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The Edinburgh International Book Festival continues to deliver brilliant events and projects across Scotland thanks to the incredible support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This year’s Book Festival has had to move online due to the Coronavirus pandemic and will now offer adults and families over 140 inspiring events with writers, poets, politicians, illustrators, and comedians from around the world.

All events are easy to view – and absolutely free – through the Book Festival’s website.

Funding from People’s Postcode Lottery players, which totals over £1.8 million, enables the Book Festival to work with partner organisations and help people across Scotland develop meaningful and inspiring connections with books, stories and writing, giving voice to communities and individuals through their On the Road programme.

The festival is continuing to work on its latest major creative programme, Citizen. Launched in 2018, this has seen hundreds of people from across Edinburgh, particularly in North Edinburgh and Musselburgh, attend events and take part in “life enhancing” discussions, writing workshops and creative activities. Working in partnership with community organisations and schools across the city, the Book Festival has appointed two writers-in-residence who have brought people’s stories and views on the communities they live into the fore.

Two of the Citizen events in this year’s online Book Festival examine how communities have been affected by the Coronavirus. Healing the Digital Divide looks at the inequality of online access. Rich Thanki, co-founder of Jangala, the organisation that delivered WIFI to the refugees in the ‘Calais Jungle,’ joins Iain MacRitchie, CEO of MCR Pathways - who provided 300 laptops for digitally excluded young people across Scotland - to consider what can and must be done to remedy the digital divide. Power to the People explores how the Covid Pandemic has affected communities across the UK with Jo Hunter, founder of 64 Million Artists, and John Loughton from Scran Academy discussing how they made the necessary changes to support and serve their communities during the global pandemic.

Finally, Stories and Scran brings people together in an online forum to enjoy readings from participants in the Citizen project and a free meal provided by the Scran Academy.

Thanks to funding from players, the Edinburgh International Book Festival continues to be shared by people across Scotland, whatever their age, location, economic or social circumstances.

This year’s online Book Festival takes place on 15-31 August and all events can be found at edbookfest.co.uk.

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