Top tips for the Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the biggest of its kind in Europe and one of the biggest and best in the world. Tickets are much sought after and the Birlinn team are regulars at the box office. Our top tips for this year’s fest …

‘Our’ Authors

Alexander McCall SmithOur very own Alexander McCall Smith. One of the world’s most popular authors, Alexander has no less than three adult events and one for children during this year’s festival. An hour in his company is an hour of infectious laughter and sheer delight. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a master storyteller at work. His adult events are sold out so watch out for any returns.

Tipped as a future star, Michael Pedersen, and actually already a pretty big name with accolades from Stephen Fry and Irvine Welsh no less. Check this out:

‘Michael’s poems are so physical you can almost touch the images in them. Fabulously sensual and alive. I adore poetry like this’ – Stephen Fry, and ‘If you like poetry that is cool, smart, hilarious and quirky and can just suddenly rip your heart out, Michael Pedersen is your man’ – Irvine Welsh. Michael is appearing on Friday 16 August at 8.30pm, exactly the same time as the wonderful travel writer, Gavin Francis who will takes us on a journey with the emperor penguins. I’ll be torn here!

Vic GallowayVic Galloway is appearing twice, once in the main programme and once in the Jura Unbound programme, giving a chat about Songs in the Key of Fife and the extraordinarily beautiful music from the Fence Collective.

Lining up

We shouldn’t just shout about our own authors here (DO take a look at the list of 32 events we have lined up at the festival here). We will also be lining up to see …

The Stripped Mini Comic Fair – brand new to the festival, this weekend long fair bring the best of comic book talent to EIBF on 24 and 25 August.

James RobertsonA new event has just been added to the line up for the EIBF due to the speed at which tickets for James Robertson’s original event sold out. He is now on at 12 noon on 23 August to talk about his new novel The Professor of Truth.

One of our favourite broadcasters, Andrew Marr, and has been off air for months after a stroke. He is back for his first public event on Friday 16 August at 10.00am.

Patrick NessPatrick Ness, the wonderful writer for young adults, has now written a novel for adults, The Crane Wife. He is on this Saturday at 10.15am. Queue up for returns if you can. This one sold out a while ago but it is well worth trying to get in.

Eoin ColferTake the kids to see Eoin Colfer. He is a brilliant entertainer and a great storyteller. His latest novel is WARP and is aimed at 11-14 year olds. But if your kids too young? Try Stars, Wands and Sparkles with Vivian French on Monday 12 August at 3.30pm. A treat for all young Stargirls!

Muriel Spark, 50 Years On is a celebration of the work of the much loved and much missed author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

John Burnside

John Burnside is a personal favourite, both for his poetry and his fiction. This time EIBF have a treat in store with his short stories. Find him on Wednesday 14 August at 10.15am.

Ali Smith is appearing on Sat 17th at noon. What a lunchtime treat! Sandwich in the gardens, and then straight in to enjoy an hour of non-fiction from this remarkable writer.

And, if we are not on our knees, we’ll be regulars at the Jura Unbound programme.


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