Citizen Winter Warmer

Join us online on Saturday 12 December

As the nights draw-in and the lights begin to twinkle, join us online for a day full of fun and creative activities for all the family, with readings, DrawAlongs, music and more! All events are free to view through our Facebook and YouTube channels – read on to find out more...
We are delighted to announce that this December the Book Festival will host a special day of online events as part of Citizen. Taking place on Saturday 12 December, the Citizen Winter Warmer offers a day full of free fun and creative activities for all the family – with DrawAlongs, workshops, poetry and live music, as well as a stellar line-up of guests including Maggie O’Farrell, Alan Bissett, Leyla Josephine, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Tinderbox Collective and many more. All events are free to view and can be watched via our Facebook and YouTube channels.

Our events start at 10.30am and are suitable for families with younger children (aged 5+)

Make sure you bring along pens, pencils and your imagination to this crafty morning session, which includes DrawAlongs with with super-talented illustrators Eilidh Muldoon and Katie Chappell. There’ll be sensational storytelling from Macastory, and a joy-filled poetry workshop by our Schools Writer in Residence, Leyla Josephine. Finally, you can be one of the first to hear Maggie O’Farrell read from her new picture book, Where Snow Angels Go.

10.30am DrawAlong with Eilidh Muldoon! (5yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

11.00am Four Seasons – Storytelling with Macastory (3yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

11.30am Self Portrait Poems with Leyla Josephine (7yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

12noon Drawings Diaries with Katie Chappell (5yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

12.30pm Where Snow Angels Go – A Reading by Maggie O’Farrell (5yrs+) Facebook / YouTube


From 2.30pm, check out our events for families with older children (aged 11+)

This session kicks off with a workshop led by the incredible artists from the Edinburgh Zine Library, and some spirit-rousing music from the Tinderbox Collective (enjoyable for all ages). Acclaimed Scottish-Caribbean poet Courtney Stoddart will perform some of her protest poetry, and Communities Writer in Residence Eleanor Thom will show you how to explore your local area by creating your very own memory map.

2.30pm Pass the Zine with Edinburgh Zine Library (11yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

3.00pm Music from the Tinderbox Collective (all ages) Facebook / YouTube

3.30pm Poems for Today with Courtney Stoddart (11yrs+) Facebook / YouTube

4.00pm Route of Memories with Eleanor Thom (11yrs+) Facebook / YouTube


From 6pm, Winter Warmer activities are suitable for young adults and adults

Our evening session will begin with a hilarious reading from The Incredible Adam Spark by Alan Bissett. From there, it’s a double bill from talented local writers from The Citizen Collective and The Citizen Writers’ Group, who have been working with the Book Festival over the course of 2020, thinking about what community and citizenship mean. The evening will close with a reading of Daughter of Stories by Nadine Aisha Jassat, a tale about how family, friendship, and stories themselves can be a beacon in dark times.

6.00pm The Incredible Adam Spark – A Reading by Alan Bissett (YA and adults) Facebook / YouTube

6.30pm The Citizen Collective – Sharing (YA and adults) Facebook / YouTube

7.00pm Citizen Writers’ Group – Sharing (adults) Facebook / YouTube

7.30pm Daughter of Stories – A Reading by Nadine Aisha Jassat (YA and adults) Facebook / YouTube


The Citizen Winter Warmer is part of Edinburgh International Book Festival On the Road – a programme of events, festivals and residences taking place around Scotland throughout the year, supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery and funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government – through Creative Scotland – the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for more information about the Citizen Winter Warmer programme.

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