PLANS are being drawn up to host the Borders Book Festival in September.

The popular event is usually held in Harmony Garden in Melrose over a long weekend in June.

But this year, organisers are hoping to push it back three months – coronavirus permitting.

Having delivered a successful digital programme of more than 40 free author talks and workshops last year – attracting 21,000 views – festival directors Alistair Moffat and Paula Ogilvie have already begun work on the line-up for 2021.

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And this year they hope to be able to run the event over five days instead of the usual four.

Mr Moffat said: “After a difficult 2020 for everyone, we are delighted to be starting the New Year with the positive news that the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival plans to return at the new time of September in the hope of being able to welcome our authors and visitors back to Harmony Garden safely.

“Something to look forward to in these dark winter months.

“Our journey back to a version of normality is likely to be longer than predicted as the COVID vaccination programme rolls out to all age groups in our audience.

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“Taking into account the likely circumstances in the second half of the year, we will ensure the live book festival meets all and any remaining restrictions.”

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which is usually awarded annually at the festival, is reviewing its plans and will confirm this year’s arrangements in early April.

Meanwhile, judging for the award is continuing on its usual schedule.

The Borders Book Festival, sponsored by Baillie Gifford, is expected to take place – if circumstances allow – from Wednesday, September 15 to Sunday, September 19.