Projects Across the Years

enLIGHTen: 1st March – 18th March 2012

enLIGHTen was an exciting new project by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, working with partners, that brought the streets of Edinburgh to life in March 2012, thanks to Year of Creative Scotland funding and the hard work of many committed partners.

What is it?

enLIGHTen fused words and cutting edge technology to light up the night sky during March.

Massive projections of famous quotes from the Scottish Enlightenment period illuminated buildings along George Street and Rose Street to spectacular effect.  enLIGHTen also included specially commissioned animations and audio, to create a stunning, multi-sensory experience for locals and tourists alike.

Celebrating the literary and built heritage of locations including Charlotte Square and the Melville Monument in the city’s Poetry Garden, enLIGHTen responded to the wisdom of great Enlightenment thinkers through new fiction and poetry by: Gavin Inglis, William Letford, Kirsty Logan, Ken MacLeod, James Robertson and JL Williams, specially commissioned by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust.

Host City, specialists in innovative, virtual and augmented reality performance, worked with the writers to enhance the pieces, creating a downloadable aural experience which complemented the stunning visual impact of the projections. This was supplemented with free audio downloads for each location about the built and literary heritage.

enLIGHTen featured dynamic projection mapping for cultural purposes – a first for Scotland. The City of Literature Trust coordinated this inspired project, working in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh World Heritage, Northern Light, Pufferfish and JUMP Marketing to create a very memorable March.

Lights, Literature, Action!

This isn’t the first time that our City of Literature used the backdrop of our capital to put a spotlight on our literary heritage. enLIGHTen built upon a successful series of projections round the city as part of the ‘Carry a Poem’ reading campaign in February 2010, images that stopped passers-by in their tracks and were published around the world.

We projected a line from Douglas Dunn’s poem ‘Disenchantments’ onto Edinburgh’s Castle Rock: ‘Look to the living, love them, and hold on’ became an iconic image shared widely, delivering a beautiful message for a chilly Valentine’s eve.

Creative Scotland 2012

Our Director, Ali Bowden said:

“We’re thrilled to have Creative Scotland’s support for this ambitious new partnership project. enLIGHTen will match the architectural brilliance of this historic city with our world re-known literature, and provide an arresting experience for passersby, both locals and visitors – as well as a focal point for those planning a trip to Edinburgh.”

“I just loved it – just another of those things that makes me oh so proud to live in this city.” – tweet

In Partnership

This unique project was in collaboration with EventScotland, Essential Edinburgh, Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh World Heritage, City of Edinburgh Council, (g)Host City, NL Productions, Pufferfish and JUMP.

Find out more about the enLIGHTen project!

 

One Book – One Edinburgh

In 2007, we created One Book – One Edinburgh, an annual collaborative reading adventure, bringing together partners across the city, from large organisations to individuals, to read one book together.

Each February, we run three month-long programmes of events for schools, community outreach and the public. Thousands of copies of specially commissioned books are distributed to the public and target groups in addition to the classic books and adaptations such as: graphic novels, biographies, abridged editions, audio books and related materials, including reading guides. In 2009 The Lost World became the UK’s largest reading campaign, joining cities across Britain.

  • 2007 – Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • 2008 – Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • 2009 – The Lost World Read
  • 2010 – Carry a Poem, a collection of poems people carry and the reasons why

“They are all really enjoying the experience – especially the boys!” – St Joseph’s RC Primary School
Vital Statistics for One Book – One Edinburgh

  • 10,000 people have attended 64 public events in Edinburgh across three years (2007-2009).
  • We work with 65 partner organisations across Edinburgh.
  • 93,000 books distributed freely across Edinburgh over four years (2007-2010).
  • 152 Edinburgh schools have received free books and teaching resources annually.
  • 71 book groups received specially produced copies.
  • Around 1.4 million hits and 138,000 visits to the project pages on the City of Literature website from 2007 – 2009, plus 16,000 visits to the dedicated campaign site in 2009.
  • 93 per cent of those who expressed an opinion in the questionnaires said their reading experience had been enhanced by joining the project.
  • 97 per cent of those who expressed an opinion said they would be interested in joining future reading projects.

“The proportion of the less affluent groups was higher than usually expected when profiling audiences for cultural events and activities” – The Audience Business

Find out more about the One Book – One Edinburgh project.

 

Let’s Get Lyrical

A celebration of song lyrics

In February 2011, Edinburgh and Glasgow were united by more than just a railway line as the Let’s Get Lyrical campaign asked both cities to take a fresh look at the most musical form of the written word – song lyrics.

We launched our Let’s Get Lyrical bookmarks and wallet cards throughout Edinburgh and Glasgow which could be picked up from libraries, community centres and cafes, getting us in the mood for words, books and music.

With over 80 events spread across both cities, the campaign got people reading, writing, creating and talking about song lyrics.

About the Project

The project was coordinated by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music and made possible by the support of more than 30 organisations in both cities. This is the first collaboration between the UNESCO cities, and is designed to raise the profile of the creative industries in both cities. This is the first cross-artform collaboration in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Get lyrical about our project!

 

Carry a Poem

Throughout February 2010, our fourth citywide reading campaign put the spotlight on poetry – we wanted to know if you Carry a Poem with you.

Throughout the campaign we gave out thousands of free Carry A Poem books and poetry pocket cards to go along with the many events happening throughout the city.

