Spotlight on . . . NessBookFest Introducing . . . NessBookFest What is it? An annual celebration of reading, writing and storytelling. Where does it happen? In Inverness (hence the 'Ness' of the title) - in the Central Library, Town Hall, local schools, Waterstones and other venues around the city. When? In 2018, the festival's third year, it will take place from 4 - 7 October. How much will it cost me? Nothing! One of the festival's aims is to make the event as accessible as possible, so all events are free to the public. So does that mean the authors appearing aren't being paid? No! The festival organisers are passionate about respecting authors' worth, so spend the year fundraising to ensure everyone who appears is paid. Who can I see there? The full programme will be announced in early September, but Ali Smith, Stuart McBride and Malachy Tallack have already confirmed. And who's making all this happen? A team of eight volunteers (writers and enthusiasts) who decided to start a small festival in 2016 - then increased it massively in 2017 with no less than 33 events. We were so impressed, we put NessBookFest on the shortlist for this year's Voluntary Arts Epic Awards. The volunteers have also built great partnerships with local residents and businesses, with many more keen to get involved in the future, recognising that NessBookFest offers something 'unique, personal and community-driven'. Is there a way to get involved, apart from attending events? Yes! They're looking for both writers and event volunteers. If you're a writer, send in a submissions of very short work. They're looking for 3-minute readings to begin each of their public sessions and would welcome poetry, flash fiction, reflection, travelogue... you name it. Send your work with '3 Minutes' in the subject line to [email protected] If you can spare a half day or more from 4-7 October, NessBookFest wants to hear from you. They need volunteers to staff their hub, hand out leaflets, deal with visitors, take photos, hold collection buckets, check tickets and be a friendly face. Email [email protected] with 'Volunteer' in the subject line. How can I find out more? Visit the NessBookFest website, Facebook Page or Twitter.