How We Came To Be

In 2004, a group of book lovers came up with the idea of approaching UNESCO to form a global network of creative cities.

Edinburgh became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, and, since the whole thing was our idea to begin with, it fell to us to design the criteria for other cities to join the Creative Cities network, and help guide them in future.

We realised the way ahead would take work, time, and organisation. So the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust was formed, with the aim to use creativity to promote an enlightened approach to literature in Edinburgh and across the globe.

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High Profile City-wide Reading Campaigns

Over the years our reach has been broad: from high profile citywide reading campaigns - Read more
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One-day Heritage Spectaculars

- to one-day spectaculars honouring our famous authors; Read more
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International Exchanges

from international exchanges to local residencies; Read more
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Literary Salon

to one-off conferences and monthly Literary Salons; Read more
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Emerging Writers

from press tours to promotions to support emerging writers; Read more
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Inscribing Literature

from behind the scenes strategic co-ordination to inscription of quotes on prominent public city locations; Read more
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Cities of Literature

from digital hubs to leadership of an international network of Cities of Literature. Read more
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Creative City Network

Since getting started, Iowa, Melbourne, Dublin, Reykjavik, Norwich and Krakow have become UNESCO Cities of Literature, and an exciting network of UNESCO Creative Cities for Film, Gastronomy, Music, Crafts and Folk Art, Design and Media has spread across the world. Read more

We have collaborated with international partners to run exciting initiatives, celebrating the global power of literature to influence our culture, our freedoms, and our creativity. Read more

The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust has enjoyed the generous partnership of the Edinburgh Provost, Creative Scotland, the British Council, the Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh City Libraries, and Scottish Enterprise, continuing our work together as advocates and lovers of literature.