Book Festival's Schools program returns live in-person

Book - Childrens Programme

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced the line-up for the 2022 Baillie Gifford Schools Programme, which takes place for free from Monday 22 – Tuesday 30 August and available afterwards on-demand. This year, all authors in the programme are live on stage in Edinburgh in our state-of-the-art studios and all events are livestreamed, available to watch live in-person, online and on-demand. 

And thanks to Lead Sponsor Baillie Gifford, every pupil attending the Festival in-person will receive a free title related to the event they come and see, while schools watching online can enter our competition to win a book bundle for their school library. 

Events for Secondary Schools 

  • Award-winning author and Amnesty ambassador Sita Brahmachari and Natalie Sirett present an immersive multi-media presentation exploring the creation of poignant coming-of-age novel When Shadows Fall (S2-S5).
  • New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds introduces his heartfelt urban coming-of-age novel, When I Was the Greatest as he’s joined on stage by award-winning writer Patrice Lawrence whose latest teen drama Needle sheds a light on the criminal justice system for young people (S2 – S5).
  • International poetry sensation Nikita Gill presents her essential and empowering YA collection These Are the Words as she shares hard-won wisdom and advice for secondary school pupils (S1 – S6). 
  • Also tackling some tough topics, Dean Atta (named one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday) jumps headfirst into his must-read queer love story, Only on the Weekends at an event tackling themes of gender, identity, race, sexuality and growing up (S1 – S6)
  • And award-winning podcaster and author Alexis Caught talks about his debut book Queer Up: An Uplifting Guide to LGBTQ+ Love, Life and Mental Health at an event perfect for young people who are queer or questioning – and their allies looking to better support them (S3 – S6).
  • Secondary schools can also look forward to special events featuring shortlisted authors of the YA Book Prize 2022, taking place on 25 and 26 August in-person and live online. 

Baillie Gifford Gala Day - Events for Primary Schools 

  • Baillie Gifford Gala Day – exclusive to primary schools – returns on Tuesday 30 August for a day full of festival fun.
  • Alongside seven 45-minute events hosted by a range of novelists, writers and illustrators, onsite excitement this year includes festival team members, as well as pupils, dressed as their favourite animal; a chance to get up close and personal with some real-life critters and creepy crawlies; protest placard making sessions using recycled materials; and an Eco Marketplace where schools and pupils can chat to organisations fighting to protect our planet and find out how they can help.
  • Pupils attending in-person can also look forward to receiving a free book which they can get signed and a free goody bag to take home.
  • Authors taking part in Baillie Gifford Gala Day include: Polly Ho-Yen; Serena Patel; Kelpies Prize-winner Lindsay Littleson; journalist and presenter Nick Sheridan; David C Flanagan; author and climate campaigner Georgina Stevens; and editors of the Beano comic, Craig Graham and Mike Stirling. 

Schools can book free tickets to in-person events from 3 May until 14 June using the booking form found on the Book Festival's Learning Site. There’s no deadline for booking to watch events online – schools can book to watch events on our website from 8 June right up until the event starts or catch up on our learning site following the livestream.  

Every weekday morning from Monday 22 to Monday 29 August pupils can enjoy a series of 45-minute events covering a diverse and dynamic range of topics; from super-secret missions for P3-P5 classes led by Blue Peter Award-winning author Pamela Butchart, an inclusive multi-sensory event for those with learning disabilities, to an event exploring class, the justice system and… knitting from two megastars of Young Adult literature for secondary school pupils, there is something for all ages.  

Explore the full line-up, including how to take part, and take advantage of the special bookshop discount and offers in the 2022 Baillie Gifford Schools Programme.

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