Events

The 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist Series

Join the Highland Book Prize and Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre for a series of online talks and workshops with the 2020 Highland Book Prize longlisted authors. To book a talk or workshop please see our listings below, or visit Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre for more information about each event.

Our thanks go to the William Grant Foundation who provide funding to encourage public engagement with the Highland Book Prize.  


upcoming online events

The 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist series: Online Workshop with Francine Toon, author of novel, Pine 

The 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist series: Online Workshop with Francine Toon, author of novel, Pine

Monday 18th Jan, 2021
11:00am – 12:30pm

£12.00 click to book

Local Storytelling and the Gothic 

Some local stories can capture the imagination, especially when we are young. These can be tales told round a campfire, overheard at school or read about in the local newspaper. When thinking of gothic or suspenseful writing in particular, remembering local legends or strange incidents can be a useful jumping off point.

In this one-and-a-half hour session that combines discussion and writing, Francine Toon will explore how local tales and the act of storytelling itself can be an entry point into your own creative writing.

Booking is essential. Book your place here

Francine Toon grew up in Sutherland and Fife, Scotland. Her debut novel Pine was a Sunday Times bestseller and the winner of the 2020 McIlvanney Prize. It was shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year and longlisted for the Highland Book Prize and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. Her poetry, written as Francine Elena, has appeared in The Sunday TimesThe Best British Poetry 2013 and 2015 anthologies (Salt), and Poetry London, among other places. She lives in London and works in publishing.

Photo credit: portrait by Libby Earland, Cover design by @BeciKelly


The 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist series: Online Talk with Elisabeth Gifford, author of novel, The Lost Lights of St Kilda

Thu 4th Feb, 2021
7:00pm – 8:00pm

Booking essential: Click to book via Moniack Mhor website.

This is a ‘pay as you can’ event. £8 suggested donation, subsidised and free spaces are available. 

How to find a story in history

Elisabeth will talk about finding story structure in past true events, and in doing so, how to stay true to history. Within this she will explore, how many liberties can a historical novelist take or not take. Elisabeth will also discuss evoking place and setting.

Elisabeth worked as a dyslexia and reading specialist in Kingston for many years while raising three children. She holds a diploma in creative writing at Oxford OUDCE and a Masters in creative writing at Bedford Square, Royal Holloway, University of London. Her first historical novel was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association debut award and she has since written four more historical novels.  Her husband is from St Andrews and her family spend as much time as possible in Scotland, and on holidays in the Hebrides. Elisabeth also writes children’s stories for an African health charity. She is inspired by Gaelic and Scots history and family and child welfare.

Photo credit: portrait by © Josh Gifford


Past Events

The 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist series: ‘Ideas for Approaching Point of View and the Pleasure of Experimentation’ with Elizabeth Reeder.

Elizabeth Reeder, author of novel An Archive of Happiness, shortlisted for the 2020 Highland Book Prizetalks about the pleasure and importance of experimentation and play when trying to figure out how to tell your stories. 


2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist series: Talking about ‘The Changing Outer Hebrides: Galson and the Meaning of Place: Frank Rennie’, Published by: Acair Books.

Ian Stephen chairs a discussion with Frank Rennie to launch his new book The Changing Outer Hebrides: Galson and the Meaning of Place.

This video was recorded by, and first transmitted as part of, Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival; and is re-transmitted as part of the 2020 Highland Book Prize Longlist Series by kind permission of An Lanntair, Acair Books, Frank Rennie and Ian Stephen.


These events are brought to you as part of a series celebrating the 2020 Highland Book Prize longlist. Each year the Highland Book Prize and Moniack Mhor Writer’s Centre run sessions with longlisted writers including workshops, individual and in-conversation talks.

Our thanks go to the William Grant Foundation who provide funding to encourage public engagement with the Highland Book Prize.  

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