All Events

There are events for just about every age and interest at the Book Festival, bringing readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion. Around 1000 authors appear in over 800 events, including novelists, poets, scientists, sportsmen, illustrators, comics creators, historians, musicians, biographers, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and many more besides.


Bashabi Fraser & Alan Riach

From Scotland to India

Wednesday 23 August 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Born in West Bengal, Edinburgh-based Bashabi Fraser’s poetry reflects an ease at living in two cultures; for fellow poet and academic Alan Riach, the new convener of the Saltire Society, such openness and connectivity is a key part of Scottish...

Nothing But the Poem on Douglas Dunn

Reading Workshop

Wednesday 23 August 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Douglas Dunn’s powerful works, including collections like Terry Street and Elegies, are well loved. His poems also evolve in style over time. Join this relaxed reading group discussion with Lilias Fraser, from the Scottish Poetry Library, to sample...

Become a Storyteller with Pam Wardell

Age 3-6

Wednesday 23 August 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Bring a picture book to life with interactive storyteller Pam Wardell. Use your voice plus the costumes, props and musical instruments that you might find in a theatre, and join in the drama of some cracking tales. Tickets admit 1 child and 1...

Jamie Bartlett & Steve Richards

Inside Stories of Outsiders

Wednesday 23 August 2:00pm - 3:00pm

As top social media analyst for Demos, it’s Jamie Bartlett’s job to guess future trends and, in Radicals, he argues that lots more of us are going to be lured by oddball idealists, extremists and groups rejecting mainstream ideas. Politically, says...

Josie Billington & Rick Rylance

Why Reading is Good for You

Wednesday 23 August 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Engineering and maths are hard. Humanities are soft. Science is useful. Literature is, at best, an optional extra; at worst, frivolous and wasteful. So say many. But two British researchers who have studied the benefits of literature over more than five...

Thomas Enger & James Oswald

Past Crimes Haunt the Present

Wednesday 23 August 2:15pm - 3:15pm

The latest instalments from two celebrated kings of crime have their protagonists digging up the past and delving into their cities' dark hearts. In Cursed, Thomas Enger’s veteran crime reporter Henning Juul finds the professional clashing with the...

Oliver Emanuel & Rory MacLean with Gerard DeGroot

History, Truth and the Spaces Inbetween

Wednesday 23 August 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Good history can be mistaken for its faithfulness to the facts but purely factual history is often deadly dull and incomplete. The assumption is that facts are the opposite of lies, yet it's much more complicated. Join history professor Gerard DeGroot...

Story Shop

Wednesday 23 August 3:00pm - 3:30pm

Immerse yourself in short stories at Story Shop, hosted by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Hear up-and-coming writers living and working in Edinburgh today. Check or our website in July for the line-up.

An Introduction to Palaeography

Games of Horrible Handwriting

Wednesday 23 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Get tips from Rachel Hosker, an archivist from the University of Edinburgh, on the study of ancient handwriting. Practice reading spidery old text from some of the UK's most intriguing documents in the University's collection of treasures. Fun teasers...

Colourful Collage with Bronwyn Houston

Age 3-6

Wednesday 23 August 3:15pm - 4:15pm

Australian author and illustrator Bronwyn Houston uses texture, patterns and collage to bring to life animals, stories and the prehistoric past of Australia in her books. Get the chance to experiment with a range of materials to make your own collage as...