Book Festival: Open Book

I adore the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Each year we've lived here in Scotland, I've had the wonderful opportunity to have a small role in it. This year, author Vivian French and I did our story-reading/illustration gig for a group of 130 migrant and refugee women and children brought over to the festival by OPEN BOOK.
     As one of the organizers, poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill said, "We had a day of poetry readings (mine, and then Em Strang’s - translated into Arabic by Saffana Ahmed, with music on clarsach by Katie Harrigan), zine making with Sasha de Buyl-Pisco, stories with Vivian French and illustration with Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Oh - and a surprise visit from Hugless Douglas!"
     Here are me and Viv doing our thing for a group of kids that ranged from wee to teen, fluent to no-English-language ability at all.
Before our event began, I had a fun chance to meet and talk to a young man who wants to be an illustrator - Ahmed. He didn't speak English, but who needs words when pictures will do? We had fun drawing for each other and swapping illustrative ideas. Truly, I always feel my time is well-spent at events like this if I can reach just one budding artist or reader. And I felt like I really did. What a great thing!
Thank you to Marjorie for inviting me!

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