Edinburgh World Writers' Conference to launch in August

The Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council are launching the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference at the EIBF this August, marking the 50th anniversary of a five-day writers' conference which took place in 1962.

William S Burroughs, Rosamond Lehman and Norman Mailer were among the authors who met in 1962, and the EWWC will see authors debate the same topics covered then, in front of a public audience. The event has been financially supported by the Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, and will form part of a year's worth of events for the British Council.

The conference is setting out to "build the most complete picture of writing and its relationship to modern life ever attempted", with the meeting to be broadcast live online, and with other conference meetings happening in countries including India, Germany, Australia, Canada and Egypt over the year. The EWWC will publish a book about contemporary writing, assembling the highlights from the conferences around the world, after final conference session in August 2013.

Full details of the participants and sessions will be announced in June.

EIBF director Nick Barley said: "Half a century ago, Edinburgh hosted a Writers' Conference that was so influential it helped bring about the explosion of literary festivals as we know them today . . . In this exciting new programming partnership with the British Council, we will be inviting 50 writers from across the globe to return to the themes of 1962 and to set them in a modern context."