Saturday, 10 August 2013

Edinburgh International Book Fest

Edinburgh's Festival season continues to pick up pace, with Edinburgh International Festival opening yesterday and Edinburgh International Book Festival kicking off today. I've already been to a number of Fringe and Art Festival events (keep an eye on my Twitter feed for 140 character reviews) and am looking forward to having two more festivals - each with a different focus - added to the mix. Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest celebration of the written word in the world, with over 750 writers and thinkers from all over the world coming to Edinburgh to share their work through talks, readings, workshops and more. While talks and readings occur in a host of venues, the Book Fest's hub is in Charlotte Square Gardens. Free to attend and open to everyone, the Festival's hub features two bookshops (one for grown-ups and one for children), a cafe, workshops, readings and more. It goes without saying that if you're in Edinburgh at the moment you should take the opportunity to spend a few hours there and soak up whatever's going on, but there are some other highlights from the festival below worth checking out too:

Stripped Book Fest
10 - 26 August, various locations
Stripped is a festival within the festival, focussing on comic books and graphic novels. With a striking identity and a massive programme full of talks, readings, workshops and other events, I've listed some highlights below but it's well worth taking some time on the website and finding a few highlights of your own too.

Alice Rawsthorn: Designing a Better World
8.30 - 9.30pm on Sunday 11 August, ScottishPower Studio Theatre
Design journalist Alice Rawsthorn has recently published Hello World, exploring industrial design's massive impact on all things around us and highlighting design's ability to create change and improve the world. Info and tickets here. I CAN'T WAIT.

Chris Ware: A Graphic Novel in a Box
8.30 - 9.30pm on Monday 13 August, ScottishPower Studio Theatre
Chris Ware's Building Stories is a remarkable project: a massive box 10 years in the making, full of various graphic novels, prints and booklets of different sizes. It's been described as ‘a graphic novel on the scale of James Joyce’s Ulysses’, and this talk is a flagship event part of the Stripped Book Fest.

Jura Unbound
9 - 11pm, 11 - 26 August, The Guardian Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square Gardens
Another strand within the Book Fest programme, Jura Unbound is a series of free evening events in the Guardian Spiegeltent. Promising literary experiences which are 'playful, with a splash of colour' AND a free dram of Jura whisky for everyone, every night, I'll definitely be making my way to the Guardian Spiegeltent at some stage. A particular highlight in the Jura Unbound programme is the comic-themed edition of Literary Death Match on Friday 23 August. Maybe see you there?

Stripped Mini Comic Fair
11am - 6pm on 24 & 25 August, 5 Charlotte Square
As part of the Stripped strand of programming in the Book Fest, Stripped Mini Comic Fair is a free-to-attend fair featuring work for sale from a wide range of Scottish independent comic and graphic novel creators.

Image via Stripped