The Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 launched last night under the tagline ‘We Need New Stories’. Acknowledging that we are facing testing times in society, director, Nick Barley, wants to encourage people to become creative with their storytelling, push boundaries and challenge each other. All of this has inspired a diverse programme of events which hopes to attract diverse audiences.

Themes this year range from The Fragile Planet and The World on a Plate to the exciting coming together of a long term project looking at what it is to be a citizen, both of the world and of Edinburgh. Titled, We Are All Citizens, audiences will be invited to join in conversations about what it is to be a citizen today and a celebration of the programme will be part of the popular ‘pay what you can’ scheme to encourage those who may otherwise not be able to afford an evening at the book festival to come along.

Alongside community events such as these there will be familiar faces such as Val McDermid, who presents her own series of events, Home/Less, Ian Rankin and Jackie Kay talking about the National Theatre of Scotland production of her memoir, Red Dust Road, which will appear this year as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. There is also a whole host of big names from Prue Leith to Eddie Izzard, Ruth Davidson to Doddie Weir who will be sure to keep the masses happy.

The book festival is a veritable treasure trove of delights often usurped by the other festivals going on in the city in August, but with a full children’s programme alongside the exciting adult programme there really is something for everyone down in Charlotte Square Gardens this summer.

The festival will run from 10 – 26 August 2019