Irvine’s literary festival will be back at the Harbourside this year - with organisers promising the best Tidelines yet.

The programme for the seventh Tidelines Book Festival was revealed on June 19 at the HAC, with 17 events planned from September 26-29.

Chair Siobhan Staples said: “In 2016 we moved to Irvine Harbourside, one reason being the Harbour Arts Centre. Also having everything over one weekend in one place creates that fantastic sense of event, people come and then they go to one of the fantastic food or drink places. This has increased our audiences coming in from Glasgow and elsewhere.”

In addition to the main programme, seven North Ayrshire schools will receive free author visits, aimed at inspiring their pupils to engage with reading.

The 2019 festival will open to the sound of traditional music created specially for Tidelines and including two members of multi-award winning Manran performing songs in Gaelic and Scots.

With 2019 The International Year of Indigenous Languages, and Tidelines marks the occasion with two Scots language events. Award-winning author Anne Donovan, author of Buddha Da, leads a celebration of Scots language and introduces local Ayrshire writers reading their own work in Scots. Artist and author Amanda Thomson introduces us to unique Scots words for nature, many of which risk of falling out of use, in A Scots Dictionary of Nature.

For the gin connoisseurs, Sean Murphy hosts a talk and a tasting at Puffers Café on Friday, September 27, based on his book Gin Galore.

Cyclist Alan Brown will take his audience on an epic coast-to-coast journey by bike, cycling across the Highlands, with Overlander: A Bikepacking Pilgrimage. On Sunday afternoon, lovers of spectacular views and poetry will enjoy The Spirit of the Hebrides, Alistair Jackson’s stories of walking the Hebrides to photograph the places written about by Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean. Jackson’s photographs have been collected in this brand new book along alongside new work from poet Kenneth Steven responding the work of Sorley MacLean.

For family fun, Moxie Creative Kids bring story-telling sessions based on The Gruffalo and the Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The sessions are very interactive, with comedy, music and games all tailored to engage children with these brilliant books and to have some fun along the way.

The programme offers plenty for those who enjoy both historical non-fiction and fiction, discussing ideas around social change and equality at home and further afield. Mairi Kidd introduces the bonnie fechters in her book Warriors and Witches and Damn Rebel Bitches, those witty, wise and occasionally wicked women throughout Scottish history who stood up to be counted providing us with inspiration today. Following Mairi, Margaret Skea takes us back to the time of James VI in Scotland and Ayrshire with her talk Bringing History Alive: The Ayrshire Vendetta, the backdrop to her novel Through Sword and Storm. Margaret appeared at Tidelines in 2018 at the Pitch and Punt event for new writers, and Tidelines are delighted to welcome her back in 2019 in an event of her own.

Keeping with the history theme, Donald S. Murray takes us back to the January 1 1919 with his acclaimed novel And the Women Lay Dreaming, exploring the true-life tragedy of the sinking of the HMY Iolaire, which resulted in the deaths of 200 returning servicemen within sight of their homes. On Saturday, Karen Campbell joins with her much anticipated new novel, The Sound of the Hours, an epic romance about conflicted loyalties, prejudice, and war, set in Barga, that most Scottish of Italian towns, during the Second World War. On Sunday afternoon Tidelines welcomes Catherine Czerkawska who brings us a true crime event to kick off our Sunday ‘Crime Wave’. Catherine talks about the harrowing process of researching the death of her own great great uncle in 1881, which resulted in her book A Proper Person to be Detained.

The festival wraps up on Sunday 29 with a ‘Crime Wave’ of authors featuring author Denise Mina; novelist and playwright Catherine Czerkawska; and an icy blast of Icelandic Noir from authors Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Lilja Sigurdardottir.

West Kilbride’s Timberbooks will run a pop-up bookshop at the HAC.