Sturgeon to headline Edinburgh Book Festival's Northern Lights

Sturgeon to headline Edinburgh Book Festival's Northern Lights

The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon will headline a free talk about finding and publishing diverse voices at the Edinburgh Book Festival’s Northern Lights event series.

Northern Lights is a collaborative project between the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Bradford Literature Festival designed to bring together Northern and Scottish publishers. Supported by Creative Scotland and Arts Council England, this two-part gathering kicked off at Bradford Literature Festival on 28th June and will culminate at the Edinburgh International Book Festival over the weekend of 24th and 25th August.

Sturgeon will facilitate a session on Sunday 25th August from 10am to 11.15am entitled ‘Many Words, Many Voices: Re-thinking Diversity in Publishing’. She will discuss with three panel guests around the subject of finding and publishing new diverse voices. Aberdeen-born author Kerry Hudson, author of the recent memoir Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns (Vintage); Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing and editor at large of Canongate; as well as Northern-based publisher of Caribbean and black British writing, Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press. The participants will talk about the value of promoting diversity, the challenges and opportunities as well as ways to better reach readers from these backgrounds.

Other sessions in the series taking place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre include: ‘Surviving as an Independent Publisher’, ‘A Global Perspective: What opportunities exist to increase the visibility of publishers and writers abroad?’ and ‘Power Up North: A Manifesto Debate’.

The Northern Lights gatherings offer a chance to discuss key issues in the industry and share expertise around developing inclusive practice and diversifying readership. The event series is free, takes place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and open to all in the publishing industry at any level including booksellers, literary agents, editors, publicists, publishers, libraries, and authors.

To book your place at the Edinburgh edition of Northern Lights, email