Friday, 17 September 2010

Fantastic writers, everywhere! And a big orange box.

Just wanted to remind you of (and flaunt) two of this year’s biggest and best Book Festival developments: the Elsewhere project and the Readers’ First Book Award.

Our Elsewhere: New Writing Commissions page is growing by the day, filling with fascinating, entertaining and mad contributions from leading writers. So far we have:

A Flash of Blue Light by Michel Faber
Because it’s a Wednesday by A L Kennedy
Chicago by Allan Radcliffe
Sassuolo by Eleanor Thom

Vanishing Point by Louise Welsh
The Future According to Luke by James Robertson

Puerto Galera by Jason Donald
Surtsey by Doug Johnstone
We Are All Waiting by Denise Mina
From My Vow by Jen Hadfield
The art of elsewhere by Ali Smith
Bain de Soleil
by David Vann
Not Scotland by Anne Donovan
Horror Story by Kirstin Innes
Apparently by Karen Campbell
Los San Patricios by Roddy Doyle
Elsewhere, Far From Here by Alberto Manguel
Be Here Now by Miguel Syjuco
Sullivan's Ashes by Alan Warner

After Drink You Can Turn Earth Up Side Down by Rodge Glass
Paper Boat Paper Bird by David Almond
Red Wolves in the Mist by Elizabeth Laird
Welcome to Flaxland by Andy Stanton
Another Country by Margo Lanagan

And there’s even more to come, so stay tuned. A good way to do that is to follow our handy New Writing feed. And if you missed our Elsewhere events at the Book Festival - or just want to revist them - keep an eye on our Media Gallery; we'll be uploading videos in October.

In the meantime, you’ve still got the rest of this month to vote for debut fiction in our Readers’ First Book Award. Fun, frenzy, adventure, danger, darkness, intellect, insight and speculation – the nominated books have it all. Vote for your favourite and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of every single one of those spectacular new works.

This is a good time to explain, as I promised, why Book Festival staff ended up in a big orange box. Well! If you joined us last month in Charlotte Square gardens you may have noticed aforementioned box… and it had so many Readers’ Award votes in it that we had to get someone in there to fish them out!

Poker-faced professionalism.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

New audio recordings

Were there Book Festival events in August that you wanted to attend but couldn't? Or did you go to an event that you'd love to revisit? Either way, our Media Gallery is the place to be. We've uploaded dozens of hour-long audio recordings of events from this year's programme, including Simon Callow, Seamus Heaney and A S Byatt. Our most recent uploads are:

Andrew O’Hagan: the unforgettable tale of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and a dog called Maf.
David Vann & Willy Vlautin: two writers with riveting, unique accounts of father-son relationships
Reggie Nadelson in conversation with Ian Rankin: two crime writers discuss one brilliantly believable detective
Philippe Sands: a gripping discussion of war crimes
Joyce Carol Oates: listen to one of the greatest living American writers
Tom McCarthy: major new voice in British literature discusses his second novel
Marina Endicott & Lisa Moore: two remarkable writers discuss life and death
Emma Donoghue & Fiona Shaw: two unique writers as they look at love and trauma through a child’s eyes
Sophia Jansson: celebrating 65 years of the Moomins
Roddy Doyle: join the audience of Roddy Doyle’s popular and fun event

Enjoy them, and don't forget to check back for more.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010

There are not enough awards featuring books for teenage readers out there, but here’s a fantastic one: the Booktrust Teenage Prize. And the 2010 shortlist has just been announced! The Enemy by Charlie Higson, Halo by Zizou Corder, Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning, Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace, Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick and Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes.

Half of this talented bunch joined us at the Book Festival this month, a source of great entertainment and inspiration for our substantial teenage audiences. We wish the inspiring Sarra Manning, the otherworldly Marcus Sedgwick and the gifted Gregory Hughes the best of luck.

The winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010 will be announced on 1 November.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Booker Prize shortlisters were here!