How Do You Carry Yours?

We wanted to know which poems you carry with you, how you carry them and why they mean so much. Perhaps you carry it…

  • On your iPod?
  • On your Tshirt?
  • In your head?
  • As a poetry tattoo?
  • Stuck to your fridge?

We Wanted to Know…

  • How you carry your poem, and the story of why it means so much.
  • If you are planning special events – big or small.
  • What you think about the book – send us a review.
  • If you have any comments about the campaign.
  • If you have any pictures for the campaign gallery.
  • You can leave your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Carry a Poem Campaign

Carry a Poem was a joint venture between Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Scottish Poetry Library and City of Edinburgh public libraries but it couldn’t have happened without the help of dozens of partners across the Scottish capital.

Carry a Poem Books

The free Carry a Poem book showed how Scots from all walks of life carry poems with them and revealed the stories behind the poetry choices. There were copies to borrow from your local library, and free copies of the Carry a Poem collection were available while stocks lasted through the following outlets:

  • To the public through Edinburgh lending libraries from Monday 1st February.
  • Edinburgh high schools, primary schools and special schools.
  • Adult learners through CLAN (City Literacy and Numeracy).
  • Through our partners to community outreach programmes.
  • At some of our Carry a Poem public events.

Three Programmes – community, school and public events

To reach out to communities across Edinburgh, our campaign linked three strands: public events, a schools programme and a community outreach programme, with web resources freely available.

Online Resources

Our dedicated campaign website over at www.carryapoem.com had a blog, picture galleries and a backstage look at how we ran the campaign – plus some  ideas on ways to carry poetry with you.

One Book – One Edinburgh Reading Campaigns

Carry a Poem was the choice for the fourth One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign, designed to get the whole city reading together.  Past campaigns concentrated on Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Lost World, which were run by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust.

 

The Lost World

The third One Book – One Edinburgh citywide reading campaign was part of the UK’s largest reading campaign – The Lost World Read 2009. Together with Glasgow, Bristol and other regions of England, our city read Edinburgh-born author Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale of dinosaurs and exploration, The Lost World.

A Double Celebration

The third One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign took place in February 2009 as part of Uk-wide The Lost World Read.

2009 was the 150th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for creating the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

The same year marked the 200 year anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. It was during his study at the University of Edinburgh that he developed a keen interest in natural history, and it was here and around the Forth that the foundations for his theory of evolution were developed.

The Lost World Read 2009

To mark this double celebration The Lost World Read 2009 focused  on Conan Doyle’s classic adventure story, The Lost World, in which a group of explorers set out on an expedition to South America to prove that deep in the jungle there is a forgotten world  where dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals still survive.

UK’s Largest Ever Collaborative Reading Campaign

In 2009 Edinburgh joined the cities of Glasgow and Bristol for a collaborative reading of The Lost World. The three cities were joined by the county of Hampshire, and the 15 Library authorities of South West England, as well as: Oxford, Portsmouth, Shrewsbury and the City of Westminster.

Edinburgh’s campaign was led by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Glasgow’s by the Aye Write! festival and Bristol’s by The Great Reading Adventure.

It’s a Cracking Read Gromit!

An exclusive cover was designed for the free edition of the book by Bristol’s Aardman Animations, featuring their famous creations, Wallace & Gromit.

A spokesman from Aardman commented “Wallace and Gromit are big fans of reading and are so excited about being part of this project. They think it’s great that so many people, up and down the country, are going to be joining in.”

And Of Course … Free Books!

There were four different free books on offer as part of The Lost World Read, which were made available while stocks lasted through the following outlets:

  • To the public through Edinburgh lending libraries.
  • Edinburgh high schools, primary schools and special schools.
  • Adult learners through CLAN (City Literacy and Numeracy).
  • Youth Literacy groups and looked-after children.
  • Through our partners to community outreach programmes.
  • At some of the Lost World public events.

Three Programmes – community, school and public events

To reach out to communities across Edinburgh, the one Book – One Edinburgh campaign linked three strands: public events, a schools programme and a community outreach programme, with web resources freely available.

Online Resources

Our campaign pages provided information about The Lost World and access the freely available games and puzzles, reading lists and audio downloads.

 

Jekyll and Hyde

The second One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign aimed to bring Edinburgh’s residents together to read a classic Scottish story, and gave away 10,000 free books.

We focused on Edinburgh author Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, a dark, gothic tale, heavily influenced by the duality of our city.

A special new paperback edition of the dramatic tale of addiction and duality was released in late February 2008. There were copies to borrow from your local library, and free copies available while stocks lasted through the following outlets:

  • To the public through Edinburgh lending libraries from Friday 22 February.
  • Edinburgh High Schools and special schools.
  • Adult learners through CLAN (City Literacy and Numeracy).
  • Youth Literacy groups and looked-after children.
  • Through our partners to community outreach programmes.
  • At some of our Jekyll & Hyde public events.

Graphic Novels

We made a new graphic novel with the ‘dream team’ who adapted and illustrated Kidnapped – Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy. This was available to buy from book shops and www.BooksFromScotland.com.

Three Programmes: Community, Schools and Public Events

To reach out to communities across Edinburgh, our campaign linked three strands: public events, a schools programme and a community outreach programme, with web resources freely available.

