Introducing the 2024 Book Festival programme

Join the Edinburgh International Book Festival 10-25 August at our brand-new venue, the Edinburgh Futures Institute, or watch live-streamed events and digital exclusive events from wherever you are - we can't wait to welcome you for a thrilling August.

This year, we're putting fresh perspectives, relevance and active learning in the spotlight, with over 500 events that will empower, delight and inspire you. No matter your age or interests, there's something here to captivate everyone, with BSL interpreted, captioned, and learning disability friendly events.

Future Tense

This year our overarching programme theme is Future Tense. Acknowledging that there are many different opinions on how we could - or should - shape our future, we’ll be joined by some of the brightest minds currently exploring how looking to the future might save us from the present.
Across six elements (A Toast to the Future; Future Library; Generations; AI, Data and Complex Systems; Future Economics and Politics; The Imaginative Realm), we explore how future-oriented thinking, learning across generations and disciplines, and approaching change with curiosity, compassion and imagination, could help us untangle the huge systematic challenges we currently face, both as individuals and as a society.

  • How to Lead a Meaningful Life: Authors and audiences come together in conversation around how we can practically make our own lives more meaningful with Andrew O'Hagan, Sarah Perry, Olesya Khromeychuk, Oliver Burkeman, and more. Explore events >
  • Table Talk: A delicious combination of food demos, conversation and specially created menus delivered by some of the world’s best chefs and food writers in the intimate space of Elliott’s Studio. Featuring Sami Tamimi, Pam Brunton, Julius Roberts, Rachel Roddy, Asma Khan, Rukmini Iyer, and Caroline Eden. Explore events >
  • Justified Sinner 200: 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and our Justified Sinner 200 events will re-examine this iconic story in a range of imaginative new ways, including through music, interactive mobile technology, performance...and collage! Explore events > 
  • Voterama - Election, Democracy and Geopolitics: More than half the world's population will go to the polls this year - more than at any other point in history. Experts in domestic politics from across the political spectrum will share their insights on the most pressing voting issues of the day, alongside figures including Raja Shehadeh and Jeremy Bowen, who bring an incredible wealth of experience in and knowledge of the international political landscape. Explore events >
  • Brilliant Fiction: We’ll have many of the best fiction writers around – from debut novelists to Booker Prize winners such as Paul Lynch, and everything in between – talking to one another about their latest and favourite works. And we’re hugely looking forward to welcoming brilliant writers from around the world, whose work is available to us in translation, including Palestine’s Adania Shibli, Ukraine’s Andrey Kurkov, China’s Xiaolu Guo, and more. Explore events >
  • Poetry and Performance: UK poetry is an exciting scene, and our line up this year showcases a range of styles, energies and collaborations from emergent and established poets including Michael Ondaatje, Paul Muldoon, Liz Lochhead, Gerald Murnane, Jenni Fagan, Salena Godden, Vanessa Kisuule, Len Pennie, and Iona Lee. There will also be magical mixes of poetry and music with Lone Tree (Kathleen Jamie and David Paul Jones), Transcendent Sound (Evelyn Glennie and Raymond Antrobus), and In My Mind There Is a Room (Mull Historical Society’s Colin MacIntyre and various writers). Explore events >
  • Back to Ours: The Spiegeltent returns with a new series of late night events! There will be podcast recordings, celebrations of friendship, queer lit and erotic fiction, gigs, a pub quiz where authors go head to head with Fringe performers, and we'll wrap things up with a ceilidh! Explore events >
  • Extraordinary Events: And that’s not all! The adult programme also offers Workshops, Close Reads, First Editions, Think Tanks, (Lunch)Box Fresh, Inside Out, and Global Ink industry days. Explore events >

Tickets go on sale at 10am Thursday 20 June. To streamline your booking process, we suggest logging into the website before 20 June to have your login credentials ready on the day. Visit for full information on how to book tickets for in-person and online events. Meanwhile, browse through the online event list - or download a PDF of the Festival Brochure here - save your top picks, and ready yourself for an incredible summer ahead. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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