The Edinburgh International Book Festival has kicked off in the capital, with lots to see, do and take part in over the space of two weeks.

The annual event sees big-name authors flock to Charlotte Square to do readings, workshops and signings, and encourage Scots to embrace the wonder of the written word.

Over 1,000 authors from 45 different countries will be taking part in events from 12-28 August to inspire, challenge and entertain, with sessions for adults, teens, little ones and more. You’ll find best-selling authors, cult writers, children’s storytellers, comedians, journalists and beyond all in one place.

If you’re planning a trip to the festival, here are the events we’ll be checking out.

1. Judy Murray

On the 15th, Judy Murray – tennis player and coach, mother to two of the biggest names in the sport, and Strictly Come Dancing alumnus – will be stepping into the tented village to talk about her new book, Knowing the Score and what she’s doing to encourage girls and women into the sport.

2. Amanda Coe and Louise Doughty

Audiences were transfixed with the BBC’s adaptation of Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty – and the author is going to be appearing at the book festival alongside fellow novelist Amanda Coe on the 16th to talk about adapting a novel for screen.

3. Joe Lycett

To tie in with his book Parsnips, Buttered, stand-up comedian Joe Lycett will be chatting about the release and raising a few laughs too on the evening of the 16th.

4. Zadie Smith

The award-winning author of White Teeth is returning to the festival for the first time in five years! This time, she’s talking about her latest release Swing Time, a story of friendship between two girls who dream of being dancers. Catch her in the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre on Saturday the 19th.

5. Hannah Love on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

One for Potterheads, Faber & Faber Children’s Publicity Manager Hannah Love will be exploring the fourth Harry Potter novel. It’s an open discussion – so if you’re mad for Harry, head along on Sunday the 20th.

6. Ali Smith

Also on Sunday, Ali Smith will be stopping by to reflect on the first of her seasonal novels Autumn – and talk about what Winter has in store too.

7. Sir Chris Hoy

The highlight of Sunday the 20th, cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy is heading to Edinburgh to talk about his children’s series, Flying Fergus.

8. Maggie O’Farrell

Northern Irish novelist Maggie O’Farrell will be talking about her latest release, This Must be the Place, the fascinating tale of a reclusive ex-movie star and a linguistics professor. Check her out on Monday the 21st.

9. Chris Brookmyre

The mind behind the bestselling Quite Ugly One Morning is back with Want You Gone, a tale exploring the dark side of technology. He’ll be chatting about the new release on Wednesday the 23rd.

10. John Simpson

The BBC foreign correspondent will be looking back on an incredible 50 years at the broadcaster. Prepare to be inspired! Head along on the 28th.

To check out the full programme and plan your visit, head to

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