The world’s wild places – near and far – will be explored at Wigtown Book Festival by an author and a photographer who both have their roots in Dumfries and Galloway.

Stephen Norris, a journalist with a love of hillwalking, will be launching his second book about the Galloway hills The Minnigaff Rangeat The Print Room on Sunday, 23 September.

Meanwhile Colin Tennant who was raised in Dumfries and Stranraer, and his wife Dr Saskia Coulson, will be presenting Beyond The Ice, a free photographic and video exhibition of work created during a visit to the Antarctic, at 4 North Main Street (see picture).

The book and the exhibition explore areas that are thousands of miles apart but which all have a wild and rugged beauty.

The Minnigaff Rangetakes readers into a mountain fastness bounded by deep forests, sparkling lochs and fast-flowing burns with a graceful arc of peaks reaching up to more than 2,000ft.

Stephen’s main inspiration was to introduce Galloway’s hills and mountains to a wider audience.

He said:“The Minnigaff Range is Scotland’s south-westernmost mountain chain and together with the foothills, it is truly a magical place.

“You may not think it, but the Minnigaff Range covers over 120 square kilometres. It has everything – highlands, moors, coniferous forest, scraps of oak woodlands and lochs great and small.

“If I can help make our hills even a little better known then at least I will have achieved something.”

However, he believes that more needs to be done if this little-known area of Scotland is to be enjoyed to the full.

Stephen said: “One thing is missing here – a decent path network. If we truly want to make the Galloway Hills more accessible, then action is needed to make that happen.

“I reckon we should start with a core network of paths to the summits around Loch Trool, using existing forest roads and trails as a base point, and take it from there.

“More walkers, climbers, archaeologists and nature lovers would visit the hills and that could see new businesses starting up to cater for them.”

Beyond the Icebrings together photography and film by the award winning and internationally acclaimed Colin and Saskia. It was created between late 2017 and early 2018 when they travelled from Scotland to the other side of the world to capture the pristine beauty of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

Colin said: “This exhibition is the culmination of months spent exploring the rugged landscapes and unpredictable seas, as well as documenting the extraordinary behaviours of the wildlife in their natural habitat.

“These images capture the awesome beauty of this part of the world, but also remind us of its fragility and why we need to protect this area in the face of the ever-growing climate change crisis.”

Wigtown Book festival takes place in Scotland’s National Book Town from 21 to 30 September and involves a host of events and activities including theatre, film and music.

For full details go to

  • Festivalgoers will also be warmly invited to attend another colourful regional event – The Kirkcudbright Festival of Light, which will be taking place in Scotland’s Artists’ Town from 5 to 14 October – see
  • The festival is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council, EventScotland (part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate), Creative Scotland and The Holywood Trust.
  • Lovers of crime writing can also enjoy the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling from 21-23 September. See

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For further information and interview requests contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org


About Stephen Norris

  • Born and brought up in Wigtown, Stephen has been climbing the Galloway Hills since he was a boy.
  • A master butcher to trade, in 2003 he turned to journalism to earn a living with the Galloway Gazette. As senior reporter then editor, he penned a series of 16 articles on exploring his beloved mountains entitled To the High Country.
  • The series proved extremely popular and prompted many requests for him to write a book. Eventually he did – 12 years later.
  • The Cairnsmore Rangewas published in May 2018 and the second, The Minnigaff Range, will be launched at the Wigtown Book festival on Sunday, September 23 in the Print Room at 3pm.
  • After his stint at the Gazette, Stephen went on to spend seven years with The Oban Times. During his time up north, he climbed widely in Lochaber and the Cuillins. But the hills of home always held his heart and he returned to Galloway in 2014.
  • Stephen now works as senior reporter for the Galloway News.
  • All maps and photographs are the author’s own work and he dedicates this book to Galloway, the land of his birth.

About Colin and saskia

  • CT Productions is a company founded by two award-winning, internationally acclaimed photographers and filmmakers, Dr Saskia Coulson and Colin Tennant. Together they work on artistic, cultural and lifestyle projects around the world for a wide range of clients. They use photography, moving image and research to tell stories about the lives of real people, nature and the environment, social challenges and other contemporary global issues.
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  • Colin was born, raised and educated in Dumfries & Galloway before relocating to Glasgow to study fine art photography at Glasgow School of Art. This is where he met Dr Saskia Coulson.
  • Colin’s work has been exhibited in the UK and abroad, including the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow and Getty Images Gallery in London. He has work in both private and public collections in the UK. His work has been published in many national and international press and media outlets including The Guardian newspaper, The Independent and Scotland on Sunday.
  • Saskia is half American half Danish and spent time in both countries growing up before moving to Glasgow to study fine art photography at Glasgow School of Art.
  • Saskia is a contributing photographer for Getty Images and her photographs have featured in the New York Times, BBC productions and galleries in New York City, Copenhagen and Glasgow. She is also a Research Fellow at the University of Dundee, where she has worked on projects with a diverse range of partners, including; the Victoria & Albert Museum, the international FabLab network and the European Commission. In these interdisciplinary projects, she uses her photography and filmmaking expertise to communicate ideas around contemporary global challenges.

About Wigtown Book Festival

  • The event is for people of all ages and tastes. There is a strong programme for children and young people.
  • Among the guests this year are presenter Clare Balding, bestselling author Patrick Gale, comedian Susan Calman, Louis de Bernières, comedian and radio presenter Robin Ince, historian Tom Devine, crime writer Ann Cleeves, actor, writer and comedian Arabella Weir, philosopher John Gray,mountain walker and writer Cameron McNeish and broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson.
  • The festival always puts an emphasis on authors from and books that are relevant to Dumfries and Galloway. Historian Ted Cowan will discuss John Ross of Stranraer’s ill-fated voyage to discover the Northwest Passage, Shaun Bythell talks about his bestselling Diary of a Booksellerone year on and Sara Maitland presents A Pocket Pilgrimage – St Ninian’s Cave.
  • Julia Muir Watt will look at Whithorn: An Economy of People, and Mike Morley shares stories of sacrifice and bravery from his book Wigtown Warriors. Meanwhile journalist Stephen Norris explains the unique charm of the Galloway hills and Jessica Fox discusses her re-released memoir Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets, which has now been optioned by a major Hollywood film company.
  • There will also be a series of events as special celebrations for the 20th These include panel discussions offering writers’ perspectives on how Scotland has changed in the past two decades and what Europe will look like 20 years from now.
  • The festival is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council, EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, Creative Scotland and The Holywood Trust.

About EventScotland 

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.


EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.orgor for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see

About Year of Young People 2018


  • A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.
  • A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at
  • Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.
  • Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making.
  • The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.
  • More information can be found at, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing


Wigtown Festival Company Ltd, 11 North Main Street, Wigtown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, UK, DG8 9HN © 1999 – 2018. Wigtown Festival Company Ltd is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.                                        Scottish Charity No. SCO37984