Did you see the fantastic Emma Donoghue, Howard Jacobson, Andrea Levy and Tom McCarthy at the Book Festival last month? If you didn’t, head over to our Media Gallery and keep a keen lookout for audio recordings of their events. And if you did see them in August you can now proudly claim – as of today – that you saw Booker Prize shortlisters in action.

Today the shortlist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize was announced – Peter Carey for Parrot and Olivier in America, Emma Donoghue for Room, Damon Galgut for In a Strange Room, Howard Jacobson for The Finkler Question, Andrea Levy for The Long Song, and Tom McCarthy for C.

We’re thrilled that we had the honour of welcoming 4 of the 6 shortlisters – and 10 of the 13 longlisters – to Charlotte Square gardens in sunny August, and we at the Book Festival wish them an energetic congrats!

The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 12 October.

Monday, 6 September 2010

We asked you to help us write a story...

...and you did! We had some brilliant contributions to our story wall in the Activity Corner, where our young guests where invited to jointly create a story line by line.

Below are some extracts of the stories we recieved - perhaps one day we'll see a few of these contributors appear as authors at a Book Festival in the future!

Justin the Octopus

Once upon a time there was an octopus called Justin. He was eating his yummy breakfast, seaweed on toast. He went to play with his friends, Starfish and Boaty Boat the boat. They were very excited because they were going on their swimming lessons. They had lots of fun and games, then went to the seafood restaurant for lunch. After lunch they went diving to the bottom of the sea then they swam back to the top to their house. At home they played Monopoly. Justin was a terrible cheat. He always hid money in one of his many tentacles. He got told off, big time, and had to do some extra swimming lessons. Justin decided to gamble. He was cheating in Vegas for the last time. He was deported to France. Justin decided that he was a bad boy. He mended his ways, then he went back to the sea bed and started a new life. The End?

Actually it wasn’t! Justin went back to Starfish and Boaty and asked if they wanted to get some Jelly and Ice Cream for a special treat! But then came the fisherman and scooped up Justin and put him on the ship with no water…and he got sold to a restaurant as octopus and chips so that was the end of his life! (At the end of the meal, they found jelly and ice cream in his tummy!)

But…when Justin was at the table, it was someone’s birthday. So they had a birthday cake. Justin (who wasn’t completely dead at this point) saw the cake, made a quick wish and blew out the candles! The birthday girl started crying and demanded that the candles be relit. But it was too late! Justin had already stolen her wish! Do you know what Justin’s wish was? He wished that he had seven more lives!

He jumped off the plate and went to find Starfish and Boaty Boat. Boaty Boat and Starfish were in France having a swimming race. Justin realised that he had a mildly inoffensive voice and started a brilliant new music career under the new superstar name of Justin Bieber. He learnt to predict World Cup results and was bought by the Spanish. Sadly he was made into paella as he was deemed a weapon of mass destruction. Fortunately he had another six lives...

The Sparkly Man

The branches swayed and the ground shook as something thundered towards them. “What is that?” whispered Alex in terror. “It’s a sparkly person!” cried Bob in fright. “Let’s run away before he sparkles too much and we pass out!”
“Don’t be silly,” said Penny. “Boys are such cowardly custards.”
But sure enough, a sparkly man burst out through the trees. But he was a friendly sparkly man and so he invited them to a sword fight for Snorth Narnia in New Zealand. However, on the way, they were interrupted by some boys doing the Haka, then others blowing vuvu zelas, some girls singing their personal version of “California Girls”, some boys who were scared by the Wallace and Gromit and Darth Vader theme tunes, some more-than-slightly-scary boys, some Outnumbered fans, some girls who were champions (but left soon), and some generally epic girls. They all charged at them while singing “Waving Flag.” Dennis the Menace knocked off a tall man’s hat but the man pulled out a clipboard with questions and just laughed. And then the great battle for Snorth Narnia began. Their teamwork and love for each other brought them together and they defeated the sparkly man and his sidekick, Justin the Octopus (who had run out of lives).

