Baillie Gifford Schools Programme Launch Event

If you didn’t make it along to our Baillie Gifford Schools Programme launch event last Thursday… here’s what you missed!

Many thanks to everyone who did come along to the event at Edinburgh Academy. We had a packed main hall of teachers, librarians, arts workers and Book Festival staff, who all gathered to hear more about the great events in our schools programme.


Janet Smyth, our Children & Education Programme Director, kicked off proceedings, talking about the benefits for pupils of a trip to the Book Festival with some quotes from pupils who previously attended schools events.

“I realised the joy that reading could bring, well re-realised.” S3 Pupil

“After hearing the authors talk about how they started out I just thought that could be me one day.” S2 Pupil

Janet resized
We then invited onstage some of the author’s appearing in the schools programme this year to give you a sneak peak of their events. Bestselling author of the popular Tiara Club stories and the Tales of the Five Kingdoms series Vivian French and comics artist, writer and illustrator Adam Murphy, who created Lost Tales and CorpseTalk for the Phoenix Magazine, led the audience in a hilarious game of Comic Consequences. You can see it for yourself in the event in our Baillie Gifford Schools Programme.


Then we welcomed Dave Hook, aka Solareye from Scottish hip hop band Stanley Odd onstage. Stanley Odd were one of the hits of the schools programme last year and we’ve invited them back again this year. Dave talked about his realisation when he was younger, that the hip hop he loved actually used the poetic techniques he’d been learning about in school, and then  performed a couple of tracks. More than a couple of librarians or teachers came up to me afterwards to proclaim a new-found love of hip hop.


The rest of the event consisted of wine, canapes, and lots of excited chatter about the Baillie Gifford Schools Programme. Many thanks to Edinburgh Academy for providing their beautiful main hall for the event.

If you missed the event – make sure you don’t next year. Sign up to our Education Mailing List by sending your name and address to