Online Resources

Our campaign pages provided information about R L Stevenson and access the freely available games and puzzles, reading lists and audio downloads. You could also read our special free online serialisation in the Metro, with exclusive images from the graphic novel.

 

Kidnapped

Edinburgh’s very first citywide reading campaign took place in February 2007 at venues all across the city. Twenty-five thousand free copies of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped were distributed: demand was high, and most of the copies went in the first few days.

The Books

Three new editions of Kidnapped were produced for the campaign and to get people reading, and made available to buy in bookshops across Scotland and at BooksFromScotland.com.

The definitive paperback classic copy with notes by Professor Barry Menikoff had a brand new introduction from Scottish author Louise Welsh.

The simplified retold edition kept the adventurous essence of Stevenson’s tale for a younger audience.

Our exciting new, specially commissioned graphic novel edition was adapted by renowned illustrator Cam Kennedy and scriptwriter Alan Grant, both Scottish and known for their work on Batman, Judge Dredd and Star Wars graphic novels.

Free Book Recipients

Edinburgh’s schools all received free books and all of our partner venues distributed copies during our month of events.

Our Community Programme ensured that copies were distributed to: Big Issue vendors, VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian), the city’s Youth Literacy programme, adult learners, young people in residential care and through WHALE (Wester Hailes Arts, Learning & Education), to name a few sources.

Read Online

An audio version of Kidnapped can be accessed through American site http://www.freebookstoread.com/, which uses “Text To Speech” audio technology to allow your computer to read your selections aloud. It works via a free plug-in. Alternatively, you can also read Kidnapped online through Project Gutenberg.

Online Kidnapped Activities

Stevenson-themed activities, with a Kidnapped flavour, were created to celebrate the first One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign in 2007 for teachers, parents, and children.

Find out more about Kidnapped and all the other books on offer throughout the festivities!

 

Cities of Literature Network

UNESCO Cities of Literature work together to build strong global partnerships: encouraging literary exchanges, creating cross-cultural initiatives and developing local, national and international literary links.  Each City will also be dedicated to pursuing excellence in literature on a local level, engaging citizens in a dynamic culture of words.

As the lead city in the network, Edinburgh is currently advising several other cities on their bids to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

Each second summer, we hold a Cities of Literature Conference as part of the British Council Scotland Bookcase programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  The one day conference designed to support and nurture new applications to the network, and foster links between literary cities around the world. In 2008, 23 delegates from 18 literary cities attended the conference.

Edinburgh also hosted the first two meetings of the City of Literature Network, with the existing three Cities of Literature being joined by cities in the bidding process to formally create collaborative working opportunities.

Melbourne – in August 2008 a live satellite link between Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Melbourne Writers’ Festival  was arranged to celebrate Melbourne joining the network as the second UNESCO City of Literature.

Iowa City – the third City of Literature, Iowa City has taken a lead in creating the Cities of Literature Web Portal for the chairing of projects and best practice, and is looking to follow the Edinburgh’s model and create an annual Book Festival.

International Residency – one of Melbourne’s literary lights held a residency in Scotland, appearing on the opening day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2010.

Kolkata – in January 2009, City of Literature Trustees attended the Kolkata Book Fair representing literary Edinburgh, where Scotland was the Guest Country. In 2009/10, Kolkata was preparing a bid to become a City of Literature.

 

Research & Conferences

We regularly support researchers from institutions across the world who are conducting research into creative industries, cultural and economic development and specific research into literary cities.

We have contributed to a number of major research studies and publications, including three pieces of research on Cities of Literature/Cultural Heritage (from researches in Italy, Scotland and Australia), and have contributed to Santa Fe’s Creative Tourism publication.

We also take part in a number of UK conferences, including:

  • Literary Houses (Leeds, 2008).
  • ‘Cities of Reading, Cities of Literature’ (Edinburgh Napier University, 2009).
  • Centre for the History of the Book (Edinburgh, 2009).

 

UNESCO Creative Cities

We work to develop the status of the UNESCO designation within the Creative Cities programme and maintain and develop Edinburgh’s leading role in a new international network.  We attend the annual Creative Cities Network meeting in Paris representing Edinburgh as lead city, and co-ordinating the work of the wider Creative Cities Network.

The Creative Cities Network

The UNESCO Creative Cities titles are permanent, non-competitive designations intended to recognise a strong cultural heritage, a vibrant and diverse contemporary cultural scene and aspirations and vision to develop cultural potential.

In August 2009, we welcomed the Director General, Koïchiro Matsuura, to Edinburgh, where he announced the successful applications of Melbourne City of Literature and Glasgow City of Music.

We attended the Sante Fe Creative Tourism conference (USA) and Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature (Australia), having been invited to give presentations on the work of Edinburgh as a City of Literature.

Cities of Literature

We actively supported the cities of Melbourne and Iowa in their successful applications to become Cities of Literature, and are currently assisting several other cities preparing to approach UNESCO.

Find out more about our network of international partners.

 

Story Shop at the Book Festival

Celebrating the short story and its compact beauty, each year we programme a series of free readings of ‘micro stories’ and flash fiction in the Bookshop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival under the Story Shop banner.

The idea is to drop by and hear a tale from one of Edinburgh’s new and emerging authors, as part of a programme of locally produced literature, running each day for free at 4pm.

