Two Edinburgh-based programmers selected for Vilnius Congress 2024

by Keira Brown
Communications Executive, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

13 March 2024

Vilnius City of Literature have announced the list of delegates for their Congress in May 2024.

It's a mix of literary professionals from the Creative Cities Network that have been selected for the Congress in Lithuania, including two with Edinburgh connections, working for Push the Boat Out and Edinburgh International Book Festival.

On May 6–10, 2024, Vilnius UNESCO City of Literature is hosting an international congress of literature aimed at presenting the vast and exciting field of Vilnius literature – its writers, organisers of literary events, founders of initiatives, and literary scholars – to an international community of professionals.

During the five-day congress, professionals representing various fields from different countries and cities (including Rachel and Emma) will have the opportunity to participate in literary events and discussions, meet Lithuanian book authors, and establish networks with literary event organisers and publishers.

In 2004, Edinburgh became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and founding city in the Creative City Network. The original concept was devised in Edinburgh by the City of Literature Trust’s founding members, taken to UNESCO and enshrined in their creative city programme. There are now 53 UNESCO Cities of Literature all dedicated to using literature to shape and develop their city, and to develop international projects, and collaborations; Vilnius being one of which. This network has grown to become a great platform for best practice, tips sharing and advocacy.

Emma shares her thoughts on being selected for the Congress below:
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Emma Collins, Push the Boat Out poetry festival

'I'm thrilled to be selected to take part in the International Congress of Literature in Vilnius. The opportunity to participate in nourishing, vibrant discussions and to meet and learn alongside international colleagues is invaluable in ensuring that festivals like Push the Boat Out continue to grow, develop, collaborate and be outward looking.'
Emma Collins has been a leader, consultant and producer in the arts and literature sector for over a decade. Most recently, she was appointed as Director of Push the Boat Out Poetry Festival in August 2023, after joining as Executive Producer in early 2022. From 2013 to 2017 she was the Director of the Village Storytelling Centre and in this role founded the Village Storytelling Festival, remaining the festival’s Creative Director until 2022.
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Rachel Fox

Rachel Fox is the current Children and Schools Programme Director for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, after leaving the Southbank Centre.

Here at Edinburgh City of Literature we are delighted that professionals working in literature across Edinburgh and Scotland have – through our Cities of Literature network – access to programmes like the Vilnius Congress. It’s a fantastic opportunity for professional development. We wish Rachel and Emma safe travels and trust they will discover fresh ideas during their time away.

If you work in literature and would like to find out more about worldwide opportunities through our network read our resource on working internationally.