Story Shop

An annual showcase for emerging local authors at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Louise Kelly reading at Story Shop 2013

Each year the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust offers emerging local writers the opportunity to showcase their talent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August under the Story Shop banner.

Every festival day at 4 o’clock, one of seventeen selected writers takes the stage at the Spiegeltent to give a free 10 minute reading of one or more of their short stories. The Story Shopper of the Day also features prominently on the Trust’s website on the day of the reading, typically with an audio snippet, a short biography, and the text of the featured story.

A bit of history

The first Story Shop took place on 9th August 2007 so since then there have been 136 Story Shoppers of the Day. Initially the Story Shoppers entertained the public at the festival’s book shop tent. In 2011 the popular event moved to the bigger Spiegeltent and it has remained a firm ‘free at 4pm’ fixture on the book festival’s daily programme.

Why it exists

Story Shop aims to help emerging writers in their development and to expose them to a to wider audience. It also aims to give the International Festival’s audience a glimpse of Edinburgh’s vibrant and talented literary scene which includes various dedicated Short Story groups which are can be found in venues across the city throughout the year.

Who can become a Story Shopper ?

Participating writers must:

  • live or work in Edinburgh.
  • be unpublished or have only just been published ‘by the squeak of a whisker’.

It is a highly sought after opportunity for local writers, with around 100 applications arriving on the Edinburgh City of Literature’s Trust’s doorstep when the call for new applications goes out. It is a core part of the Trust’s Emerging Writers programme.

Some Story Shoppers have become published authors.


Story Shop 2014 line-up


Edinburgh International Book Festival