Story Shop has been running since 2007, and in the past has been opened on the first day of the Festival with a reading from Edinburgh’s Makar, Ron Butlin.

Read about some of our Story Shop successes!

 

Edinburgh’s Poetry Garden

The Poetry Garden is St Andrew Square is an integral part of our UNESCO City of Literature.

We are delighted that St Andrew Square, now open to the general public for the first time in over 230 years, was developed as a new space for celebrating poetry in the City of Literature. The new space linked to work by the Edinburgh Makar, and was part of plans for National Poetry Day.

“The possibility of physical expressions of poetry is being investigated, as well as ways to help school and community groups use the space to celebrate poetry. St Andrew Square will become a place where poetry new and old is heard, read, displayed, promoted and enjoyed.” – anon.

 

Information Hub

We act as an information hub for literary Edinburgh, providing information to local residents, writers,  journalists and visitors to the city. We receive a wide range of enquiries about getting published, well-known Scottish writers, events in the city, educational materials and much, much more.

Website

Each year, an average of 325,000 visitors spend at least 2 minutes in this website, 73% of whom are repeat visitors. This number grows each year: in 2008-09 alone we had over 2 million hits on our website, and we responded by email and telephone, to more than 1500 general enquires about all aspects of literary Edinburgh.

Ebulletins – Listings and News

We send out a number of bulletins summarising the news and events listings for literary Edinburgh. The What’s On listings go out fortnightly and contain events information from organisations and individuals across the city. You can join our mailing list by emailing SUBSCRIBE to [email protected]

Briefings and Press

Each year, we deliver formal briefings on Edinburgh as a City of Literature, to education professionals, tourism staff, major international conferences, as well as numerous press briefings/interviews.

Help-desk

We provide a free help-desk about literary Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, showcasing the work of a wide range of literature organisations.

Media Packs

We have created media packs for journalists about the Cities of Literature and led the international network in creating packs for each of their cities. You can download our Press Pack in our Press Pages.

Literary Walking Trails

Edinburgh is a city built on books, and full of literary links and inspirations.  To help people get to know the City of Literature better, we’ve created a series of walking tours and online trails to highlight our rich literary heritage.

Walking Trails

We have created, produced and distributed a series of free online walking trails around Edinburgh, taking the visitor to places with a direct relevance to an author, a character or a story. These include:

  • In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson – the classic author was born and bred in Edinburgh.
  • Literature Quarter – 3,500 free printed trails were distributed, providing a guide to Edinburgh’s key literary locations and organisations in and around The Royal Mile.
  • 44 Scotland Street – 75,000 free printed trails based around Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith’s hugely successful ’44 Scotland Street’ books.
  • Robert Burns – a free online trail about the Bard’s time spent in Edinburgh.
  • Literary Podcasts – Stories in Stone.

Worked with Edinburgh World Heritage to create a UNESCO tour of Edinburgh, designed as a series of free podcasts celebrating the literary and built heritage of Scotland’s capital city.  Using quotes from writers, poets and some of the classic stories inspired by the built environment of the city, the ten podcasts are designed to provide a guided tour of Edinburgh, revealing some of the hidden gems and history of the city.

These 10 free podcasts form an audio-visual tour of Edinburgh, available to watch online or download from VisitScotland.com

City of Literature Film

We commissioned, produced and distributed a short promotional film of Edinburgh as a City of Literature, available on our Home page and shown through partner organisations across the city.

There are many ways to Contact Us and find out what’s happening in Edinburgh, so give it a shot!

 

Literary Salon Evenings

On the last Tuesday of the month, the City of Literature Trust gathers together literary folk for a few drinks and the chance for a chat in convivial and informal surroundings.

We meet every month, excluding August and December, from 6pm at The Wash Bar on the Mound in central Edinburgh. It’s a low-key evening with some brief words of wisdom on the topic of the evening, but best of all it’s a good opportunity to meet like-minded people.

If you have a professional interest in literature, come and join the: authors, journalists, literary agents, publishers, booksellers, librarians and many more who meet up at these regular events.

If you think you’d like to come along and join us, then just drop by the bar on the last Tuesday.

Facts and Figures

City of Literature Trust began these salons in September 2005 as a way of bringing together the individuals that make up Edinburgh’s literary sector, to strengthen the sense of community.  Over 100 people attended our opening night, and now we welcome about 40 – 60 people over the course of each evening.

“I really enjoyed the salon evening the other night. I have a bit of an underlying ambition to do a bit of creative writing myself, so great to be around so many inspirational writers.”

“I first turned up at one of the salon events as a nervous unpublished author back in the day, not really knowing what to expect and feeling like I shouldn’t really be there, but everyone were so nice to me that I soon forgot about that and just joined in. Both Ali and Anna are really terrific in terms of making people feel welcome and encouraging writers to have the confidence to get out there, meet people, apply for stuff and all those aspects that can seem very daunting when you’re a new writer who doesn’t really know what you’re doing.” – Rosy Barnes

Background on Salons

Salons have a fine literary tradition, from the Paris cafe meetings which brought together philosophers, writers and poets, to publisher John Murray’s famous ‘Four o’clock friends’ gathering, where he had afternoon tea each day with his writers.

