Edinburgh's International Book Festival Launches its 40 Years Programme

by Keira Brown
Communications Executive, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

14 Jun 2023

Nearly 600 live events at the Book Festival this August

The Edinburgh International Book Festival celebrates The Joy of Words and it's landmark birthday with a world leading celebration of the written word.

From 12 - 28 August 2023, Edinburgh's premier book festival invites some of the world’s greatest writers, poets, artists and thinkers to bring and create positive discussions to the first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh, whilst also spotlighting a stellar talent of Scottish and Edinburgh-based artists. Leading with a sold-out event with climate activist, Greta Thunberg, in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme is forefronting a Climate Positive conversation, alongside the many other stimulating strands to the festival, which includes Another Scotland.

This year the Book Festival returns to the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) with a programme of nearly 600 live events featuring more than 470 authors, writers and thinkers from 49 countries. Nick Barley, RSL Fellow and Festival Director, will celebrate 40 years of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and his 14th as festival director before taking up a new role in Durham later in the year.

Nick Barley, Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said:

“This year’s Book Festival programme is called The Joy of Words, and it’s been truly a joy to bring it together. My team and I have aimed to build an uplifting festival that is packed with exceptional thinkers from all over the world. At a time of polarised opinion and deep divisions, we hope to rediscover the pleasure of conversation; the satisfaction of spending time with people who can offer positive insights into the world today. This is my fourteenth and final programme for the Book Festival and I’m very excited by the prospect of 18 days in August with such a cornucopia of brilliant writers.”

This year, Edinburgh writers Jenni Fagan, Irvine Welsh, Gavin Francis, Julia Donaldson, Michael Pedersen, Alexander McCall Smith, Vivian French, Camilla Grudova and Ever Dundas will be some of many Scottish authors joining the internationally renowned festival for readings, panel discussions and interviews.

The full programme can be found over on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website.