The Brilliant and Forever 2022

Sat 6 Aug

Book Tickets Online

Call: 01851 708 480

When Kevin MacNeil’s cult novel The Brilliant & Forever was published it attracted widespread acclaim. ‘This is a book about how everyone has a story worth telling,’ said the Independent, ‘and one worth hearing too. Terrific stuff!’ The idea that everyone has stories to tell is a compelling one, and An Lanntair and Kevin MacNeil are about to prove how true it is, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories.

MacNeil’s novel seems fictitious – after all, it features talking alpacas. But life is imitating art, and the novel is coming to life in the Outer Hebrides this summer. A unique literary festival takes place in Stornoway on 6th August 2022 and you are invited to participate!

MacNeil’s novel follows the adventures of a group of writers who compete in a festival that is like a cross between a traditional book festival, The X Factor, and a music festival. And this exuberant mix is what is coming to the Castle Green in Stornoway.. Writers – whether aspiring or established, local or international – are invited to participate in The Brilliant & Forever competition. Shortlisted authors will perform their work in front of members of the public, two of Scotland’s most respected literary judges, and alpacas.

Author Kevin MacNeil says, ‘We all have engaging things to share, and individual ways of saying them. This competition is a quirky celebration of storytelling and a way of giving back to the community.’

The Brilliant & Forever festival will take place on Stornoway’s beautiful and historic Castle Green, the setting for the novel.

‘We hope to create a truly memorable and enjoyable event. It’s both serious and entertaining,’ says Kevin. ‘To reflect this, the prizes are solemn (literary glory) and fun (bespoke trophies, limited edition T-shirts, etc).’

‘Come for the T-shirt,’ commented a spokes-alpaca, ’stay for the lit fest.’

The shortlisted writers who will read their stories at the event are:

Martin Geraghty        Control

Saoirse Fitzallen       My Mum is a Spy

Donald S Murray       Stitchwort and Self-heal

June Graham             How to give birth to a daughter in 20 simple steps

R M Murray                Buisneachd

Steven McKnight        Love, Death and the Easy Bake Oven

Ruairidh Maciver       Fìogair

Spencer Woodcock    Time For Your Van Morrison

Dinah Gardener        So Long And Thanks For Nothing

Hayli McClain             Mothman and Two Other Wierdos

Rachel Carmichael   The Wrong Side of the Ocean

Louisa McLennan     The Marmalade Cat and the Marvellous Coat

Archie the Alpaca     The Moon’s a Spittoon

The festival will also include music from Willie Campbell, a book stall, food and alpaca products. Tickets to this unique event are available to book now, priced at £10 / £8.

Find out more in this special interview feature with author Kevin MacNeil and judge Murdo the Alpaca: The Brilliant & What Now? 

In a career first, Jane Macleod interviews a man and an alpaca to learn exactly what this upcoming ‘Brilliant & Forever 2022’ event is all about. Among those sharing stories at the unique event at Lews Castle Green on Saturday 6th August will be writers from the Hebrides, America, and continental Europe. And not forgetting several alpacas…