What is the point of books? Join the national conversation

Michael Rosen launches a national debate for writers, readers and book professionals at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next week.

Writers’ Centre Norwich launches the National Conversation this August; an ambitious run of events raising some of the most pressing questions facing writers, readers and the literature sector today.

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen will start the conversation on Monday 25th August, 8.30pm at the Edinburgh International Book Festival by asking What Is The Point Of Books? He’ll explain why books are intrinsic to our survival as human beings and will argue why, for a nation to thrive, it is essential that literacy and reading be placed at the heart of our society.  Rosen will be joined by Denise Mina and Jamie Jauncey, with Ellah Wakatame Allfrey as Chair.

Instead of trying to offer answers, the National Conversation asks a series of questions at national literature festivals; engaging some of our best writers and thinkers in debating how we can retain a vibrant reading and writing culture in a rapidly changing world.

On the National Conversation, Chris Gribble of Writers’ Centre Norwich says:'We and our partners wanted to debate some of the many challenges facing the book world, challenges caused by changing technologies, out-of-date business models, a decline in bookshops, falling advances, the squeeze on the mid-list and much more.

Part one of the National Conversation will continue with Will Self at Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday October 4th and Ali Smith at the Southbank Centre on Wednesday 03rd December. All events will be documented online in a variety of formats, and discussion is encouraged via www.nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk.

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