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.

In August hundreds of 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.

The 2023 Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place From 12 to 28 August.

Browse the Book Festival programme.

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.

Explore Edinburgh’s Summer Festivals with us this year.