Robert Burns came to Edinburgh in 1786 and took its literary salons by storm, meeting Sir Walter Scott who was then just fifteen, and leaving a lasting impression:

‘There was a strong expression of sense and shrewdness in all his lineaments: the eye alone, I think, indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a cast which glowed (I say literally glowed).’

Salons Around Scotland

The Highland Literary Salon, based on the successes of similar gatherings in Edinburgh and Glasgow, brings together those with an interest in literature to discuss writing, ideas, projects, publishing, and all things literary. The Salon will be on the third Tuesday of each month at Maverick’s, Young Street, Inverness. Dates include 17th November 2009, 15th December 2009, 19th January 2010, 16th February 2010, 16th March, 20th April 2010.

Visit www.highlandlitsalon.com or contact [email protected]

Weegie Wednesday was inspired by the Edinburgh salon evenings to provide a monthly gathering for the literary community in the West of Scotland.  Taking place on the middle Wednsday of the month, the event often features guest speakers and takes place in the Terrace Bar in the CCA, Sauchiehall Street from 7.30pm.

Visit weegiewednesday.org for more information.

To find out more about our literary salon.

 

Poetry School

Holyrood High School was our designated Poetry School in 2010, as part of our Carry a Poem campaign. Special poetry workshops were held across the school, a restocked Poetry Library was opened and the whole of S1 went poetry mad.

The Poetry School students blogged about their favourite poems, coming up with novel ways to carry poetry and generally getting stuck into poetry.

The School also held a Poetry Extravaganza night for pupils, parents and special guests. Performance poet John Hegley finished off the night.

 

At The Edinburgh Book Festival

The Trust is closely involved with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and we have been involved with a number of partnership projects. Work at the Festival is ongoing and includes:

  • Teaming up with the Edinburgh International Book Festival to present high-profile literary talks in the city in October 2006 by Martin Amis, Gordon Brown, Margaret Atwood and William Boyd,  Michael Ondaatje in October 2007 and David Malouf in September 2008.
  • StoryShop – we produce a series of free readings by Edinburgh-based authors at the Book Festival.  The 2008 programme was kicked off by Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin.
  • Establishing an information desk at the Book Festival to provides wide-ranging information about literary Edinburgh, staffed by the City of Literature Trust, and offering an opportunity to browse the information, ask questions and give us your views
  • We supported the launch of the Scottish Society of Young Publishers with a special literary salon event in 2007, sponsored by Centotre
  • Producing a specially commissioned performance for the Spiegeltent in 2005, which was one of the earliest sell-outs of the programme that year. The event provided a journey through Scotland’s literature and landscape, in poetry, prose and song.

For more information on the Edinburgh International Book Festival, follow the link or visit https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

 

Scottish Society of Young Publishers

The City of Literature Trust is pleased to be able to support the Scottish Society of Young Publishers.

To celebrate the launch of the Scottish branch of the established Society, we held a special literary salon event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2007, where members from the English branch gathered with Scottish colleagues and members of the wider literary community in Edinburgh. The event was kindly sponsored by Edinburgh restaurant Centotre.

Jamie Byng, Managing Director of Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate Books, spoke about the importance of Edinburgh’s status as a literary city, and the thriving contemporary scene present in the Capital and across the country:

“The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature designation has raised the profile of Edinburgh and Scotland on an international scale for writing.  We should continue to have bold aspirations.”

We hold a monthly literary salon evening for all those professionally occupied with literature.

The Society of Young Publishers in London website lists job opportunities and events.

 

City of Refuge

City of Literature Trust co-ordinated activity to encourage the City of Edinburgh to become a ‘City of Refuge’ for persecuted writers and their families.

We collaborated with the Scottish Poetry Library and Oxfam on a project to produce a series of poems, written by writers who are also asylum seekers, for display on 400 Edinburgh and Glasgow buses.

The poems, entitled Scotland and Exile, also featured on postcards which were distributed through Oxfam and the public libraries between the two cities on 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Special thanks go to Iyad Hayatleh (Palestinian Poet) and Gerry Cambridge (Scottish Poet) who facilitated the workshops which produced the poems.

This project reflects the ongoing work that the City of Literature Trust is undertaking with partners to have Edinburgh designated an International City of Refuge.  Cities across the world, led by founding City of Refuge Stavanger, Norway, welcome a writer; giving sanctuary to those unable to work and live safely in their home country.

Partners include the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish PEN, and the proposal has received backing from the Council for Edinburgh to join Norwich in becoming the first Cities of Refuge in Britain, a concept widespread in Europe and Canada.

Edinburgh will then welcome a writer and family for a stay of up to two years, giving sanctuary to those unable to work and live safely in their home country.

City of Refuge is an international network known globally as ICORN (International City of Refuge Network) and is co-ordinated by City of Refuge Stavanger in Norway, with support from the Norwegian Government.  There are now around 50 Cities offering this support to writers, and demonstrating theor commitment to freedom of speech.

For more information about the network, please visit www.icorn.org

 

ELISA

Edinburgh is home to around 140 libraries and information services.  They have come together to form ELISA (Edinburgh Library & Information Services Agency), an umbrella organisation that seeks to consolidate relationships between Edinburgh’s libraries.  ELISA works to showcase the wealth of knowledge held in Scotland’s capital.

