Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Photo: edbookfest.co.uk
The Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) is arguably the world’s largest and most dynamic event of its kind. It is held in Edinburgh every August, during the city’s festival season. The book festival coincides with several other events that comprise the Edinburgh Festival.

The inaugural Edinburgh Book Festival was held in 1983. Biennial at first, the festival became an annual event in 1997. What started as a small-scale book festival held in a tent has grown to become a key event in Edinburgh’s annual festival season. Partly thanks to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the capital of Scotland was named the first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004 (one of the criteria that a city needs to meet in order to be approved is hosting literary festivals that promote national and foreign literature).

The Edinburgh International Book Festivals hosts over 700 events for grown-ups and children alike in the course of three weeks. Its program is noted for its diversity and includes, but is not limited to, meetings with authors and other industry professionals, panel discussions, talks, debates, writing workshops, book signings, education events, performances, and more. The festival’s debates and discussions series is one of the main highlights of its program. The highly regarded Children’s Program runs alongside the general program.

Every year the Edinburgh Book Festival welcomes several hundred writers, poets, playwrights, historians, philosophers, scientists, illustrators, comic creators, economists, environmentalists, biographers, musicians, and other guests. Renowned authors who have participated in the festival include Margaret Atwood, Alan Bennet, Sebastian Faulks, Douglas Coupland, Germaine Greer, Alexander McCall Smith, Yann Martell, Val McDermid, Toni Morrison, George Monbiot, Harold Pinter, J. K. Rowling, Ian Rankin, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, and many others.

Festival events take place in a tented village located on Charlotte Square, a garden square in the New Town of Edinburgh. The festival attracts about 220 visitors every year.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a not-for-profit charity organization that raises 80% of it own funds by running an independent bookselling operation. The remaining 20% are provided by corporate sponsors, trusts, patrons, friends and audiences.

The Edinburgh Book Festival is one of the events which are collectively known as the Edinburgh Festival. Together with the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and other events, it forms what is now widely regarded as the world’s biggest and best annual arts festival.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Photo: edbookfest.co.uk




Related Articles