Edinburgh International Book Festival Announces Communities Programme

As part of its longstanding Communities Programme, Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF), announces  a selection of events that will  take place during August at locations across the country, both live in-person and online.

Underlining this year’s theme of All Together Now, a series of in-person author visits will take place in hospitals, libraries, schools, and prisons, augmenting the Book Festival Village at the Edinburgh College of Art.

With young people having been particularly affected by the Covid pandemic, this year’s EIBF brings together education pioneers to imagine creative, bespoke settings needed to support young people in an event entitled Futureproofing Education.

Aimed at young people and adults alike, Planet Citizen! asks the question ‘What would the planet look like if you designed it?’ Throughout August people of all ages are encouraged to drop in to explore the world they created in a multi-media installation.

Stories and Scran returns for its third year to celebrate the dynamic and thought-provoking work created by local people. Audiences can enjoy an edible treat provided by Scran Academy alongside a diverse showcase of readings, stories, and short films from communities in North Edinburgh and Musselburgh, either in person or from home.

One Day Ticket, another key Citizen event, is a collaborative work for the stage written by Citizen participants with Communities Writer in Residence, Eleanor Thom, that follows a fantasy transport map through Edinburgh, where stories are told and thoughts unfold creating a series of narrative snapshots as seen from a train carriage with an unknown destination.

During the Spring, in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, EIBF Communities team delivered a participatory story-making project that placed five professional authors into community settings in five Scottish Local Authority areas. The stories provide a snapshot of Scotland today from different parts of the country and from different perspectives. Val McDermid will hostScotland’s Stories Now, a very special multi-artform spotlighting these stories from across the nation.

As part of Scotland’s Stories Now EIBF asked people across Scotland to submit their own stories responding to the prompt ‘On This Day.’ What resulted was a portrait of Scotland in the here now, and throughout the Festival different contributors from around the country will be sharing their snapshots of life through the power of words at free daily sessions in the Storytime Yurt.

Not everyone is able to attend EIBF events in person and this year EIBF is working with a range of partners and institutions to bring authors to them. Through the Story Nation programme, EIBF will be delivered to those who otherwise cannot access it, through a weekend of events at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, as well as author visits to six Scottish Prisons, a local high school and the Streetreads Library.

In Aberfeldy, a selection of this year’s EIBF events will be streamed live on the big screen at The Birks Cinema.

Irene Brown

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