CYMERA FESTIVAL Ann Landmann saw a gap in the book festival scene and took it upon herself to fill it with Cymera, the first Scottish literary event dedicated to sci-fi, horror and fantasy literature. 2019’s guests included VE Schwab, Ben Aaronovitch and RF Kuang. (SM)

BHP COMICS This year BHP received SICBA’s Outstanding Contribution to Comics award and a commendation from the British Book Awards. Alongside independently publishing an impressive list of titles, founder Sha Nazir also launched the UK’s first literary agency dedicated to graphic novelists. (BC) ERIS YOUNG Eris Young is a queer, non-binary trans writer and editor currently celebrating the release of their first book. They/Them/Their shares what life is like as a non-binary or gender-queer person, providing advice and support for non- binary people and their loved ones. (LM)

JENNI FAGAN Novelist, playwright and poet Jenni Fagan is a force to be reckoned with. She recently adapted her debut novel, The Panopticon, to create a powerful stage play for National Theatre of Scotland. Her third novel will be smashing hearts in 2020. (LM)

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KIRSTY LOGAN One of Scotland’s most distinctive writers, Kirsty Logan’s unique mix of lyrical prose, feminist themes and supernatural eeriness has manifested once more in her new short story collection. Things We Say in the Dark is an unsettling and evocative investigation of women’s fears. (AB) GOLDEN HARE This Stockbridge-based treasure was crowned Independent Bookshop of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards and continues to programme diverse events and workshops.

They also launched their first ever three-day book festival across five Edinburgh venues. (BC) NOOR HEMANI Noor Hemani has played a fundamental role in curating Lighthouse Books’ exceptionally diverse collection and annual Radical Book Fair. Winner of the Individual Bookseller of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards, Hemani embodies the necessity of local and political bookselling. (AB)

CHRIS MCQUEER Described by The Guardian as like ‘Charlie Brooker on Buckfast’, this young Glaswegian writes funny and darkly poignant works in the Scots language. So far he’s released two collections of short stories, Hings and HWFG, with the former adapted into a BBC series. (KG) KERRY HUDSON In March, novelist Kerry Hudson published Lowborn, an unflinching memoir detailing a working-class childhood beset by upheaval, dislocation and traumatic events. The telling is gentle but firm, offering insights into UK poverty that we all need to know. (LM)

CATEGORY IS Fiercely independent and proudly queer, this new bookshop in Glasgow’s Southside not only stocks a range of literature by and for LGBTQIA+ people, but also functions as an important events hub for the city’s queer community and beyond. (DC) CAT HEPBURN The spoken-word artist adapted her poetry book #GIRLHOOD into a celebrated solo show at this year’s Fringe, and her role as co-producer of the monthly literary rave Sonnet Youth extended this year to its first touring theatre show, thick skin, elastic heart. (DC)

Cat Hepburn 1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020 THE LIST 23