Edinburgh Book Festival: 2017

In which I nearly miss the most exciting event of my writing life.

Last year I was invited to take part in Edinburgh International Book Festival. I was very over excited – it was my first major event as a published author and I had a hard job believing I was actual there….

In my actual life.

Jo Cotterill held my hand and we put on a pretty good show. We laughed a lot. AND THEN…

Thanks to a huge number of wonderful voters, who I will forever be indebted to, More of Me became the very first YA novel ever to win the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. Roll on a year…and EIBF invited me back!

You’d think I’d have calmed down a bit after a year wouldn’t you? Well…non. I was even more excited because I knew how much fun I was going to have. I had two events planned, and  it was my turn to hold the hand of a new girl – a real honour  that was too  because I loved Penny Joelson’s unusual debut, I Have No Secrets. But firstly…firstly I was on a panel discussing gender in books and toys, hosted by South East Scotland SCWBI co-ordinators Sarah Broadley and Anita Gallo. And on the panel with me….


I nearly wee’d myself when I found out.

I know.

I am so not cool,  but it’s true.

I devoured Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood series and David Levithan wrote one of my all time EVER favorite books, Everyday. And I was on a panel. With them both.

The big day arrived – I had a comfortable six hours between arriving in Scotland and going on stage. So comfortable I planned to see Tanya Landman and Laura Dockrill’s event before my own.  I arrived at the airport super early, paranoid, as ever, about being late, and checked in my bag (too big for the cabin because it’s full of ridiculous petticoats) – then I settled down with a cup of tea and my laptop and wondered if it’s okay to take a picture of the large number of armed police eating cake in Costa.

Armed Police eating cake
Couldn’t resist…

I wrote a bit, tweeted a bit and then looked up at the departures board. I blinked. I couldn’t be reading the board right. My flight was delayed by three hours. THREE HOURS.  I hurried to the harassed looking woman on the desk – could I get on a different flight?  No – because I’d checked in a bag.

Oh My Actual….AAAARGH!!!!

Three hours. I had no choice, I had to calm down and wait- it still left me a cushion of three hours. We’d be boarding at 2.55. It would be fine. I rang the wonderful Roxburghe Hotel where the fabulous James organised a meet and greet taxi for me. I let the festival know I was running late but I would be there. I repeated, it would be fine. Fine. 2.55 came….and went. With no further information at all. The tiny airport was  crammed with people from other delayed flights. I returned to the harassed airport staff to ask what was happening with my flight. The woman looked at me like I’d spat in her tea and said,

“It’s been delayed.”

“I know that, but can you give me any idea when it will be taking off, I have a really important event I need to get to.”

“No. I can’t.”

“Just roughly? Please? I need to let people know if I’m not going to make it.”

I was nearly crying by this point, and trying very hard to keep my cool. She poked a few buttons other computer –

“There’s been an electrical storm, the plane has diverted, it should be here in the next 30 minutes.”

That had to do, I sat down and waited. And waited. Half an hour came and


My plane eventually arrived and so did I, in Edinburgh, with 5 minutes to spare.

Anita Gallo, Kathryn Evans, Jonathan Stroud, David Levithan, Sarah Broadley.

I threw on my frock and raced across the road to the festival. I’d missed Tanya and Laura’s event, I had no time to curl my hair or iron my dress but I’d made it. The event had sold out, the audience were fantastic, the night was one of the high points of my author life – to think I could have missed it…


Edinburgh Book Festival lived up to it’s reputation in my heart for being a little corner of book heaven. I met up with pals, both writers and not writers; hugged the wonderful Book Witch ( if you don’t follow her blog – you should, it’s brill); had breakfast with Juno Dawson,  opposite Eddie Redmayne’s gorgeous little girl (and her Mum and Dad, also gorgeous);  I met readers.

The festival sold out of my books; I spent more than I should on other people’s books; I fan-girled a bit (a lot);  I went to a drop in workshop run by Jonathan Stroud  where Christopher Edge and I invented a brilliant game of Snakes and Ladders called:

How to Make It Big in Books.

(Rights still available)

And finally, I had my picture taken by the amazing Chris Close.

Genuinely, there is no happier place for a writer and a reader than Edinburgh International Book Festival. If I don’t get invited as a writer next year, I’ll be going as a reader 🙂

Kathryn Evans is the author of More of Me, winner of the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie medal and  winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2017


Edinburgh International Book Festival


I still have  a week until I head up to Edinburgh for the festival but I can’t sit still. I’ve already had my hair done and my petticoats are packed.  Continue reading “Edinburgh International Book Festival”

Books, For Readers, More of Me

And the winner is…

by Kathryn Evans

The last few days have been unbelievable – first the Carnegie nomination and now this…you guys did this, you awesome, wonderful, lovely, amazing folk – THANK YOU.


More of Me has WON the Edinburgh International Festival First Book Award and YOU made it happen.

There are not enough thank yous in the world but here are some:

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Here’s a bit of what I officially said:

I am stunned to have won this award – when I saw the calibre of the other authors I thought I didn’t have a hope. So often children’s fiction is seen as the poor cousin to adult books – yet in it, we tackle some of the hardest subjects in the most innovative of ways. I am so proud to hold the banner up for YA fiction.

You can read the rest here.

Or in The Book Seller !!

And if you want to read it for yourself, well, Amazon’s the easiest route but you can also use Hive or Waterstones or go to your High Street book store or library.

Oh and…





Edinburgh Book Festival – Unusual and Unexpected.

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Thanks Anji Spangle for the picture!

This weekend  was probably the best booky weekend I have ever had for I was hosted by the marvellous folk at Edinburgh Book Festival.

The Festival takes place in a little corner of  magic called Charlotte Square Gardens. A lovely little green, surrounded by white pavillions and the rather marvellous Spiegletent. There’s a book shop, obviously, and a bar – bonus! And the folk who organise it all take the best care of their authors.  They put you up in hotels where, even the most directionally challenged (me) , can’t get lost. They give you chocolate and make sure your every need is met  – but really, what more do you need? Book lovers, chocolate and books. Can’t go wrong really.

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Spoilt? Moi?

I did an event with Jo Cotterill and was so thrilled to have a full house – Scbwi members GO GO GO! I have kind permission from the Bookwitch to reblog her write up because I can’t put it any better than she did. I even got a picture of her which is RARE INDEED:

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Me and the wonderful Bookwitch

And here’s her write up:

Unusual and Unexpected by Bookwitch

It helps to have authors who are former actors, or just plain crazy. Last night’s brilliant performance – that is the only word for it – by Jo Cotterill and Kathryn Evans was really something. The bright spark who put them together is either quite cunning or someone simply got lucky. Jo and Kathryn felt they were […]

Do read on via Unusual and Unexpected — Bookwitch

By Chris Close, official photographer – I think he’s captured my inner crazy don’t you?

So there you go, what a weekend. It’s alright this writing lark. Just need to finish the new book and I’ll start to feel like a proper author.

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Beautiful Edinburgh from the top of the castle.

PS. One tiny thing – voting for the Edinburgh Festival First Book award doesn’t close until October so there’s still time, if you feel so inclined, to vote for More of Me, my debut novel, I’d be ever so grateful 🙂