Communities at Edinburgh International Book Festival

This year we are hosting several Communities Programme events as part of the August Book Festival, as well as organising several off site visits and screenings. Read on to find out more about how you can get involved.

With Edinburgh International Book Festival starting in just a month, we are looking forward to returning to Edinburgh College of Art for a summer packed with events, performances, interviews and workshops. We will be welcoming authors from all over the world to the Festival, with over 600 events planned, many of which are hybrid and can be watched online for free. There is going to be something for everyone!

Our full programme is now available to browse online, but in this post, we wanted to focus on how the Communities Programme is shaping up over the month of August. As always, we are planning to do a series of events inspired by the themes of our Citizen project, which explore community, place, identity, belonging and what citizenship can look like in today’s world.

Woman with a boy on her lap

Through our Story Nation programme, we are taking the joy of the Book Festival 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, a dedicated place for readers who are experiencing homelessness. The Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy will be screening five of our events for free to their local audiences, as a way of counteracting digital exclusion in rural areas.

We are also delighted to present our Scotland’s Stories Now project each and every day at the Festival, and we are so grateful to EventScotland for funding this project as part of their Year of Stories 2022.

We are really looking forward to welcoming many of our Communities Programme participants from across Scotland to celebrate their creativity with us the Book Festival.

Monday 15 August, 7.30-8.30pm

Stories and Scran

We are delighted to announce the return of Stories and Scran for its third year. The Scran Academy will be catering a meal for our community participants before they take to the stage for a special showcase of the creative and thought-provoking writing they have created over the past year. Event attendees will also get to sample some delicious sweet treats while they enjoy a diverse showcase of readings, poetry and song from communities in North Edinburgh and Musselburgh. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.

Scran Academy team serving food

Tuesday 16 August, 4.30-5.30pm

One Day Ticket

While sitting on a train, bus or tube, have you ever wondered about all of the complicated stories of your fellow passengers’ lives unfolding around you? One Day Ticket takes this idea and elaborates it, creating a series of narrative snapshots as seen from a train carriage with an unknown destination. This collaborative work for the stage is written by Citizen participants with our Communities Writer in Residence, Eleanor Thom. The cast of this collection of poignant and humorous human stories will perform with scripts in hand. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.


Sunday 20 August, 1-2pm

Scotland’s Stories Now

Everyone has a story to tell; through stories we can make sense of our world. Earlier this year writers Andrew O’Hagan, Eleanor Thom, Ryan Van Winkle, Mae Diansangu, Roseanne Watt, Bea Webster and Siân Bevan collaborated with community groups across the country to collect Scotland’s Stories Now. At the Festival, we are sharing the tales, poems, conversations and words from the people who took part, as well as several of the stories submitted to our Open Call, inspired by the prompt ‘On This Day’. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.

Scotland's Stories Now logo

Thursday 25 August, 2-3pm

Futureproofing Education

Following two years of disruption in schools, we’re bringing together education pioneers to imagine the creative, bespoke settings needed to support young people. Our panellists include founder of The Black Curriculum campaign, Lavinya StennettEmma Easton, school manager at The Spartans Alternative School, Ian Midwinter, CEO of Scran Academy, and Alexander Boys, a former member of The Citizen Collective, our writing group for 16-18 year olds. Find out more and book your tickets (pay what you can) here.


Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August, 11am-5pm

Planet Citizen!

What would the planet look like if you designed it? This is the question Ryan Van Winkle, our Schools Writer in Residence, has been exploring with local pupils at St. Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School as part of Citizen. Drop in anytime between 11am at 5pm to explore the world they created in a multi-media installation, or come and join our free 30-minute tours at 11am, 2pm or 4pm. Featuring work from Natalie Doyle, Faith Eliott, Lotte Fisher, Caitlin Hynes, Seamus Killick, Emily Randall and Natasha Russell. Find out more and book your free tickets here.

A cartoon image of a planet with the words Planet Citizen

Every day at 5-5.45pm

Scotland’s Stories Now: On This Day

This year, we asked people across Scotland – of any age, background or ability – to submit their own stories responding to the prompt ‘On This Day’. What resulted was a fascinating portrait of Scotland in the here and now. Throughout the Festival, different contributors from around the country will be sharing their snapshots of life through the power of words. Join us to hear their illuminating stories in a free daily session at 5pm in our Storytime Yurt. Find out more and book your free tickets here.
Year of Stories 2022 logo

We hope you enjoy the Book Festival this year and look forward to welcoming you at Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF, or chatting to you online in the event chat and Q&A sections, if you are planning to join us virtually.


Citizen is our long-term creative programme working in partnership with organisations across Edinburgh and Musselburgh, offering local people a platform to explore identity, connection and place. It is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the PLACE Programme administered by Creative Scotland.

Our Story Nation project aims to bring the spirit of the Book Festival to audiences who, for various reasons, cannot access our physical events. It aims to combat isolation and create rich opportunities for engagement with the written word among vulnerable or unheard communities, enthusing and empowering readers across Scotland.

Scotland’s Stories Now is supported by EventScotland, as part of the Year of Stories 2022.

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