On June 17, the Edinburgh International Book Festival announced its 2010 program, which features British novelists Philip Pullman and Alexander McCall Smith as well as more than 700 additional writers and artists. Ticket go on sale June 26 for the 18 days' worth of events scheduled from August 14 through 30.
Organizers announced the program at an event in Edinburgh, through a post on the festival website, and with a live, play-by-play Twitter launch that allowed fans to comment on individual announcements. Among names that got the most enthusiastic response were Pullman, who opens the festival with a debate on his recent book
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, as well as McCall Smith and novelists Fay Weldon, Louis de Bernières, and Alan Bissett. Other big names among the 750 writers from 50 countries set to participate are US author Joyce Carol Oates and UK Poet Laureate Carl Ann Duffy.
A 2010 highlight will be a first-ever short story project for which organizers have commissioned 50 writers to craft stories based on the theme of "elsewhere." The first five pieces - by Michel Faber, A L Kennedy, Eleanor Thom, Allan Radcliffe and Louise Welsh - are now posted on the festival website, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
Nearly 250,000 flock to Edinburgh's Charlotte Square Gardens for the annual International Book Festival, which together with six concurrent events in Edinburgh is said to make up the largest arts festival worldwide. In addition to daily debates, discussions, and new book presentations, the festival also features an array of children's events. Event prices range from free to around €15, and many events sell out well in advance.