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Edinburgh International Book Festival

  06 Sep '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

… until next year

August is an energising, exhausting month in Edinburgh. Make of that what you will but if you live in Edinburgh or have visited during this time you will know exactly what is meant. The team members at Birlinn have had a week to recover from their festival activities but those ‘de-rigging’ the site of the Edinburgh International Book Festival have not yet had a chance to draw breath. Our sincere thanks to the entire team there who delivered a true festival experience for all who went along to the temporary venue at the Edinburgh University College of Art. The atmosphere was excited, welcoming, warm and open. The discussions were thought provoking in the very best sense. And the bookselling team were just a joy – well-informed, engaging, keen to help.  After 14 years, this was Nick Barley’s last year at the helm of the festival and it was sad to see him leave. His ‘republic of ideas’ has brought us more than 10,000 events over that time and he has been an inspiration to us all – publishers, authors, illustrators, critics and commentators are all grateful to him. We wish him well in the years ahead.

And we welcome Jenny Niven who will be at the helm as the festival moves to a permanent home in the Futures Institute in the Quarter Mile in Edinburgh in 2024. Just as the seasons change, so too does the management of, still, one of the world’s finest book festivals. What will next year bring? We hope for a great deal of joy. This is an exciting time and the festival will be in good hands.

Also in August, we were delighted to welcome a team of Publishing Fellows visiting Edinburgh from France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway and USA. Birlinn hosted a Festival Supper for this international gathering of publishers and editors. Our front doorway was decorated (to the delight of passersby) and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening of Scottish food, whisky, gin and irn bru (not in the same glass!) and much laughter plus good and very helpful discussion about writing styles that work in the various regions around the world. Birlinn and Polygon authors plus our editorial and marketing staff were on hand and Fiona Brownlee, our Rights Director, made sure that the right conversations were enjoyed, building good foundations for our futures.

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