Edinburgh Book Festival welcomes word-lovers

Edinburgh Book Festival. Shows people in a park enjoying the literary festivalThis year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival is on from 10th-25th August 2024, celebrating the joy of words with more than 550 world-class luminaries from 50 countries contributing to over 500 events.

This year’s theme is Future Tense as the Festival relocates Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) under the Directorship of Jenny Niven. “FUTURE TENSE comprises six sub-themes, each exploring an aspect of how we can, or should, change our individual and collective futures.”

Located just off The Meadows in the leafy heart of the city, the Festival’s new home is a stone’s throw from key Fringe venues at George Square and the home of the Edinburgh International Festival at the Hub.

Key themes include:

A Toast to the Future, with an opening gala event of readings presenting “a kaleidoscope of perspectives and provocations, from the hopeful to the momentous, as we ask a diverse line-up of stellar writers to explore the idea of The Future in 7 minutes each. Participants include experimental author Martin MacInnes; form-bending writer Irenosen Okojie; speculative novelist Naomi Alderman; and award-winning poet and performer Joelle Taylor.

Future Library, a project described as a meditation on time, and the imagination, which has commissioned renowned authors, including Margaret Atwood, to create works which are placed inside the Future Library in Oslo, remaining unread until 2114. Literary superstar Margaret Atwood contributed the first book to this visionary project, Atwood will join the event via livestream to explore how we can engender a better future. There will also be hands-on workshops, and the announcement of the 2025 Future Library contributor.

Generations, which offers perspectives on how we can become ‘good ancestors’, from Roman Krznaric and Ella Saltmarshe, and on how our political systems can be adapted to consider more deeply our impact on the generations after us (led by Wales’ first Commissioner for Future Generations, Sophie Howe). There will also be a series of intergenerational conversations between writers who share common ground, including  poets Roger McGough and Hollie McNish.

Discover all the themes in detail here.

Our programme Future Tense speaks to the complexity of the moment we’re in, but hopefully also brings some optimism – the world is full of brilliant, insightful people working in so many imaginative ways. We’re excited to showcase some of that incredible thinking and writing – and the ways people are working together to solve problems and keep learning,” says Jenny Niven, Director at Edinburgh International Book Festival. “It’s been an honour to engage with authors, publicists, poets, performers, artists and audience members since I took on this role, and all of these conversations have informed what you will find on site this summer.”

Find full details of the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme.

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) iCloud (dot) com.