The Edinburgh World Writers Conference began in Edinburgh in August 2012 and will return to Edinburgh for its final sessions in August 2013. Along the way Conference events will be held in 14 countries around the world: Germany, South Africa, Canada, Russia, Egypt, India, China, Turkey, Belgium, Trinidad, Portugal, France, Malaysia and Australia. Have a look at the events which have been held already – and those upcoming – below.
The next EWWC events will take place in Portugal on 25 May.
Edinburgh International Book Festival
17-21 August 2012
The first events of the Conference took place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, bringing some of the best of British and international writing talent together to discuss how writing and the imagination impact on our lives. Keynote addresses were given by Ahdaf Soueif, Ali Smith, Irvine Welsh, Patrick Ness and China Miéville. Browse videos of the events here.
Berlin International Literature Festival
4-16 September 2012
German author Georg Klein was joined by Sophie Cooke and Tim Parks at the Berlin leg of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference on Saturday 15 September 2012 at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Georg Klein presented his keynote text on ‘The Future of the Novel’ and the three authors took part in a discussion in front of a live audience at the International Literature Festival Berlin (ilb). On Sunday 16 September, the authors continued their discussion as part of a smaller group of authors and journalists at the British Council, Berlin, Alexanderplatz. The sessions were streamed live on both www.bcstream.de and on this website. Browse what was said at the German sessions here.
Open Book Cape Town
20-24 September 2012
At the Cape Town Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, 20 and 21 September 2012, South African writers Antjie Krog and Njabulo Ndebele addressed ‘Should Literature be Political?’, UK based writer Anjali Joseph ‘A National Literature’ and Scottish writer Keith Gray, ‘Censorship Today’. The sessions took place in front of a live audience at Open Book Cape Town. Browse what was said at the South African session here.
International Festival of Authors
18-28 October 2012
The Canadian segment of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference featured five events from 24 – 28 October, highlighted by a two keynote address evening with Miriam Toews speaking on “A National Literature” and China Miéville on “The Future of the Novel.” Four other events including three round tables with a total of 12 authors were presented, entitled variously: “Basic Instinct: Style vs.Content”, featuring Marjorie Celona, Rebecca Lee and Anakana Schofield; “Zombies, Witches, Killers and Cowboys: The Present and Future of the Novel” with Deborah Harkness, Alen Mattich, Jo Nesbø and Corey Redekop; and “A National Literature?” featuring Liam Card, A. L. Kennedy, Beatrice MacNeil, Kristel Thornell and Irvine Welsh.
A grand finale reading/interview with Chan Koonchung on “Censorship Today” took place on Sunday afternoon, 28 October. All events are open to the public and are held at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. Complete information including author bios can be found at readings.org
Browse all the videos and blogs from the Canadian EWWC sessions here.
Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair
31 October – 3 November 2012
The Russian leg of the Edinburgh World Writer’s Conference was in Siberia, where UK and Russian authors tackled three of the conference themes over three days at the Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair. To kick things off Melvin Burgess discussed with fellow author Andrei Astvatsaturov UK and Russian perspectiveson the universal question ‘Should Literature be Political’? Day 2 explored ‘The Future of the Novel’ with keynotes from UK writer Tibor Fischer and the Russian author and critic Konstantin Milchin. On the third and final day Theresa Breslin brought the Scottish view to the question of ‘A National Literature?’ drawing comparison and contrast with a country the size of Russsia, represented by Kirill Kobrin.
All sessions were moderated by Russian writers and critics: Irina Prokhorova, Ilya Boyashev, and Linor Goralik. Keynote speeches led into a panel discussion with the moderator and other EWWC participating authors, and a Q&A with the professional and public audience at the Fair. All the sessions were streamed live; you can browse the Russian EWWC discussions here.
University of Cairo, Diwan Bookstore and General Egyptian Book Organisation
Please note: We regret to announce that the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference Cairo, originally postponed from December 8th – 9th 2012, will not be rescheduled.
