Book festival’s new coordinator

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Kirsty Izat has been appointed as the coordinator of this year’s Islay Book Festival, in a move she described as ‘an amazing opportunity’.

Portnahaven-based Kirsty was chosen ahead of some strong competition for the new part-time post, and she will work closely with the festival committee to deliver the event from August 29 to September 1.

This year’s event will be headlined by top crime writer Ian Rankin, with cookery writer and novelist Sue Lawrence, Mortal Engines author Philip Reeve, and high profile historian Tom Devine also attending.

Committee chairwoman Isla Rosser Owen said: ‘We’ve been run entirely by volunteers up to now, but the festival has grown to a point where we needed to bring someone on board as our organisational linchpin.

‘With our schools programme and events across Islay and Jura, the festival takes a lot of organising, so we were delighted to find someone local with the right combination of skills, contacts and enthusiasm.’

Kirsty is a legal studies graduate who worked as a paralegal on the mainland before coming home to Islay with husband Graham in 2012.

Kirsty said: ‘The last few years have been very child focused and I was looking for the right opportunity. When I saw the book festival advert I just thought, “That’s perfect, it combines my organisational side, my creative side and my love of books.” For something like this to come up on Islay is amazing.’

Last year’s Islay Book Festival was the biggest yet. The committee is currently looking for sponsors for this year’s event and on a longer term basis to make the festival sustainable.

Anyone or any business interested, can get in touch with Kirsty on

Individuals can support the festival through the JustGiving link on

Kirsty Izat joins the Islay Book Festival team. NO_c13islay01_Kirsty Izat