Margie Orford: Some thoughts in response to the EWWC in Cape Town

On censorship… Censorship is a recent and painful memory for South Africans. In an event organized for the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiabo, several of the writers invited to read in his honour had been imprisoned for writing things the state did not like and seen their works banned. [...]

Nick Barley on EWWC Cape Town, A National Literature?

In relation to the question of a ‘national literature’, I can’t help wanting to borrow and bastardise a quote by Pablo Picasso: ‘Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth’. After the Writers’ Conference event in Cape Town on 21st September 2012, the subject of nationality and national [...]

Nick Barley (Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival) on EWWC Cape Town, Censorship Today

Blog from Cape Town Table Mountain, such a powerful presence in Cape Town’s city centre on a clear day, is completely shrouded in cloud this morning. The noise drifting through the 11th floor hotel window is of car tyres splashing over wet tarmac. Beneath the dark skies and the brooding [...]

Sophie Cooke on the EWWC in Berlin

Saturday: discussion between Georg Klein, Tim Parks and myself Main theme: ‘Big Time’ Georg Klein’s keynote speech asked us to see the novel as a means of stepping away from the ever-faster whirring present. A magic rabbit-hole (or should that be wormhole?) down which we can plunge, and find ourselves [...]

Greg Baxter’s take on The Future of the Novel – EWWC Berlin

The Future of the Novel: Some Tendencies to Watch This is just a brief and incomplete note to follow up two discussions on the future of the novel that took place here in Berlin, as part of the Edinburgh World Writers Conference. I attended the first, and took part, more [...]

EWWC Berlin Digest

Catch up with the surrounding conversations from the Berlin Conference leg on Storify here: http://storify.com/EdWritersConf/berlin-day-2-edinburgh-world-writers-conference http://storify.com/EdWritersConf/georg-klein-tim-parks-and-sophie-cooke-discuss-the

Tim Parks blogs on The Future of the Novel

The future direction of the novel will be largely dependent on two aspects of fiction-writing that are presently extremely unstable. The most important is the relationship between the writer and the community he writes toward. Until some twenty or thirty years ago, most novel writers would have thought of their [...]

In the media: Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference

The Edinburgh World Writers` Conference has provoked a strong reaction, online and in the press. We’ve gathered links to some of the coverage here – please feel free to add to these in the comments! In preparation for the conference, the Guardian wrote an article on the 1962 conference, giving [...]

Writers issue statement of principle and intent

During the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference in August 2012, a number of participating writers met in a closed session to discuss aspects of the publishing industry and the influences on literature and writers of recent market changes, not least as to ebooks and the internet. It was agreed to develop [...]

Kirsty Gunn: conference postscript

Now that a week or so has passed since that extraordinary five day event that was the Edinburgh International Writers Conference 2012 I am starting to understand the real benefits and stimulus that come from bringing a group of disparate writers together and waiting to see what will happen. During [...]

Janne Teller: conference postscript

Inspired, provoked, enthused, enlightened, in between saddened and angered, mostly uplifted and exhilarated - eventually thoroughly exhausted: the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference was a whirlwind of choice, a magic flying carpet taking me in a million directions at once, suggesting myriad paths of thought that couldn’t all be followed in the [...]

Writers condemn Arizona school literature law

Following the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference session on “Censorship Today”, Ben Okri delivered the following statement on behalf of the participating writers:   We, the undersigned writers attending the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference have learned, to our dismay, that the state of Arizona has passed House Bill 2281, which among [...]

Kirsty Gunn, EWWC Edinburgh Day 5

It’s hard to sum up the voices of a discussion, to reflect the texture of an argument that has been sometimes robust and clear and at other times inchoate and pained. Elif Shafak, in her opening remarks at this Conference, gave us the metaphor of the orchestra – that we [...]

Q&A with Janne Teller

Q: You’ll be chairing the debate at the Edinburgh World Writers Conference on the future of the novel. What do you think novels will look like in 50 years time? A: I think the novel will still exist both in the format of the printed book and as e-books, and probably [...]

John Burnside – EWWC Edinburgh, Day 4

Patrick Ness Slams Bad Sex Awards Day Four of the Writer’s Conference brought the debate on censorship, the proceedings of which I painstakingly recorded in my notebook – which I then lost somewhere between Charlotte Square and my hotel. Censorship by circumstance, perhaps, (it’s cheap and tatty with loud stripes [...]

Q & A with Chika Unigwe

Q: With the issue of freedom of speech, do you think the right to offend takes precedence over the right not to be offended? A: As a black African living in a predominantly white society in a country where the N word is still used even in some polite company [...]

Kamila Shamsie – EWWC Edinburgh, Day 3

We are writers, not physicists but even so we all know that there is such a thing as ‘Conference Time’ which moves differently to Time.  48 hours in Conference Time is either an eternity or lifelong.  If you’re bored or isolated it’s an eternity.  If you’re making new friends or [...]

Q & A with Ian Rankin

Q: You will be chairing the debate on national literature. What do you think will be the main themes from this and are you expecting a similarly eventful debate as that between Hugh MacDiarmid and Alexander Trocchi in 1962? A: Scottish politics being what they are at the present time, [...]