We will publish the keynote speeches by Sahar El Mougy and Tamim al-Barghouti on the EWWC website, where comments and responses will be welcomed. In the absence of a live event, we would like to remind all interested in the project, particularly its followers in Egypt and in the wider Arab world, that you are warmly invited to continue to follow the Conference and join in on the discussion boards at www.
Previous Information posted on the event:
The fifth international event of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference comes to Cairo, bringing some vital voices to the global EWWC debate. We will be asking big questions and building on the themes first raised back in August at the original EWWC event in Edinburgh.
In the late afternoon on 8 December Egyptian poet and political commentator Tamim al Barghouti will ask the question ‘Should Literature be Political?’ with a response from Scottish poet Aonghas MacNeacail. Earlier that day writer and translator Sahar el Mougy will look at ‘The Future of the Novel’, addressing an Egyptian and international audience to contemplate where literature is headed. British novelist Maggie Gee will respond.
The above events will take place on the 8 December at the Civil Education Centre, El Borg Street, El Gezirah, in partnership with Diwan Bookstore, the General Egyptian Book Organisation and the University of Cairo. A related series of events – Literary Cafés with the UK writers and a Translation Slam – will take place from 1:30pm – 5:30pm on the 7 December at the British Council offices in Agouza, Cairo. All events will have simultaneous interpretation in English and Arabic. All events are free. Please turn up fifteen minutes before the advertised start time.
Jaipur Literature Festival
24-28 January 2013
Ahdaf Soueif, Tahar ben Jelloun, Basharat Peer and John Burnside took part in panel discussions with other international writers on the EWWC conference themes of ‘A National Literature?’ and ‘Censorship Today’ at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest literary festival in the Asia-Pacific region.
The above events took place on Saturday 26 & Monday 28 January, at the Jaipur Literature Festival at the Diggi Palace, Jaipur. Read Basharat Peer’s keynote on Censorship Today here.
Yaşar University, Izmir
27-28 February 2013
On the afternoon of 27 February, the conference topic ‘A National Literature’ was discussed at Yaşar University, İzmir with a Keynote speech given by Turkey author Sema Kaygusuz and a response given by UK author Panos Karnezis. On 28 Feburary, ‘The Future of the Novel’ Keynote was given by Inci Aral, and a response given by Scotland author Denise Mina. This discussion was followed by a reception. Related events include a round table discussion on each topic and creative writing workshops with students.
The Bookworm International Literary Festival, Beijing
8-22 March 2013
The evening of March 10, ‘The Future of the Novel’ conference topic will be discussed by an exciting panel of international authors. They keynote speaker for this event is Li Er, and the panel discussion will include AD Miller and Zhu Wen. On March 16 ‘Style v Content’ will be addressed by Keynote speaker Sophie Cooke, with an accompanying panel discussion with Keith Gray and Zhang Yueran.
Both events will take place at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing.
Scottish Government EU Office, Brussels
21 March 2013
The theme of this upcoming EWWC event will be ‘A National Literature’ with the Keynote speakers announced as Rachida Lamrabet (Moroccan-Belgian) and Kapka Kassabova (born in Bulgaria, lives in Scotland). On the panel will be authors Stella Duffy, Christopher Meredith, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn and Arthur Riordan. Event Chair is Roland Gulliver.
This EWWC event is presented by the Scottish Government EU Office in association with the Northern Ireland Executive Office, the Welsh Government and the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU.
The event will take place at the Goethe Institute, Brussels from 18:30 to 20:30 UTC+1 (with a welcome drink at 18:00). To confirm your attendance please email: BrusselsEvents@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
NGC Bocas Lit Fest
27-28 April 2013
The EWWC is at the Bocas Lit Fest this year, where there will be two conference panels. ‘A National Literature’ , taking place on Saturday 27 April, will be discussed by Keynote speaker Marlon James along with panelists Irvine Welsh, Hannah Lowe and Vahni Capildeo. The event is moderated by Marina Warner.’ Should Literature Be Political?’ will be discussed on Sunday 28 April by Keynote speaker Olive Senior and panelists Pankaj Mishra, Earl Lovelace and Courttia Newland. This event is moderated by Ifeona Fulani. Both events take place at 11am local time.
