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Edinburgh International Book Festival

From prize-winners to emerging writers, the Edinburgh International Book Festival returns with an exciting programme celebrating the written word, literature and ideas.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
©Edinburgh International Book Festival
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12th August 2023 - 28th August 2023
Prices vary – see individual events for details.

Now well settled in its new home at The University’s Edinburgh College of Art, this year’s vibrant programme – its 40th anniversary – features over 500 events for adults, children and teens. Over 550 authors, writers, campaigners and politicians from 49 countries will be taking to stages to share stories, ideas and views.

There are indoor and outdoor events, events that are free and some that are late-night.

Featuring leading and emerging international, British and Scottish authors and thinkers, the extensive programme includes discussions, performances and interactive events, as well as the traditional interview-style conversations and readings. And the topics and issues are wide and varied – featuring social, ethical and political as well as literary and cultural.

There is also a highly regarded programme of events for children and young adults featuring the finest writers and illustrators of children’s books and young adult novels.

Continuing the hybrid format of previous years, the programme offers both in-person performances and around 100 which will be available to watch online. 

Highlights of this year’s extensive programme include conversation with literary greats such as Ian McEwan, Ali Smith and Sebastian Faulks. Climate activist Greta Thunberg will be taking to the stage of the Edinburgh Playhouse, while thinkers such as Mikaela Loach, Simon Schama and Fergal Keane will be discussing current affairs.

If you love a good crime story, events with Mark Billingham, Claire Askew or Val McDermid are sure to thrill. Explore a world of dragon fantasy with L R Lam, or travel into the natural world with Katherine May or Raynor Winn.

For young bookworms there’s an exciting choice of events to choose from. Create your own superheroes in an interactive workshop with Sha Nazir and Gary Chudleigh, go on a scribble walking tour with Jill Calder and Justin Davies, or play detective with award-winning author Patrice Lawrence.

A selection of events, both in-person and livestreamed will have live-captioning or a BSL interpreter. View the list of events with captions or a BSL interpreter here.

The 2023 Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from 12 to 28 August 2023. View the full programme and book tickets to performances on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website