Edinburgh, United Kingdom

UNESCO City of Literature

In October 2004, Edinburgh, became the first UNESCO City of Literature.

The city’s nomination has drawn attention to the literary activities and prestigious events that take place in Scotland, such as the international Man Booker prize for literature. Edinburgh now wants to capitalise on this honour and to provide true benefits for Scotland by promoting the country through literature, while making the city a model for the other cities of literature to come.

© Valentino Etowar
View of Princes Street Gardens in the direction of Sir Walter Scott monument on the left.

Not only is Edinburgh the home of many world-famous contemporary authors, but it also boasts many historic literary legends such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Walter Scott, the author of Ivanhoe and Rob Roy and Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Jekyll and Hyde and Treasure Island.

Contact: Ali Bowden (ali(at)cityofliterature.com)



Reception to Mark 10 Years of Edinburgh 

Edinburgh recently celebrated 10 years as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Rt Hon Donald Wilson, hosted a reception at the City Chambers, welcoming over 150 guests from all corners of the literary community, including global bestselling Edinburgh writers Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin and the Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate) Christine De Luca.

To mark the anniversary of the designation a series of projects were unveiled including literary gardens, Edinburgh’s iconic floral clock being dedicated to the City of Literature, one of the mystery paper sculptures going on display in the City Chambers, a dedicated website for the Makar and the planning of a literary hub with partners across the city to give a year-round visible presence. This last project will be led by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Commenting on 10 years of Edinburgh being a City of Literature, Alexander McCall Smith called it, ‘A remarkable thing … something like an Enlightenment. What an achievement!’ More information on Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature can be found at www.cityofliterature.com  


UK Creative Cities Meet in Edinburgh

The four UK members of UNESCO Creatives cities Network - Bradford (Film), Glasgow (Music), Norwich (Literature) and Edinburgh (Literature) - welcomed their two fellow newcomers, Dundee (Design) and York (Media Arts) at a meeting on December 9th, to discuss activities related to the cities' designations, collaboration between their cities, as well as relations with UNESCO. Read More



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