The Word Alliance: bringing together the world’s leading literature festivals

The Word Alliance brings together eight of the world’s leading literature festivals for a strategic international partnership which supports and showcases the work of writers, facilitates the creation of international literature projects and provides opportunities to enhance each festival’s artistic programme.

The Word Alliance is a collaboration of independent organisations rather than an organisation in its own right.  Each member festival brings and retains its own distinct brand, organisation, aims and artistic integrity, but the Alliance facilitates these festivals working together on projects of mutual interest.  

Inspired by a conversation between the festival directors of the Edinburgh, Toronto and Berlin literary festivals in 2010, the Word Alliance has quickly become a valuable international collaboration which has already spawned new ideas, innovative author events and inspired new ways of working together. There are positive signs that cultural funding bodies will use the Word Alliance as a means of investing in international literary promotion, with funds from Scotland, Australia and Canada already having been committed in 2011 and the promise of more to come.

The Word Alliance aims to persuade sponsors, benefactors and investors that this is the best possible network of festivals for author travel. Any cultural or government body wishing to celebrate its country’s literary prowess on an international stage can use the Word Alliance as a trustworthy platform.

Each member festival undertakes to provide the best possible experience for its visiting authors and to achieve excellence in the quality of its presentation, thus the Word Alliance offers a quality benchmark – a guarantee of quality which will encourage authors, publishers, governments and anyone else connected with literature that Word Alliance festivals are the world’s unmissable festivals.

Member festivals and 2012 dates:

Jaipur Literature Festival: 20-24 January 2012
An epic celebration of books, writers, ideas, debate, dialogue, poetry and music. Asia-Pacific's leading literature event of national and international writers held over 5 days every January.

The Bookworm International Literary Festival, Beijing: 9-23 March 2012
A unique celebration of literature and ideas, with 100 events across three cities, connecting over 70 Chinese and international writers and thinkers.

PEN World Voices, New York: 27 April - 4 May 2012
A celebration of world literature for 7 days every April in New York, featuring more than 150 writers, 40 countries, and 50 events.

Etonnants-Voyageurs, St Malo: 26-28 May 2012
A jubilant celebration of world literature with 200 writers from all over the globe taking part in 300 public debates and book presentations, plus a festival featuring films, exhibitions, concerts, book signings and fine cuisine from around the world. Held each year in St Malo over the 3-day Whitsun weekend (5 days for young readers).

Edinburgh International Book Festival: 11-27 August 2012
A 17-day carnival of words and ideas where readers and writers are brought together from across the world. 800 authors from 50 countries in 750 events attract over 200,000 visitors annually each August in Scotland's capital city.

Melbourne Writers Festival: 23 August - 2 September 2012
An annual 11-day festival featuring over 300 international and local writers taking part in talks, debates, literary banquets, film screenings, gigs and workshops, as well as an engaging schools' programme.

internationales literaturfestival berlin: 4-15 September 2012
Contemporary prose and poetry from around the world over 12 days every September in Berlin with 150
authors in 250 events staged by and for literary enthusiasts.

International Festival of Authors, Toronto: 18-28 October 2012
The best writers of contemporary world literature are brought together for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions and public book signings each October.


For more information about the Word Alliance:

Please contact the press office of your nearest Word Alliance festival or speak to:
Amanda Barry, Marketing and PR Manager, Edinburgh International Book Festival       +44 (0)131 718 5666