ELISA has one part-time member of staff and a number of working groups made up of staff from Edinburgh’s great range of library services: from the Scottish Poetry Library and Napier University to the Observatory Library and the National Archives.

City of  Literature supports the work of ELISA. This has included work towards a web portal service to enhance and represent the city’s digital collections.

ELISA Events

The first public event for showcasing the library services housed in Edinburgh was run in October 2007, with over 700 members of the public participating and 20 library services represented at the Festival of Libraries.

Alongside the information stalls, a programme of talks was on offer, with librarians speaking and answering questions on diverse subjects: from tracing your family history to learning about the National Library’s Archives.

The City of Literature Trust ran a stall to represent Edinburgh’s wider literary sector, and gave a public talk on the outcomes of our One Book – One Edinburgh Kidnapped campaign.

The Festival was developed as a public event in the wake of the successful Edinburgh Libraries Fair in May 2006, aimed at library professionals. Thirty libraries exhibited, encouraging a clearer understanding of the wealth of knowledge available in Edinburgh and a sharing of best-practice between staff. The City of Literature Trust was a central part of this ELISA-run event.

Find out more about ELISA.

 

International Residency 2010

The City of Literature Trust worked in partnership with Cove Park, the Scottish Arts Council and Arts Victoria to welcome our first International Writer in Residence, award-winning Melbourne author Christos Tsiolkas.

This project was designed to celebrate the City of Literature network and build links between Melbourne and Edinburgh, both UNESCO Cities of Literature. Christos was in residence at Cove Park from May – July 2010, followed by time in Edinburgh in August running up to the Book Festival.

The opening event of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, on 14 August 2010, featured Christos Tsiolkas talking about his controversial novel, The Slap.

Christos Tsiolkas and The Slap

In Australia, The Slap has become a controversial talking point and bestseller. An unflinching account of what happens when a man strikes another parent’s child, the story is told from several points of view, and questions how our everyday social lives are structured.

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of three previous novels: Loaded, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. The Slap won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen-writer, and he lives in Melbourne.

Cove Park

Cove Park is 30 miles west of Glasgow on 50 acres of farm and woodland overlooking the sea. It provides artists of all disciplines and cultures with space, time and freedom through annual residency programmes. These residencies respond to the diversity of contemporary artistic practice here and abroad and directly support the creation of high-quality projects in all the art forms.

Find out more about Cove Park and the amazing opportunities it offers to writers, film-makers, artists, poets and creative individuals.

 

Summer Read 2010

We invited readers to take a break with a great Scottish book in summer as part of the TESCO Bank Summer Read, a national reading promotion running from March – August 2010.

Twenty titles, set in Scotland or written by Scottish authors, formed the varied shortlist in fiction and non-fiction,  adult, teen and children, English, Scots, Gaelic, spoken word and graphic novel.

An initiative by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Tesco Bank Summer Read celebrated new titles set in Scotland or Scottish authors and was promoted by libraries across the country.

Voting and Prizes

Following the launch at the Aye Write! festival, the shortlist was promoted in public libraries across Scotland from March to August 2010.  A public vote run by partners The Herald allowed readers to select the winning title – one lucky voter winning a top of the range Sony eReader.

Events

To help readers decide, there was also a programme of related reading events taking place in libraries across Scotland throughout the summer months and a series of special features on the shortlisted authors appearing in The Herald, along with a special Tesco Bank Summer Read supplement which was distributed to libraries across the country.

The winning authors (and voter) was announced at a special closing event in Edinburgh in August 2010.

About the Summer Read

In November 2008 we visited Melbourne, our sister City of Literature, as part of our Greater North project. We were invited along to the fantastic launch of the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read, and spent the evening wondering if we could run a similar campaign in Scotland.

We were so impressed by the project that we have brought it back to Scotland, and have developed it with our partners – the Scottish Library and Information Council, Publishing Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Herald and Glasgow Libraries.

 

Greater North: Cities of Literature 2008

A key project for the Trust, we developed, co-ordinated and delivered a fact finding study trip in Edinburgh and Melbourne for 19 arts delegates from across the Greater North area of the UK. Melbourne was appointed the second UNESCO City of Literature in August 2008; the project was designed to showcase each literary city and forge long-lasting links.

Seventeen organisations represented from the Greater North region met approximately 1100 literary professionals across two cities – Edinburgh and Melbourne.

Each delegate attended between 44 and 55 meetings, specifically set up for the Greater North group.

The group participated in three public events, one of which was a keynote address and panel debate for 300 members of the public and literary community, held in honour of the Greater North delegation’s visit to Melbourne, Australia.

Three tailored networking events were set up specifically for the delegates – two to meet with around 150 writers, and the other to meet with around 120 managing directors and senior staff of large literary organisations in Melbourne.

Three interviews were given resulting in five press articles in key newspapers and 10 online articles.

Eight funding partners supported the project.

We are aware of at least 12 specific collaborations and partnerships that have resulted from links made on the project.

 

Book Swap

To mark the 500 years of printing and publishing in Scotland, Publishing Scotland – the industry and promotion body for publishers in Scotland – teamed up with Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature team to run a massive Book Swap in the City.

Edinburgh residents, visitors and workers took along a book they would like to recommend or swap and picked up another to take home.  The event was free and Scottish publishers donated over 500 books of all kinds to get things started – children’s books, books on Scottish history, walking guides, biography, academic, sport, novels . . . something for everyone.

