This year, like everything else on earth, Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival has had to be rethought, rescheduled, reworked. It will still declare a presence though, albeit mostly online.

In recognition of lockdown, quarantine, self-isolation and with a nod to the odd choreography of the times, the theme is Strictly Local: Writers, speakers, subject matter.

Poets in Place, hosted by Ian Stephen, will showcase mentored writers; an event twinned with another featuring one the brightest stars in the contemporary poetry firmament Niall Campbell from Uist.  Catriona Murray, with her talk Strangely Familiar, will shine a torch into the dark corners of the supernatural in Lewis, while the glorious richness of place will be celebrated by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis in History with Heart and Soul. Seldom has anyone dug as deep into local history as Frank Rennie whose new Highland Book Prize-listed book The Changing Outer Hebrides puts Galson at its core.  Alex Boyd revisits The Isle of Rust aka Lewis & Harris and R M Murray’s debut Bleak: The Mundane Comedy is a dry take on life in a wet place.

It’s Faclan but not as we know it. Or maybe we do.

Audiences are encouraged to sign up to the online events, which are all free, via our website and will be sent a link by email to the films before the event time.


The films of all the Faclan 2020 events will be made available for audiences to view at their leisure after their alloted event time on An Lanntair’s Vimeo Channel here

Alex Boyd: Isle of Rust – First shown 7pm on 19th November 2020

R. M. Murray:  Bleak – Event took place at An Lanntair on 19th November 2020 with a socially-distanced auditorium audience

Niall Campbell: Mood, Tide and Noctuary in conversation with Ian Stephen – First shown on 20th November 2020

Poets in Place hosted by Ian Stephen – First shown on 20th November 2020

Strangely Familiar: The Otherworld in Lewis Life: Catrìona Murray – First shown on 21st November 2020

History with Heart and Soul. The Placenames of North Lewis. Ness to Ballantrushal; Comunn Eachdraidh Nis – First shown on 21st November 2020

The Changing Outer Hebrides: Galson and the Meaning of Place: Professor Frank Rennie (launch). Chair Ian Stephen – First shown on 21st November 2020