The city has rich links to the words and works of some of the most celebrated writers who have ever lived. Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Muriel Spark, Irvine Welsh, Alexander McCall Smith, and Ian Rankin are just a handful of the many authors with connections to Edinburgh, so it is only appropriate that Edinburgh plays host to the largest book festival in the world.
Each August over 600 events for adults and children are held over three weeks, when international writers, poets and musicians arrive to engage audiences in readings, writing workshops, education events, panel discussions, talks and performances.
From 13 to 29 August 2022 the Edinburgh International Book Festival returns to the capital at its 2021 home at Edinburgh College of Art. This year the festival has even more events accommodating even bigger audience numbers to celebrate the theme All Together Now. The 600+ events will feature over 550 authors, performers, musicians and thinkers from over 50 countries.
The big outdoor screen is back for free screenings of selected events, daily creative workshops will be hosted and the biggest new venue, Central Hall will be hosting a number of hybrid events that welcome both live audiences and online viewing, so that even more people can be part of the events.
Among the hundreds of authors taking part in this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival are Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, Outlander writer Biana Gabaldon as well as internationally renowned names including Noam Chomsky, Jack Monroe, Alexander McCall Smith, Denise Mina, Michael Morpurgo, Cressida Cowell and Armando Iannucci.
The History of Edinburgh International Book Festival
Held in the leafy surroundings of Charlotte Square, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is still something of a newbie compared to others, starting in 1983 and only becoming an annual event in 1997.
The festival initially held 30 meet the author events in its tented village. Recent festivals have featured Margaret Atwood, Yann Martell, George Monbiot, Harold Pinter, Sebastian Faulks, Alan Bennet, Germaine Greer, Susan Sontag, Zadie Smith and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.