Book lovers can still enjoy Irvine’s literary festival from their own homes after coronavirus led to the cancellation of the annual event.

The Tidelines Book Festival ran virtually last week from September 24 to 27, with a selection of fascinating talks with assorted authors broadcast online. All the videos are still available to enjoy on the Tidelines Book Festival YouTube channel by clicking here.

The virtual talks opened with a celebration of all things poetic, featuring Liz Lochhead’s extraordinary tribute to Edwin Morgan.

This was followed by Ross Wilson from Tapsalteerie Press with his compelling tribute to his baby daughter, ‘Letters to Rosie’ and the glorious triumvirate of AC Clarke, Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton, reading poems in Scots, Gaelic and English from their most recent collaboration, ‘Drochaid’.

On Thursday, the team welcomed back historian and Irvine Royal teacher Dane Love, with a fascinating illustrated talk based on his book ‘A Look Back at Irvine’.

Sara Sheridan spoke about ‘Where are the Women?’, a passionate vision of an alternative Scotland, where women are celebrated and commemorated in statues and streets.

On Saturday night, broadcaster and author Kirsty Wark was in conversation with fellow broadcaster and author Theresa Talbot, as they discuss ‘The House by the Loch’, Kirsty’s dramatic, moving novel inspired in part by her Ayrshire childhood memories.

And it was crime time on Sunday night with four best-selling crime and thriller authors sharing the screen at once with chat and readings from their latest work

Caro Ramsay, Johana Gustawsson, Mason Cross (writing as Alex Knight) and Douglas Skelton shot the breeze over all things crime and answered some pre-submitted questions.

A spokesperson for the Tidelines Festival said: “Huge thanks to all of our authors for their entertaining and informative input.

“We couldn’t have managed without support from North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Book Trust, North Ayrshire Heritage (how fab were those wee films?), Waterstones, Michele At Overton, the wonderful Harbour Arts Centre and it’s lovely staff, and James McLaughlin for all of the techy support.

“It was a real challenge for the Tidelines team this year and we’re so proud of what we’ve come up with. (And the fact that we didn’t bottle it!). We hope you’ve enjoyed our events as much as we have, and that we’ll be able to see you in person in 2021.”