Edinburgh to host World Writers’ Conference

Edinburgh to host World Writers’ Conference

Exciting plans have been unveiled for a world conference that will bring together leading Scottish and international writers, right here at the Book Festival in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference 2012-13 will feature a host of writers who, over a five day series of events, will explore a range of topics through which writers and writing can help to make sense of the world. It will build the most complete picture of writing and its relationship to modern life ever attempted. We hope that, more than ever before, leading writers from diverse languages and cultures will be given a powerful international voice to debate the issues that matter most to them.

Our idea to host a writers’ conference was inspired by a similar gathering that took place in Edinburgh fifty years ago, and was so influential it helped to trigger the proliferation of literary festivals that we know today. In the 1962 conference authors such as Norman Mailer, Rosamond Lehmann and William S Burroughs debated the world of writing with such passion that, legend has it, several authors almost came to blows.

The themes for this year’s conference will revisit those discussed back in 1962 and each event will begin with a keynote address by a leading author, followed by an open debate with conference delegates and members of the public. In an exciting contemporary twist the 2012 events at Edinburgh International Book Festival will be simultaneously broadcast across the planet via live online streaming and viewers will be able to submit questions and comments to the debate via social media channels, making the conference a truly global discussion.

Once it leaves us in Edinburgh, there will be conference gatherings across the world in countries including India, Germany, Australia, Canada, Egypt and China. Highlights from the global discussion will be published as a book in what, it is hoped, will be the most complete picture of writing ever attempted.

The Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference is the result of an exciting new programming partnership between the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council, and is supported by The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

The first conference events will take place in Charlotte Square Gardens during the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. Full details of the event topics and participants will be available here on the website when the programme is launched to the public on 21 June.

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