The giant Book Swap took place at Adam House on Chambers Street. Entry was free and everyone was welcome to browse, relax and enjoy a tea or coffee and some great books in their lunch hour – and chat to some of the authors who dropped in – Ian Rankin, Vivian French and Linda Strachan, among others.

Lorraine Fannin, Director of Publishing Scotland said: “This was a really great opportunity to pass on a favourite book, and pick up something you’ve never read before.  People wrote two lines on why they would recommend the book they took along, to enthuse other readers.”

 

Books Into Film

Classic books-turned-film were shown at the Edinburgh Filmhouse, in a collaborative project with the City of Literature Trust.

After each film in the July series, goodie bags were distributed to children correctly answering questions in a mini literary quiz.

For the October series, a literary walk aimed at children was commissioned, giving an overview of inspirational Edinburgh stories and ending at the Filmhouse in time for the movie.

The aim was to give children an awareness of the literary importance of their home city, and to show that classic books can be brilliantly adapted for the silver screen.

 

Festival of Libraries

The first public event showcasing the library services housed in Edinburgh was run in October 2007, with over 700 members of the public participating and 20 library services represented.

Alongside the information stalls, a programme of talks was on offer, with librarians speaking and answering questions on diverse subjects: from tracing your family history to learning about the National Library’s Archives.

The City of Literature Trust ran a stall to represent Edinburgh’s wider literary sector, and gave a public talk on the outcomes of our One Book – One Edinburgh Kidnapped campaign.

Edinburgh is home to around 140 libraries and information services.  They have come together to form ELISA (Edinburgh Library & Information Services Agency), an umbrella organisation that seeks to consolidate relationships between Edinburgh’s libraries.  ELISA works to showcase the wealth of knowledge held in Scotland’s capital.

The Festival was developed as a public event in the wake of the successful Edinburgh Libraries Fair in May 2006, aimed at library professionals. Thirty libraries exhibited, encouraging a clearer understanding of the wealth of knowledge available in Edinburgh and a sharing of best-practice between staff. The City of Literature Trust was a central part of this ELISA-run event.

Find out more about ELISA.

 

Poetry In Motion

We collaborated with the Scottish Poetry Library and Oxfam on a project to produce a series of poems, written by writers who are also asylum seekers, for display on 400 Edinburgh and Glasgow buses.  Poetry in motion!

The poems, entitled Scotland and Exile, also featured on postcards distributed through Oxfam and the public libraries between the two cities around 10 December 2007, Human Rights Day.

Special thanks to Iyad Hayatleh (Palestinian Poet) and Gerry Cambridge (Scottish Poet) who facilitated the workshops which produced the poems.

This project reflects the ongoing work that the City of Literature Trust is undertaking with partners to have Edinburgh designated an International City of Refuge.  Cities across the world, led by founding City of Refuge Stavanger, Norway, welcome a writer, giving sanctuary to those unable to work and live safely in their home country.

Our partners include Scottish and International PEN, who work with ICORN to identify those writers and journalists across the world in fear for their lives because of the material they publish. We believe that Edinburgh should join the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) to uphold the importance of free speech in the world.

For more information, visit www.icorn.org.

 

Scottish Writers’ Series

In January 2008, Scottish contemporary writing was put firmly onto the European stage with nine top quality and diverse writers from Scotland taking part, along with a performance of the City of Literature Trust’s Writing the City: Edinburgh in poetry, prose and song.

Catherine Lockerbie, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Lorraine Fannin, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, spoke about the thriving Scottish writing scene.  Both are founding Trustees of the City of Literature Trust.

The Scottish Writers’ Series at Scotland House was organised by the Scottish Government EU office in Brussels, in collaboration with the Scottish Book Trust, Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and Sterling Books.

The City of Literature Trust’s performance piece, Writing the City: Edinburgh in poetry, prose and song, has appeared to sell-out crowds at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Washington’s Smithsonian Institute and the Edinburgh Book Festival.

 

Championing the Work of Sir Walter Scott

The City of Literature Trust worked with the National Trust for Scotland to host a dinner for delegates at the International Press Institute’s World Congress.  The dinner brought key decision makers from across the UK and senior international media representatives together to learn more about Sir Walter  Scott and support the development of his home, Abbotsford, in the Scottish Borders.

City of Literature Trustees Catherine Lockerbie and James Boyle were present to demonstrate the vital importance of Scott’s work to current cultural perceptions of both Scotland and her literature.

His home, Abbotsford, near Melrose, is open to the public for visits, but is currently trying to raise funds to establish the house as a major Scottish tourist attraction and cultural centre.

Visitors to Abbostford are able to view Sir Walter Scott’s immense collection of historic relics, weapons, armour and over 9,000 rare books. Visit the Private Chapel and wander through the beautiful grounds, gardens and along the woodland walk.

The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club has been in existence for over 110 years. The object of the Club is to foster the name of Sir Walter Scott through meetings, lectures, publications and excursions.

 

Old Town Festival

In 2007, the traditional Old Town Festival was revived in Edinburgh.  A collaboration with the Scottish Storytelling Centre and our sister UNESCO organisation Edinburgh World Heritage saw a fortnight of events celebrating the unique character of the Capital’s medieval Old Town.

