Edinburgh International Book Festival announces 2023 programme

Edinburgh International Book Festival, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, welcomes over 470 authors, writers and thinkers from 49 countries to celebrate “the joy of words”, The List reports.

Running from Saturday 12 – Monday 28 August at Edinburgh College of Art, rising stars and famous authors alike feature on this year’s programme which consists of nearly 600 live events, of which more than 100 will be live streamed on a pay-what-you-can basis.

According to the outlet, highlights from this year’s programme include a cycling excursion around Edinburgh with endurance cyclist Emily Chappell, globally renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg hosting a sold out talk in Edinburgh Playhouse, and comedian Sara Pascoe discussing her debut novel Weirdo. Also attending is Judy Murray who is delving into fiction with her first novel The Wild Card, comedian Rob Delaney discussing his heart-wrenching memoir on the loss of his son Henry, and activist Munroe Bergdorf in conversation with broadcaster Gemma Cairney.

There is also a fantastic line-up of Scotland-based talent on the bill, including Irvine Welsh, Jenny Colgan, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre and Alexander McCall Smith. Joining them are leading British authors such as Deborah Levy, Sebastian Faulks and Katherine Rundell, as well as Booker Prize winners Shehan Karunatilaka, Eleanor Catton, Ian McEwan and James Kelman.

Many past and present politicians will make an appearance at the festival. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Wes Streeting, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale will discuss options for this country’s future and continuing the tradition of the Scottish Leader conducting an interview – First Minister Humza Yousaf will interview Hashi Mohamed. Mohamed arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee from Kenya and is now one of Britain’s leading housing barristers.

This year’s particularly strong children’s strand boasts animated courtyard performances and engaging events with authors like How To Train Your Dragon’s Cressida Cowell, The Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson and Children’s laureate Joseph Coelho. Award winning author and illustrator Rob Biddulph is also set to visit children on the wards of The Royal Hospital For Children And Young People alongside leading interactive drawing workshops with kids ages 7–10.

Festival Director Nick Barley, who will be stepping down after overseeing 13 festivals, says: ‘My team and I have aimed to build an uplifting festival that is packed with exceptional thinkers from all over the world. At a time of polarised opinion and deep divisions, we hope to rediscover the pleasure of conversation; the satisfaction of spending time with people who can offer positive insights into the world today.’


Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date