Edinburgh International Book Festival

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a book festival that takes place in the last three weeks of August every year in Charlotte Square in the centre of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. Billed as The largest festival of its kind in the world, the festival hosts a concentrated flurry of cultural and political talks and debates, along with its well-established children's events programme.

Charlotte Square during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 2013

It coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as the other events that comprise the Edinburgh Festival.


The first Book Festival took place in a tent in Edinburgh in 1983. Initially a biannual event, it began to be held yearly in 1997. It is now a large and 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.[1]


There are over 700 events for both adults and children in the three weeks that the 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 a 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 is among the world's largest 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 George Street.

Fringe events[edit]

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.[2]

In 2008 there were two separate festivals running 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.[3] The second is the West Port Book Festival, which is centred on second hand book shops in the West Port area of the city. The latter is no longer tied to August and has since been held in June (2010), October (2011) and November (2012). Both fringe festivals provide free events and are seen as a less formal alternative to the main festival.

See also[edit]

Official website[edit]