Paisley Book Festival 2023: Five great events not to miss

Thursday 16th February, 2023

Some of Scotland and the UK’s leading authors are coming to town as Paisley Book Festival makes its big return for 2023.

It all takes place over four days, from 16-19 February, and the programme will see a full return of in-person discussions and events since the pandemic.

Produced and delivered by OneRen, the festival will see a range of fantastic events to suit all ages and tastes – and the majority of events will allow those attending to pay what they can.

It all takes place at University of the West of Scotland’s Union, Paisley Central Library and the Art Department in the Paisley Centre.

While there’s so many events to choose from in this year’s programme, we’ve picked out a few that you definitely won’t want to miss.

Getting Playful with Paisley Poets – Tawnya Renelle – 17 February, 3:30pm

Ebenezer Picken, Alexander Wilson, Robert Allan and Robert Tannahill are all famous poet weavers of Paisley in the 18th century. How can we use their words and poems to create our own? Join Dr. Tawnya Selene Renelle of Beyond Form Creative Writing for this two-hour experimental poetry workshop. Using techniques like erasure and collage, draw inspiration from Paisley legacies. Open to all skill levels and creatives of any medium.


Janet Coats Memorial Prize – 17 February – 7pm

The annual poetry award given in remembrance of Janet Coats, who originated from the local J&P Coats thread making family. Janet was a talented poet, as well as a great philanthropist in education, health and welfare. Come and join the celebrations and hear from prize judges: Renfrewshire Makar Shaun Moore and award-winning poet and writer Leyla Josephine, as they read from this year’s shortlist, share some of their own work, and announce the 2023 winners.


A Billion Balloons of Questions – Amy B. Moreno – 18 February, 10am

Bring along your curious children with their best questions! Author Amy B. Moreno performs a full reading of her book followed by an interactive activity of drawing and colouring in this celebration of question asking. This event is ideal for kids 3-7-year-olds.


The Hebridean Baker – Coinneach MacLeod – 18 February, 7pm

Fàilte, meet Coinneach, the Hebridean Baker. You may have seen Coinneach’s life in the wild and windswept Outer Hebrides show up across your social feeds. Now is the chance to come see him live to hear first-hand the stories and culture that inspired him and his food, the Scottish traditions that seep through his work, and the memories behind the recipes that have made them all the more special.

Paisley Presents… Poets in Paisley – Shaun Moore, Lorna Callery-Sithole – 19 February, 6:30pm

A closing event to see off the 2023 festival in style. Shaun’s poetry combines politics with social commentary and breaks traditional poetic rules to tell life how it is. Lorna will showcase work from her collection “Colour Theory”.  The event will also feature special guest sets from comedian Viv Gee and poets Michael Mullen, Cian and Donna Matthew.

Find out more about this year’s Paisley Book Festival programme below.