About Us

Trio of images. One stage, in the courtyard, and team member at Edinburgh International Book Festival

We are Edinburgh International Book Festival: the world-leading festival of words, literature, and ideas.

Since 1983, we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to engage with the world’s greatest and emerging writers, thinkers, artists, and performers. Each year, we programme innovative events that capture the hearts and minds of audiences, both in Edinburgh and online. These take the form of on-stage conversations, workshops, creative masterclasses, think tanks, and more, all informed by a culture of open dialogue.

Mother and child smiling, Dr Ranj on stage, the Gruffalo at the Book Festival

The Book Festival is run by a passionate team who believe in the power of words and ideas to ignite imaginations, foster human connection, and challenge the status quo. Our Festival aims not just to open up conversations, but to broaden them too: existing as a space where nuanced discussion happens, and ideas can settle.

At the heart of our Festival is a commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. We give a platform to voices who are often overlooked and aim to break down barriers to access for those who might not typically see themselves as a book festival audience. More than just a summer festival, we work year-round with partners in the local community – with schools, libraries, prisons, hospitals, and other community hubs – with the aim of fostering a lifelong love of reading and developing engaged, knowledgeable audiences of all backgrounds and ages. The Festival also streams hundreds of events online via a Pay What You Can model, offering audiences who cannot attend in person the opportunity to take part.

Older person listening to poetry, Scran Academy, sculpture from Planet Citizen project

Over the last forty years, we have adapted and evolved the Book Festival, transforming our model to reflect our constantly changing world. 2024 is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Book Festival under the leadership of our new director, Jenny Niven. We also move to our new home at the Edinburgh Futures Institute – we can’t wait to see you there.

The Book Festival is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation, meaning we rely greatly on the support of individuals and sponsors to continue delivering world-class events. We are founding member of Festivals Edinburgh.