Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend 2018 – booking now open

Download the booking form here.

The 2018 Dunnett Weekend in Edinburgh has a programme jammed full of fascinating talks, interesting guided tours, good food, fun, laughter and, very importantly, lots of opportunity to discuss our favourite novels.

Celebrated historical novelist Lindsey Davis will be a guest speaker, as will the distinguished botanist (and expert in Sybilla’s curtain colour) Dr Henk Beenjte.

In addition we will be meeting in an exciting new venue, the John McIntyre Conference Centre in Holyrood Park Road neatly tucked beneath Arthur’s Seat. Light and airy with lots of room and every modern facility, the centre is part of Edinburgh University and will give us an opportunity to accommodate our members with increased comfort.

John McIntyre Centre

John McIntyre Conference Centre

The 2018 Dunnett Weekend will take place from Friday 27th April until Sunday 29th April in Edinburgh, Scotland’s beautiful capital city. The fun starts with a ‘Welcome Meal’ at the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile. Over an informal supper, friends, old friends and new can catch up with each other and discuss all things Dunnett.

On Saturday 28th April we will take over our spacious new venue, the John McIntyre Conference Centre. Here we will enjoy a talk from Lindsey Davis, world famous creator of the popular Roman detective Falco and his feisty adopted daughter Flavia. Lindsey is a great admirer of Dorothy Dunnett and has agreed to take time from her busy schedule to talk to us about Dunnett’s influence on her younger self. She will also discuss the challenges of writing a long series of books with a much beloved central character and a dedicated fan base.

Our second speaker is Dr Henk Beenjte, famed amongst members of the Dorothy Dunnett Society for his wonderful talk at the 2000 Gathering in Edinburgh (arranged to celebrate the conclusion of the House of Niccolò series). Henk is a distinguished botanist at Kew Gardens in London and a published authority on African flora. His speech – ‘The Flora and Fauna of Lymondshire: A Natural History of the Lymond Chronicles’ – was a highlight of that last great international gathering held in Dorothy Dunnett’s lifetime. Henk has agreed to reprise his legendary lecture 17 years on and will be joining us in Edinburgh in 2018.

We will, of course, also have the Annual General Meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett Society (for members only) with an agenda that’s sure to be exciting as the re-issue of the novels continues.

On Saturday night we will be donning our glad rags for a sumptuous gala dinner at Edinburgh’s famous Caledonian Hotel complete with a delicious meal, readings from the novels and, of course, our piper, Kenny MacAllister.

Next day, Sunday 29th April, we are planning a later start and a gentler pace than in previous years so that, as well as our organised visits, there will be plenty of opportunity to independently enjoy the sights armed, perhaps, with your copy of ‘Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide’. During the late morning James Hamilton, the principal researcher of the ‘Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet’, will guide us around the Signet Library in Parliament Square, highlighting publications relevant to our period from the important historical collection. The Society of Writers’ origins lie in the 15th century as the ‘writers’ of documents signed with ‘the signet’, the private seal of the Scottish kings. Later we hope to have a private viewing of Parliament House and this will be followed by a sumptuous early afternoon tea in the beautiful surrounds of the Lower Library.

Download the booking form here.

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International Dorothy Dunnett Day on Saturday 11 Nov 2017

It’s almost upon us – the 7th International Dorothy Dunnett Day (IDDD) on Saturday 11th November 2017, when once again Dunnett Readers across the world will meet in homes, restaurants, pubs, parks, museums and other locations; and at 13.00 (1 pm) local time they will raise a glass to toast the Lady who started it all, and to absent friends.

To find out if there’s a gathering near you, or if you’d like to organise one, check our IDDD 2017 page or get in touch with Tina Dallas at [email protected].

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Today’s the day! New editions of the Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter will start becoming available in the UK and Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The US and Canada are subject to a different contract, and negotiations are ongoing. However, it looks as if the new paperback of King Hereafter will be available in Canada from 24 October. You will hopefully see some publicity over the next few weeks, but this is a re-issue so it is not a big bang publication – more a slow burn over a year or so. So our job is to sing Dorothy’s praises and to make people, including bookshops, aware of just how good her books are!

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2017 HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition: shortlist and winner

The Historical Writers’ Association and the Dorothy Dunnett Society are pleased to announce the winner and two highly commended entries to the inaugural HWA Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2017. We look forward to reading the winning story in December’s Whispering Gallery!

Winning Entry

A Poppy Against the Sky – Annie Whitehead

Highly Commended

End of the Rope – Majella Cullinane
Us girls – Sarah Evans


Guilty until Proven Innocent – Daphne Breen
Haint Blue – Helen Cairns
The Moresco – Bella D’Arcy Reed
Blind, blind – Allan Drew
Signor Pietro’s Pigeon – Elizabeth Hopkinson
White Feather Girl – Avril Joy
The Damson Orchard – Liz Kershaw
Steer the Dark Skies Blue – Niamh MacCabe
Finish the Course – Anna Mazzola
All I Have Done Is Survive – Richard Smyth

Imogen Robertson, chair of the Judging panel, said:

“I was astonished and delighted by the range and quality of the stories we received. It was extremely difficult to pick our winners from such a strong field and I was deeply impressed by the fresh and engaging voices, superb writing and story-telling skills on display. I’m sure Dorothy Dunnett would have enjoyed them thoroughly and I am very pleased to see so many excellent writers at work on historical fiction.”

Pamela Gordon, Judge, said:

“The response to the competition was splendid and the standard of entries very high. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to read the stories and take part in the selection of the worthy winners. The Dorothy Dunnett Society is happy that republication of her historical novels has created the occasion also to celebrate the work of contemporary writers of historical fiction.”

Norah Perkins, Judge, said:

“It has been a great honour to read the stories entered for the inaugural Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Prize – and very hard to whittle them down to a shortlist, though we were unanimous in our choice of winner. It is a vibrant crop of stories, from around the world and from ancient times to recent history, and I’m sure Dorothy would have been delighted to see so many brilliant writers carrying on in her footsteps.”

The winning author and the two highly Commended authors have been invited to receive their awards at the HWA Award Ceremony on the 7th November 2017 in London. Hosted by historian, novelist and broadcaster Kate Williams, this award ceremony will also see the announcement of the winners of the 2017 HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown, HWA Non Fiction Crown and the HWA Debut Crown.


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Whispering Gallery 136 – out now!


Whispering Gallery 136 is now dropping through Dorothy Dunnett Society members’ letter boxes. This very special edition marks the UK republication of The Lymond Chronicles and King Hereafter and is packed with articles ranging from “On Teaching Dunnett” to “42 Days of Lymond Hell”. (Let’s hope there’s no connection!)

To receive your copy, find out more about joining the Dorothy Dunnett Society at http://dunnettcentral.org/join

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