About the Festival

Read about Borders Book Festival and the people behind it

It all started in June 2004, when Alistair Moffat had the idea of holding a small literary gathering in Melrose. Alistair was joined that year by Paula Ogilvie and, what started with a few speakers and an audience of 400, has turned into a 4-day extravaganza with an audience of more than 34,000 attending in 2019. We’ve certainly come a long way since that first year in the old Wynd Theatre in the centre of Melrose which saw the beginning of that great partnership between Alistair and Paula who are still running things today (with the support of a very small team of dedicated helpers).

We moved from the Wynd Theatre, via the Corn Exchange and the Melrose Festival Ball Marquee to Harmony Garden, which has been home to the festival since 2007. In 2015 we expanded our offering to include the Harmony Orchard where we created a festival village with an event marquee, storytelling tent, bar and a range of tipis, stretch tents and vintage vehicles including an old fire engine selling hot dogs, a crème brûlée van, ice cream served from a vintage bicycle and lots of coffee…

We’re off to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, to take part in his 250th anniversary celebrations this November but can’t wait to welcome authors and visitors back to OUR home, Harmony Garden, in June 2022.

Visit the Support the Festival page to learn more about how you or your business can help support the Borders Book Festival.

Who’s Who

DIRECTORS

MICHAEL MOORE
Chairman

ALISTAIR MOFFAT
Director

PAULA OGILVIE
Director

VIVIAN FRENCH
Director

LYNSEY GRAHAM
Director

JAMES HUTCHISON
Director

SUSAN WINDRAM
Director

HONORARY PATRONS

RORY BREMNER

JAMES NAUGHTIE

ELEANOR UPDALE

PATRONS

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF BUCCLEUCH

JOHANNES AND ANTONIA DE GIER

FRANCIS & CATHERINE HAMILTON

ROBERT AND MAXINE SLOSS

FESTIVAL STAFF

OLIVIA McLEAN
Festival Manager

RACHEL DYAS
Operations Manager

MAIRI MacLELLAN
Festival Administrator

CANDY RAFFERTY
Sponsorship and Fundraising

HILARY BUCHAN
Web & Social Media

Join our team for this year’s festival!

We’re looking for enthusiastic event staff for our festival at Abbotsford in November - could this be you?

Do you enjoy working in a fun and dynamic team? Love learning about new things? Big fan of books? If so, why not join our team for next month’s festival at Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders. Our festival dates are 2nd-7th November, and if you’d like to be part of the team, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to apply to work at this year’s festival, take a look at our job opportunities and job description information sheets for more details.

Borders Book Festival Staff