The fifty-strong line-up of authors taking part in the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference has been revealed and it’s a stellar list of local and international names from the world of literature.

Starting on Friday 17 August, and spanning five events over five days, the conference will see the fifty writers join members of the public to debate and discuss the importance of writing in society today.

Starting the conference on Friday 17 August, eminent Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif will ask Should Literature Be Political? in an event chaired by the leading Turkish author, Elif Shafak. On Saturday 18 August acclaimed Scottish author Ali Smith will address the issue of Style vs Content with award-winning American writer Nathan Englander. Sunday 19 August sees Scotland’s own Irvine Welsh discuss whether there should be A National Literature with festival favourite Ian Rankin, whilst on Monday 20 August Carnegie Medal-winner Patrick Ness will tackle the topic of Censorship Today moderated by Belgian-Nigerian author Chika Unigwe. Closing the conference on Tuesday 21 August, science fiction and fantasy writer China Miéville will explore The Future of the Novel in an event chaired by Denmark’s Janne Teller.

Taking part in the discussions each day will be 50 internationally renowned authors including Dag Solstad from Norway, José Rodrigues dos Santos from Portugal, and Russia’s Andrei Astvatsaturov plus a host of leading British writers such as Ben Okri, John Burnside and Jackie Kay. The debate will also be opened up to the wider audience with ticket buyers to events being invited to join in and have their say within the RBS Main Theatre and online at

After the five events in Charlotte Square Gardens the conference, which is an ambitious programming partnership between the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council, will embark on a tour of major world cities, returning to Edinburgh in August 2013.

Each of the 2012 Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference events this August run from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. If you’d like to be in the audience for one of these groundbreaking discussions tickets, priced at £10 (£8 concessions), are available online or through the Book Festival Box Office on 0845 373 5888. Each event will also be broadcast live on-line on

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