Countdown is on as the Paisley Book Festival returns with full programme of in-person events

Paisley Book Festival is back and some of Scotland and the UK’s leading authors will descend on the town to mark the return of the first full programme of in-person discussions and events since the pandemic. The festival, produced and delivered by OneRen, runs over four days from 16-19 February, 2023 and features events with the Hebridean Baker, Darren McGarvey, Jackie Kay and Michael Pedersen, and Denise Mina and Tariq Ashkanani among others.

In a first for Paisley Book Festival, the majority of events will allow those attending to pay what they can, in recognition of the cost-of-living crisis.

Author events include the Hebridean Baker, Coinneach MacLeod talking about his latest cookbook, his extraordinary life and love of food in the social media age. Coinneach said: “I’m so excited to be visiting Paisley for the Book Festival – I absolutely love the Hebridean Baker events. Wherever I go, there is a shared passion for the Hebrides – our culture, stories, recipes and history. We tell stories, sing a song or two – they’re a real old fashioned cèilidh!”

Coinneach will return to Paisley later in the year to sing at the Royal National Mòd, the Gaelic music festival, which will be hosted for only the second time in its 130 history in Paisley this October.

Denise Mina and Tariq Ashkanani take part in a pairing which features a cornerstone of Scottish crime literature and a relative newcomer to the field. Tariq won the Bloody Scotland debut prize this year; Denise is Scottish crime writing royalty. The event will be chaired by Arusa Qureshi, who was on the Bloody Scotland judging panel too. Denise said: “I’m delighted to be back at Paisley Book Festival, having been there during lockdown it feels like a wonderful return – I’ve really missed the randomness of live events.”

PBF programmers, Heather McDaid, an award-winning independent publisher, and Sha Nazir, a multi-skilled artist, writer and producer, have brought together some of the finest literary talent to wow audiences in the town. The festival will feature over 50 authors, poets and event hosts, covering a total of 32 public events and substantial schools’ programme which will visit 33 primary, secondary and ASN schools.

The festival will be based in the University of the West of Scotland’s Union as a main venue, as well as Paisley Central Library and a new venue at the Art Department, Outspoken Arts.

The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley, the wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future. It is funded by Renfrewshire Council and Creative Scotland and delivered by OneRen. OneRen is the local charitable trust in Renfrewshire providing culture, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives.

View our full programme of events at


Founder of in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X