinnel, Textualities). Des and David Mark are joined by Anne Dunford reading from her fine collection From the Mountains to The Sea illustrated with superb photos by her husband Les “these poems have a beauty that matches the landscape they are set in,' ( Jean Rafferty).

9.30 – 10.30. The Café, Mill on the Fleet    £5 incl. refreshments

Raymond Burke: The Metaphoric Table

The Metaphoric Table – a ★★★★  Edinburgh Fringe show is a literary version of science's Periodic table. Big words, bad words and big bad words.  What links the Sex Pistols to Shakespeare?  Or Tennyson to Trump?  Learn the secrets of literary devices in this educational, comic presentation of The Metaphoric Table by its creator, Raymond Burke. Synaesthesia, synecdoche and several silly stories in the most academically pretentious show you'll ever experience. A must-see for readers, writers, students and all lovers of literature.

11.30 – 12.30 River Room, Mill on The Fleet    £5

Murray Armstrong: The Fight for Scottish Democracy

Journalist, author and former associate editor of The Guardian Murray Armstrong brings a little known chapter of Scottish history dramatically to life in his timely book The Fight for Scottish Democracy. Three Scottish weavers were executed for high treason in the summer of 1820. Nineteen more men were transported to Botany Bay. Their crime? To have taken up arms against a corrupt parliament, and the aristocratic Tory government that refused to reform it. Five years of unsuccessful mass petitioning of Westminster by working people in Scotland and England in the face of the government’s intransigence forced an escalation in tactics, and on Easter Monday 1820 - almost exactly 200 years ago - the call for a general strike to secure the vote was answered throughout the western counties of Scotland.

13.30 – 14.30 River Room, Mill on The Fleet    £8

Sue McCormick: Small Acts of Courage

Local actor/director/writer Sue McCormick reads from her first novel. In Small Acts of Courage four narratives are interlinked by historical events, by family, love and friendship, by themes of protest and the enduring power of hope. As an actor, Sue has worked all over the UK in theatre, film, TV and radio, as a director she specialises in site-specific Shakespeare and as a writer, she has published poetry and short stories and had 6 plays produced.

‘This beautifully structured novel interweaves our heroines’ stories as we move backward and forward in time: women’s solidarity and friendship at the core of every strand.’ Julie Hesmondhalgh

‘At times, it’s necessary to sit down with a page-turner and be reminded that it is possible to choose hope.’ Morning Star Review 4*

15.30 – 16.30 River Room, Mill on the Fleet    £8

Caught in the Lines

Scottish Writers’ Centre Fiction Showcase in collaboration with The Bakehouse Community Arts (TBCA)

Join us for a showcase of flash fiction, short stories, excerpts from novels, novellas, plays etc from four selected members of The Scottish Writers’ Centre along with ten open mic offerings from popular local writers/performers who have featured on The Bakehouse stage – a veritable Smorgasbord of all things literary.

17.30 – 19.00 The Café/River Room, Mill on the Fleet   Free

BIG LIT Sing in 

The only way to kick off Big Lit is with a good old pub session. Focusing (in a beer-enhanced fashion) on the art of the lyric, local musicians will bring you classics from Bob Dylan to Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley to Hamish Henderson. A healthy smattering of original home-grown material makes each session unique - come prepared to sing, play or listen in one of Gatehouse's most welcoming venues.

21.30– 22.30 The Masonic Arms    Free