The End.

The Princess and the Pig

Once upon a time in a land far, far away…there lived a princess in a castle. One day she was walking in the wood when she saw a green pig. The pig popped up and said…”Why am I green?” “Because I ate too many peas. The peas looked so green and buttery and delicious, I just had to gobble them up.” The Princess said firmly, “Stop eating peas! Eat strawberries instead!” So the pig ate lots of strawberries and turned red!

Then she said, “Eat grapes instead!” So the pig ate grapes instead and turned purple! There there was a huge explosion! And he turned green, red and purple! He was very fat!

The princess correctly diagnosed the pig as having no PIGment of his own and suggested he only eat pink things like shrimp. “It works for the flamingos,” she said. And then the pig ate some shrimp and turned pink. He then ran away to eat some more peas and strawberries and grapes and turned every colour of the rainbow and died (because the princess wanted bacon for tea).Then the mafia arrived and killed the princess. The godfather stole the pig and ate it, but suffered heart failure and died. After the princess finished the story she went to the Edinburgh Book Festival where she met…

The End.

Thomas the Tank Engine

The train pulled out of the station. Thomas had no idea of the adventure he was about to go on…

Thomas chugged off. He sped through the countryside until all of a sudden he saw something on the track in front of him. He saw a humongous dinosaur. He stopped right away. He thought it was fake but when he went through it he nearly got gobbled up. He saw a tunnel ahead when he went in he lost a carriage…it was the one with the humans in it! He came out of the tunnel and he was at the edge of a cliff!

Thomas fell off the cliff. Thomas fell out and jumped in the water, The giant dinosaur ran and nearly bit Thomas in half! He had a cut where the dino had bit him. Fish in the water began to bite him- they were meat-eaters!

Thomas swam with the fish, who were still chasing him. He chugged slowly across the bottom. He was just beginning to think he was safe from the dinosaur when a huge foot came crashing down! It belonged to the dinosaur! Steam began to come out of his funnel and he got up a bit of speed…

The End.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day 19 of 18

Yesterday was RBS Schools Gala Day: the very last day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The gardens were full of balloons and bunting, the blue sky was full of sunlight, and the kids themselves were full of… good behaviour, surprisingly!

When the final happy class of tiny Book Festival fans left the gardens, the site was closed for 2010, and it was time to break out the ice cream. One more exciting August of literary dedication over with; and what an August it’s been.

Audiences at the Book Festival were captivated by…

  • Over 750 Book Festival participants from 50 countries
  • Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Seamus Heaney
  • Poets Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Keorapetse ‘Willie’ Kgositsile from South Africa
  • 10 of the 13 authors long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize
  • Exclusive pre-publication readings from Seamus Heaney, Will Self and Michael Frayn
  • The first appearance in Edinburgh of A S Byatt,
  • The delivery of the Donald Dewar Memorial Lecture by ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling
  • Launches of memoirs from Candia McWilliam, Vidal Sassoon and Nicholas Parsons
  • Unbound, our innovate and electrifying ‘mini-festival’
  • The unique debut authors up for our Readers’ First Book Award
  • A variety of stimulating themes, including our absorbing Elsewhere theme
  • Sell out events and record signing queues for children’s writers Robert Muchamore, Cressida Cowell and Julia Donaldson
  • The closing of the public programme with a moving tribute to recently-deceased Scottish Makar Edwin Morgan

Staff at the Book Festival…

To sum up, one of our lovely sponsors reported to us that as she left Charlotte Square gardens on the final day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, she overheard somebody say wistfully: “twelve whole months to wait”.

Wrapped Up

The final prize in our txt2win competition, an Edinburgh International Book Festival goodie bag, has been won by a lucky Bookfest Flirt.

Thanks to everyone who entered! We'll stay in touch via email.

See you again next year!