18-20 May 2013
EWWC themes are the central focus for this year’s Etonnants Voyageurs festival, after having been highlighted at Etonnants Voyageurs, Brazzaville (Congo) this past February. Keynote speakers include Boualem Sansal (Censorship Today); Atiq Rahimi (Should Literature Be Political?); Velibor Colic (A National Literature); Hubert Haddad (Style vs Content); and Michel Le Bris (The Future of the Novel).
Participants for the various events include: Björn Larsson, Jean Rouaud, Patrick Rambaud, Percival Everett, Vassilis Alexakis, Léonora Miano, Maryse Condé, Serge Bramly, Mathias Enard, Paolo Rumiz, Dimitris Stefanakis, David Vann, Nick Stone, Yahia Belaskri, Niq Mhlongo, Damon Galgut, Arnaldur Indridason, Justin Cronin, Gaspard-Marie Janvier, Kgebetli Moele, Murray Bail, Patrick Deville, Kenneth White, Yanick Lahens, Helonla Habi, Azouz Begag, Yann Queffelec, Ben Fountain, Scholastique Mukasonga, Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, Jean-Paul Kauffmann, Kim Thuy, Sefi Atta, John Connolly, Diana Evans, Holly Goddard Jones, Kopano Matlwa, Gaspard-Marie Janvier, Pinar Selek, Clément Caliari, Ariane Dreyfus, Olivier Weber, Lyonel Trouillot, Alain Mabanckou, Sami Tchak, Helon Habila, Insa Sane, Janis Otsiemi, Henry Kenol, Ian MacDonald, Geneviève Damas, Elliot Perlman, Gilles Lapouge, Patrick Rambaud, Gary Victor, Henri Lopes, Mbarek Beyrouk, Sorj Chalandon, Serge Bramly, Didier Decoin, Anne Nivat, Paolo Rumiz, Pete Fromm, Maylis De Kerangal, Yahia Belaskri, Jean Teule, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Mark Behr, Deon Meyer, Hakan Günday, Bernard Chambaz, Ayerdhal, Jonas T. Bengtsson, Jérôme Ferrari, Uwem Akpan, Tobie Nathan, Bruce Clarke.
Lisbon Book Fair
25 May 2013
The British Council Portugal, European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and APEL (Association of Editors and Publishers in Portugal) present The Edinburgh World Writers Conference in Lisbon on 25 May 2013. Two conference themes will be debated. In the first, Portuguese author José Rodrigues dos Santos – joined by Rute Pinheiro Coelho – will present the debate on ‘Should Literature be Political?’. The second theme, ‘The Future of the Novel’, will be presented by Scottish writer Denise Mina, who is joined by Mathias Enard, Rosa Liksom, Dulce Maria Cardoso and João Tordo .
Portuguese and international writers will be invited to be part of a live audience at the Lisbon Book Fair auditorium. The sessions will be streamed live on http://www.edinburghworldwritersconference.org/ and on British Council Portugal website www.britishcouncil.org/portugal and on http://feiradolivrodelisboa.pt/
#Word: The Cooler Lumpur Festival
21-23 June 2013
Melbourne Writers Festival
23 August – 1 September 2013
In Australia, EWWC events will take place as part of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2013. Since 1986, the Festival has been a cornerstone of the city’s literary culture, featuring an enormous range of literary activities and hundreds of guests from around the world and across the country. Details of events and authors will be announced as part of the programme launch next year.
In addition to events presented in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council, a number of international literature festivals have independently programmed discussions inspired by the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference:
Etonnants Voyageurs Brazzaville
13 – 17 February 2013
Le festival de l’Afrique qui vient (“Africa rising”). Have a look at the keynote speeches from this event, in French and in English.