A celebratory return to a full-scale Edinburgh International Book Festival

We’ve had a jam-packed few weeks celebrating the return of the full, glorious, in-person Edinburgh International Book Festival, and we loved it! Our ever-brilliant Saraband authors joined forces with a range of interesting panellists and chairs, pulling in audiences both in-person and online to hear more about their books and ideas at Edinburgh’s iconic festival.

If you missed out on visiting EIBF this year, here’s Saraband’s highlights reel from the festival, with a few behind-the-scenes images at the end… Keep scrolling!

Starting with our Booker-longlist star Graeme Macrae Burnet, in conversation with Jenny Niven

Graeme Macrae Burnet at the EIBF

Reading an extract at the beginning of the event

Graeme entertained a packed audience in the Baillie Gifford Sculpture Court with tales of studying women’s magazines from the ’60s to get into the head of his narrator, and whether his novels are modern, postmodern, or neither. Full of Graeme’s signature wit, this was an event not to be missed.

It is available to watch until September 30th, 2022. You can watch it here.

You can read more about Graeme’s event in The Scotsman here.

Catherine Simpson: Our Bodies, Ourselves, with Tanya Shadrick and Maddie Mortimer

Our Bodies Ourselves event panel

One Body author Catherine Simpson was joined by another of this year’s Booker-longlisted authors, Maddie Mortimer (Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies)  and Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep, in the Northside Theatre. Chaired by Casi Dylan, this was a deep dive into women’s health, shame, fear and how the authors’ own experiences infused their writing. Of the event, The Scotsman said, “You can never predict when a conversation between writers will catch fire, but this one emphatically did. I only wish more people could have seen it.”

You can read more about the event in The Scotsman’s article here and on the Portobello Book Blog here.

Olga Wojtas in conversation with Jenny Brown: Murder, Martial Arts and Macbeth

In the Wee Red Bar Olga’s sold-out conversation with Jenny covered the adventures of Olga’s indomitable Shona McMonagle, aka Miss Blaine’s Prefect. Olga explained how Shakespeare had completely misrepresented the history of the real Macbeth, which she has ‘corrected’ in Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters. Pure festival gold!

You can read more about Olga’s event on the Portobello Book Blog here.

Adam Farrer & Jon Ransom: Washed Up on the East Coast

With an audience filling Baillie Gifford West Court, and viewers tuning in online, Adam Farrer’s debut at EIBF was a smash success. During this event with fellow debut author Jon Ransom, chair Lewis Camley discussed the influence of the east coast on Adam and Jon’s writing in Cold Fish Soup and The Whale Tattoo. The talk was a deeply personal introspect on the writing process of each book, and is definitely worth a watch.

Adam’s event is available to watch online now.

Ewan Morrison with C.A. Fletcher: Great Pandemic Novels

Back in the Wee Red Bar, How to Survive Everything author Ewan Morrison and C A Fletcher (Dead Water) discussed themes around pandemics, prepping for survival, and the impact of Covid-19, with chair Zoe Venditozzi. They covered what it was like to write in isolation during the height of the pandemic and how people have responded to their novels, as well as answering all kinds of pandemic-related questions.

Rosemary Goring, Andrew Greig & Sue Lawrence: Mary, Quite Contrary

On the festival’s final day, Sue Lawrence was joined by fellow historical novelists Rosemary Goring and Andrew Greig to talk all about Scotland under the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, when Sue’s The Green Lady is set. Chair Lisa Highton posed an interesting question: what do you wish Mary Queen of Scots hadn’t done?

This is available to watch online until September 30th, 2022. You can watch it here.

You can read more about the event, and the answers to Lisa’s question, on the Portobello Book Blog here.


And now for those behind-the-scenes images! First, Graeme outside the festival entrance on a glorious sunny morning.


Graeme Macrae Burnet at EIBF outside in sunshine

Critic and podcaster Alistair Braidwood of Scots Wha Hae with Olga Wojtas and Gail Wylie, of Bookmark Festival, Blairgowrie:

Ali Olga and Gail

And Graeme comparing notes on the Booker longlist, Class of 2022, with Maddie Mortimer.

Graeme Maddie

See you there next year! It’s been fantastic.