Wednesday, 8 August 2012

3 days to go

The Book Festival is about many things, from reflection to entertainment, from local talent to international gems, and from blazing sunlight to ducks in the puddles. But at the very heart of the Book Festival are those good old twin treasures: reading and writing.

So, to be difficult, I asked on Twitter earlier today:

@edbookfest: If you had to choose only one, would you read or write?

This kicked off a whale of a discussion! Here are a selection of the replies:

@MsTunbridgWells: good question. "writing" looks inside yourself, "reading" looks inside others. For me? "Reading" - for how else would I know?... 
@shinola32: Read of course! Every writer starts as a reader. It all ends up a bit chicken and egg after that, but that's another story... 
@jojiemoore: impossible. You can't be a good writer if you don't read lots. 
@edgechristopher: I'd choose to read, but I'd have to write.
@FallenAngel2106: Read. And then dictate so someone else would technically be doing the writing.
@rvwable: read read read and be happy happy happy. 
@ElspethMurray: I'd write. And listen all the more carefully to the stories all around me. All the world's a page! 
@gordonsta: A truly daft question. They're inseparable.

Now for some more highlights for this August –

Let's talk about the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference. We're all eagerly awaiting it, and if you're not then that's only because you don't know what it is. Boy am I over-confident! And for good reason. (There I go again.) The Writers' Conference will be fascinating to say the least.

What is it?
The Edinburgh World Writers' Conference is a large series of events, the first five of which will be held right here at the Book Festival. At these events a number of prominent and perceptive writers will discuss a variety of topics with members of the public.

The Edinburgh World Writers' Conference itself spans back to 1962 in an event that saw sparks fly. Drama, derision and shattering insight – it leaves a legacy that lasts. Join the Writers' Conference at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year and you'll be part of that history.

Can I join in?
Absolutely you can! That's the whole point. You don't need to arrange it or do anything special – you simply have to buy a ticket, and as an audience member you'll be entitled to your say.

You'll also be able to join the debate on Twitter with hashtag #worldwritersconf

What are the events?
  1. The Edinburgh Writers' Conference 1962: The Legacy (Friday 17 August 10:30am - 11:30am)
  2. Should Literature Be Political? (Friday 17 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm)
  3. Style vs Content (Saturday 18 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm)
  4. A National Literature? (Sunday 19 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm)
  5. Censorship Today (Monday 20 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm)
  6. The Future of the Novel (Tuesday 21 August 3:00pm - 5:00pm)
So should I go along to these events?
... I won't even dignify that with an answer!