CoastWord festival has a strong, double-stranded ethos: with an emphasis on inclusivity - whether that be age range, gender, background, ethnicity - this festival aims to support and nurture local and emerging talent whilst inviting established writers and performers to share their work and be inspired by Dunbar.

CoastWord began in 2013 as The Wee Fest of Words, part of Dunbar's wonderful Civic Week, the festival was inspired by a conversation at the school gates between local writer Hannah Lavery and convener of Civic Week Sue Anderson. In 2014, we were supported by Sue to gain funding and established ourselves as CoastWord with the support of the community council and the National Lottery. In 2015, we established our hub with the Dunmuir Hotel with Creative Scotland and Dunbar Library support, in 2016 and with continued support from Creative Scotland we had another wonderful festival introducing an artist residency with the amazing poet Rachel McCrum. This year we are hoping to bring you another unforgettable weekend of words and music in our beautiful Dunbar.

CoastWord, is managed by founder Hannah Lavery and an enthusiastic group of volunteers. We work very hard to create a friendly festival to inspire and support our community and our many visitors in their enjoyment of stories, poetry and song.

CoastWord 2018 will take place over the 18th - 20th May with most events taking place at the Dunmuir Hotel.

Our programme will be launched in early March.  


Artist Residencies


Rachel McCrum


Catherine Simpson

Kirsty Law

Photo Journals 2013-2016

The Wee Fest Of Words 2013 - photographs by Rachel Hein

CoastWord 2014 - photographs by Rachel Hein

CoastWord 2015- photographs by Anthony Joyce and various

CoastWord 2016 - photographs by James Barlow