Commissioned Writing

Over the years, the Book Festival has commissioned leading authors from across the world to write a range of new short stories, poems and essays related to topical themes.

In 2018, we invited 51 authors to contribute to The Freedom Papers - a series of essays exploring ideas about freedom. First published in a 160-page supplement to Gutter 18 which became the highest selling title across the Book Festival's bookshops in August 2018, the essays are available to read below.

You can also explore our earlier series of 50 vivid, moving and entertaining takes on the theme of Elsewhere including contributions from Michel Faber, Yiyun Li, David Vann, Michael Morpurgo, A L Kennedy, Alasdair Gray, David Almond and William McIlvanney.