As the Old Town is home to numerous literary hotspots, including Makars’ Court and the Writers’ Museum, the City of Literature Trust revived our popular Robert Louis Stevenson-themed literary walk, first commissioned for our One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign, which featured Stevenson’s Kidnapped.

The Writers’ Museum holds a number of key Stevenson artifacts, as well as an exhibition of photographs of the great man, taken all over the world.

Makars’ Court represents in sandstone flagstones quotations from some of Scotland’s literary luminaries, including: Scott, Hogg, Fergusson, Stevenson and many more.

Discover more about Edinburgh’s literary history, how to get involved or the work we accomplish through literary tourism.

 

Literary Map

In 2005, we produced a literary map of Edinburgh in partnership with VisitScotland, Orange, The List and Scottish Book Trust, for distribution in hotels, tourist centres, libraries and literature venues in the city.  The maps proved extremely popular – and not just with tourists, as many locals found the calendar of literary events on the back of the map extremely useful.

The map was designed to give a taster of some of the city’s literary hotspots and sparked debate about whether every single location of literary value should be marked and celebrated.  In Edinburgh, that could be a tough job – whole books have been produced on the subject, and a comprehensive map would have to be a very large one!

We’ve put the original map online, so that you can see some key locaions that you may want o visit in person.  Other maps of interest include the Poetry Map and the map of Scotland’s literature on the Booksfromscotland website.

Get involved and try out our interactive apps to discover more about the City of Literature!

 

The City of Literature publication

As part of the original bid to UNESCO, a publication was produced pulling together in one place all of the Edinburgh’s literary credentials, past and present.  The finished book, entitled We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal…, became both an absorbing read and useful resource and it was decided that every school and library would benefit from having a copy in stock.  The subsequent reprint was then made available for sale, with residents and visitors alike snapping up their copies at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

We love the book so much that we have put the whole thing online – you can read We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal… on this website, or you can purchase a copy from our sister site, www.booksfromscotland.com, and all good bookshops.

 

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

The City of Literature Trust was commissioned to bring a literary element to Edinburgh’s very first Fashion Festival in April 2006, engaging five writers to create a literary treasure trail around the city. Our five fashionable writers were:

  • Allan Guthrie.
  • Susie Maguire.
  • Ron Butlin.
  • Dilys Rose.
  • Linda Cracknell.

 

International Writers Exchange

The City of Literature Trust promotes the cultural exchange of writers, including planned exchanges with the famous Writers’ Centre in Varuna, Australi, Vancouver and Tel Aviv, directly benefiting five writers. Dilys Rose and Ewan Morrison returned from the Writers’ House at Varuna, in Australia’s Blue Mountains, at the end of June and their Australian counterparts visited Edinburgh in September.

 

Literary Prizes

We are working to encourage high-profile literary events and awards to come to the city; the first of these, the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, came to Edinburgh for its inaugural ceremony in June 2005.

Following Edinburgh’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh University announced a substantial increase in prize money for the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes making them the largest literary prizes in Scotland, as well as the oldest literary awards in the UK.

The most recent awards were made at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which was also the venue for the announcement of the Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Awards – the full  story includes comments from the judging panel.

Each year, the Saltire Society makes a number of literary awards – they announce the winner of their extensive shortlist on St Andrews day each year.

Through the BRAW project (Books, Reading and Writing), the Scottish Book Trust co-ordinates the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books, with younger readers now voting for the winners each year.

 

Tartan Week

The City of Literature Trust presented an evening of words and song in Washington to celebrate Scotland’s literary heritage as part of the Tartan Week events in New York in April 2006.

The sell-out event was followed by a debate featuring historian Neal Ascherson, bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith and Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, Dr Gavin Wallace.

Information about Scotland’s literature and Edinburgh’s literary heritage was handed out across New York, and featured in the Tartan Village in Grand Central Station.

 

Writer in Residence Programme

From February 2006 to late 2007, we ran a series of six Writer in Residence opportunities all across the City of Edinburgh, each reaching a different set of residents and providing a different opportunity for each of the six writers.

Festival of the Middle East

Kevin Macneil was the City of Literature Writer in Residence for the duration of the Festival of the Middle East in February 2006. He ran creative writing workshops at the Traverse Theatre and Boroughmuir High School gave a reading at the Scottish Poetry Library, and attended many of the Festival’s events prior to writing a poem sequence inspired by the themes of the festival.

National Library of Scotland

Poet Ken Cockburn was based within the John Murray Archive in May and June 2006, exploring the treasures  of the archive as soon as it arrived in Scotland.  The National Library intends to offer this residency opportunity to other writers in the future.

National Museum of Scotland

Glasgow-based author Zoe Strachan ran a number of workshops with members of the public during her time with the National Musuem.

Astley Ainslie Hospital

Storyteller Millie Gray worked with the recovering residents at the hospital.

North Edinburgh Arts Centre

Edinburgh author Keith Gray worked with young people in North Edinburgh during a summer school project, involving them in his own writing process.

Saughton Prison

Tim Turnbull has been working closely with the staff and inmates at HMP Saughton in Edinburgh, developing writing and literacy skills and inspiring the inmates to run their own creative writing magazine.  The success of this project has led to the residency being continued for over two years beyond its original six-month remit, and it is hoped that this will become a part of the prison’s mainstream education work.