Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Edinburgh International Book Festival, is a book festival that takes place in the last three weeks of August every year (in the midst of the general Edinburgh Festival) in Charlotte Square, in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. Calling itself the largest festival of its kind in the world, the Book Festival hosts a concentrated flurry of cultural and political talks and debates, along with its well-established children’s events programme. It coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the other festivals which comprise the Edinburgh Festival.


The Book Festival originally took place in a tent in Edinburgh in 1983. At first a biannual event, the Festival became yearly in 1997. It is now a large (ever-growing) international event, central to Edinburgh's acclaimed August arts celebrations. Perhaps as a result of this, Edinburgh was named the first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004.


There are over 700 events for both adults and children in the three weeks that the Book Festival runs. They range from writing workshops, education events, panel discussions, to talks and performances by international writers, poets, musicians and thinkers.
Recent festivals have featured the likes of:

Running alongside the general programme is the Children's programme. Incorporating workshops, storytelling, panel discussions, author events and book signings, the Children's programme is popular with both the public and schools alike and now ranks as the world's premier books and reading event for young people. It regularly attracts authors like Jacqueline Wilson, Joan Lingard, Charlie Higson and Anne Fine.


The Book Festival is held in a set of marquees in Charlotte Square Gardens, Edinburgh, at the West End of Princes Street.

Fringe events

As with all large and successful festivals, the EIBF has sprouted a number of fringe events over the years. In 2004 and 2006 an event called Thirsty Lunch promoted itself as a cheap, non-establishment alternative. In 2008 there are now two separate festivals which run at the same time as the main book festival. The first is the Edinburgh Book Fringe, which holds its events at the Word Power bookshop.. The second is the West Port Book Festival, which is centred around second hand book shops in the West Port area of the city. Both fringe festivals provide free events and are seen as a less formal alternative to the main festival.

See also

Official website



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