Aye Write Literary Festival Saved by £65,000 Donation, Announces Slimmed-Down 2024 Program

The Aye Write Literary Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, has been saved by a £65,000 donation, allowing it to host pop-up events and a scaled-down children's festival in 2024 after facing an uncertain future due to funding issues.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Aye Write Literary Festival Saved by £65,000 Donation, Announces Slimmed-Down 2024 Program

Aye Write Literary Festival Saved by £65,000 Donation, Announces Slimmed-Down 2024 Program

The Aye Write Literary Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, has been saved by a £65,000 donation from the Colin Weir Charitable Foundation. The festival, which was facing an uncertain future after its funding bid was rejected by Creative Scotland, will now be able to host a series of pop-up events and a scaled-down version of the Wee Write children's festival in 2024.

Glasgow Life, the organizers of Aye Write, had previously announced that the festival would not go ahead this year due to a lack of financial support from Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government's arts agency. The news was met with dismay by writers and book lovers, with author Douglas Stuart saying that Aye Write is not just about one city or one festival, but about a nation's celebration of its art and working-class access to literature.

Why this matters: The Aye Write Literary Festival is a significant cultural event in Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors each year and showcasing the work of both established and emerging writers. The festival's cancellation would have been a major blow to the literary community and the city of Glasgow, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation from the Colin Weir Charitable Foundation, set up by the late EuroMillions winner Colin Weir, will allow Aye Write to operate on a smaller scale this year, with standalone events taking place throughout the year rather than over the course of ten days as it did last year. The first confirmed events include appearances from authors Damian Barr, James Ley, James O'Brien, and Alan Cumming.

Organizers say more events are expected, and Wee Write will go ahead in the autumn on a smaller scale. The Colin Weir Charitable Foundation said it was "unthinkable" for Aye Write to be silenced until next year, and the donation means that won't be the case.

Glasgow Life is continuing to develop a multi-year funding application to Creative Scotland for future festivals, with the hope that Aye Write will return in full in 2025-2027. The organization's head of museums and collections, Duncan Dornan, said: "The Aye Write book festival has been a key event in Glasgow's cultural calendar for almost 20 years, and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure it continues to have a positive impact on the people of Glasgow and Scotland."

Key Takeaways

  • Aye Write Literary Festival in Glasgow saved by £65,000 donation.
  • Festival faced uncertain future after funding bid rejection by Creative Scotland.
  • Donation allows for pop-up events and scaled-down Wee Write children's festival in 2024.
  • Cancellation would have been a major blow to Glasgow's literary community.
  • Organizers aim to secure multi-year funding from Creative Scotland for future festivals.