Presented by the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council


The live sessions of Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference (EWWC) have now finished.

The conversation began in August 2012 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival where 50 world renowned writers joined members of the public every afternoon of 17-21 August 2012 to discuss the five topics that almost brought writers to blows during the infamous Writers’ Conference of 1962. The project made its final stop in Melbourne on August 23rd 2013; along the way it visited Berlin, Cape Town, Toronto, Krasnoyarsk, Jaipur, Brazzaville, Izmir, Beijing, Brussels, Port of Spain, St Malo, Lisbon and Kuala Lumpur. This journey saw 281 world class authors representing 61 countries gather together under the umbrella of the EWWC to debate and discuss the five Conference themes: Should Literature be Political?, Style vs Content, A National Literature, Censorship Today and the Future of the Novel. The EWWC project commissioned 41 keynote speeches by world renowned authors, generated some 67 hours of filmed discussions, and spurred many thousands of comments and interactions via social media, giving an unparalleled overview of what literature means to us today.

The fruits of this enquiry are all available to browse on this website. Over the coming months we will be assembling the findings into a forthcoming book, with details to be announced soon.

Read more about the 1962 Writers’ Conference

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature

Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. This permanent, non competitive title was bestowed upon the city in 2004, giving international recognition to Edinburgh and Scotland as a world centre for literature and literary activity.

Our city is built on books, brimming with writers and readers and home to the world’s largest Book Festival. From the appointment of the world’s first professorship of English Literature in 1762 to today’s purpose-built international Storytelling Centre and Scottish Poetry Library on the Royal Mile, we’re home to many fantastic literary institutions, libraries, publishers and bookshops. We have a diverse calendar of year round events and you can find out more about literary Edinburgh at