Bringing Books To Life

Throughout the year the Edinburgh International Book Festival bring authors, artists, and audiences together to inspire each other, share stories, and bring books to life via our longstanding Communities Programme. This August a selection of events, designed both for, and by those taking part in the programme, will unfold against the backdrop of the Book Festival, as well as at other locations across the country, both live in-person and online. 

Ranging from free event screenings featuring the likes of Brian Cox and Nicola Sturgeon at a rural cinema in Aberfeldy, to a series of in-person author visits to hospitals, libraries, schools, and prisons, these events help underline this year's theme All Together Now, by bringing books to life for people of all ages in their own communities, as well as at our Book Festival Village at the Edinburgh College of Art.

Focus on Young People

Futureproofing Education [Thursday 25 August, 2-3pm]

Following two years of disruption in schools, we’re bringing together education pioneers to imagine the creative, bespoke settings needed to support young people. Our panellists include founder of The Black Curriculum campaign, Lavinya StennettEmma Easton, school manager at The Spartans Alternative School, Ian Midwinter, CEO of Scran Academy, and Alexander Boys, a former member of The Citizen Collective, our writing group for 16-18 year olds. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.


Planet Citizen! [Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August, 11am-5pm]

What would the planet look like if you designed it? This is the question Ryan Van Winkle, our Schools Writer in Residence, has been exploring with local pupils at St. Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School as part of Citizen. Drop in anytime between 11am at 5pm to explore the world they created in a multi-media installation, or come and join our free 30-minute tours at 11am, 2pm or 4pm. Featuring work from Natalie Doyle, Faith Eliott, Lotte Fisher, Caitlin Hynes, Seamus Killick, Emily Randall and Natasha Russell. Find out more and book your free tickets here.

A cartoon image of a planet with the words Planet Citizen

Creative Communities

Stories and Scran [Monday 15 August, 7.30-8.30pm]

We are delighted to announce the return of Stories and Scran for its third year. The Scran Academy will be catering a meal for our community participants before they take to the stage for a special showcase of the creative and thought-provoking writing they have created over the past year. Event attendees will also get to sample some delicious sweet treats while they enjoy a diverse showcase of readings, poetry and song from communities in North Edinburgh and Musselburgh. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.

Scran Academy team serving food

One Day Ticket [Tuesday 16 August, 4.30-5.30pm]

While sitting on a train, bus or tube, have you ever wondered about all of the complicated stories of your fellow passengers’ lives unfolding around you? One Day Ticket takes this idea and elaborates it, creating a series of narrative snapshots as seen from a train carriage with an unknown destination. This collaborative work for the stage is written by Citizen participants with our Communities Writer in Residence, Eleanor Thom. The cast of this collection of poignant and humorous human stories will perform with scripts in hand. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.


Year of Stories

Scotland’s Stories Now [Sunday 20 August, 1-2pm]

Everyone has a story to tell; through stories we can make sense of our world. Earlier this year writers Andrew O’Hagan, Eleanor Thom, Ryan Van Winkle, Mae Diansangu, Roseanne Watt, Bea Webster and Siân Bevan collaborated with community groups across the country to collect Scotland’s Stories Now. At the Festival, we are sharing the tales, poems, conversations and words from the people who took part, as well as several of the stories submitted to our Open Call, inspired by the prompt ‘On This Day’. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.

Scotland's Stories Now logo

Out and About

Not everyone is able to attend Book Festival events in person and this year we are working with a range of partners and institutions to bring authors to them. Through the Story Nation programme, the joy of the Book Festival will be delivered to those who otherwise cannot access it, through a weekend of events at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, as well as author visits to six Scottish Prisons, a local high school and the Streetreads Library, a dedicated place for readers who are experiencing homelessness. Gabriel Krauze will hold an event at HMP Edinburgh, while Cressida Cowell, Alex Wheatle, and a performance of There’s a Tiger in the Garden will do the rounds at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People. Alex Wheatle will also visit to Craigroyston Community High School and Ryan O’Connor will attend Streetreads Library.

In Aberfeldy a selection of this year’s events will be streamed live on the big screen at The Birks Cinema. Free of charge, these will include events with Alexander McCall-Smith and Serhii Plokhy on Wednesday 17 August, Alan Cumming on Monday 22 August, Ian Rankin on Tuesday 23 August, and Brian Cox in conversation with Nicola Sturgeon on the final night of the Festival, Monday 29 August. 

With the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Communities Programme has expanded its activities to take the essence of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the road around Scotland.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from 13 to 29 August and you can browse the online programme HERE or download a Festival Brochure PDF.

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