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Book Festival audiences have a great track record of supporting new and lesser-known writers in the knowledge that many will go on to forge international careers. Our First Book Award, for which we are delighted to welcome Anobii as a new title sponsor, offers you the chance to select the winner and choose your favourite. Debut novels, novellas or short-story collections in our adult programme are eligible for the award including overseas writers whose words are published in English for the first time and a selection of writers for young adults. A list of the books and authors can be found on our website or you can pick up a leaflet from the Book Festival Entrance Tent. Play your part in identifying a future literary legend by placing your vote. Previous winners of the First Book Award include Sarah Winman with her debut novel When God Was a Rabbit, now an international bestseller.The book which receives the most votes will be the winner and everyone who casts a vote will be entered into a draw to win all 46 books on the list.VOTE FOR THE BOOK YOU LOVED.Pick up a voting card at the Book Festival and post it into the big ballot box in the Entrance Tent.Visit the website to vote online (and tell us why you loved the book) at the events and meet the writers: look out for this tag in the event listings Photography Exhibition of Book Festival Authors'I don't set out to be flattering, authors are not models and they understand character better than anyone. I want my images to expose the humanity in the subjects, be that frailty, strength, even humour.'Chris Close, photographerDrop in anytime and take a stroll round the Gardens to see portraits of our Festival authors. Remarkable Scottish photographer Chris Close joins us for a fourth year, developing an exhibition of starkly unique author portraits, taken over the course of the Festival, and exhibited around the Gardens for everyone to enjoy. Every day, as our Festival authors arrive, new portraits are taken and added to the exhibition. Who knows who you might encounter.ANOBII FIRST BOOK AWARD NOMINEEJoin Us OnlineYou can link directly through to all online activity from our website home page at Browse the website while on the move at First Book Award 2012 FacebookHear about the latest news and programme updates and share your views and experiences with other Book Festival fans.TwitterFollow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news, exclusive competitions and offers, programme updates and to share your views about events. Notes from the FestivalRead behind-the-scenes chat on our Festival blog.YouTubeWatch great videos of author events and interviews.FlickrView a whole range of images taken by our Festival photographers and share your Book Festival photos by joining our Flickr group. 4

Over five afternoons from 17-21 August, in front of a public audience in our RBS Main Theatre, an historic gathering of fifty world renowned writers will discuss how writing and the imagination are an essential component of society. Starting at the Book Festival, the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference will then travel to events across the world over the following 12 months. From the Caribbean to Cairo, the ensuing global discussion will represent the greatest gathering of writers' voices ever staged.Edinburgh World Writers' Conference 2012-2013Supported by the Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and EventScotland.Why a Writers' Conference?The democratic world is living through a crisis of the imagination. Today, the existence of a global market has risked giving the simplistic pursuit of profit a higher status than attempts to improve human relationships and build respect for other people. The Edinburgh World Writers' Conference seeks to assert that the imagination, critical thinking and creativity are a vital part of the toolkit for surviving the 21st century. We believe that writers have a role to play in stimulating our imaginative health - and thereby helping create citizens who respect other people. This Conference represents an opportunity to rethink how writers, and their writing, can play a part in understanding and improving the world.The 1962 Writers' ConferenceThe format of the Conference mirrors the infamous event that took place 50 years ago in 1962. That year, the radical publisher John Calder worked with the impresario Jim Haynes to bring some 70 authors to Edinburgh. The guests included US authors Norman Mailer and Henry Miller alongside Scottish writers Hugh MacDiarmid and Muriel Spark, and several lesser-known authors, including William S. Burroughs, who would become famous as a result of the Conference. John Calder argued at the time that 'the novel enriches mankind by its ability to rouse the senses, to stimulate the intellect and to excite the imagination'. We firmly believe nothing has changed. The 2012 Writers' Conference takes as its starting point the same five topics that were discussed in 1962. A Public Conference and a Worldwide ConferenceThe Conference will involve discussion between leading writers, but your input is crucial. You are encouraged to have your say in each of our daily debates and to continue the conversation after each session on a specially-created online broadcast and discussion platform, where you can watch live broadcasts of each event at the Book Festival and join the debate as it happens. The Book Festival and the British Council together will make the Conference a genuinely worldwide discussion. As the debate rolls around the globe over the coming year, we invite you to watch the events and join the conversation online.Presented by:- Watch Conference events at the Book Festival live as they happen and take part in the live Q&A.- Follow the Conference events around the world from Aug 2012 to Sept 2013.- Get the latest news about upcoming Edinburgh World Writers' Conference events. - Share your views and join the discussions on social networks. Events and Keynote SpeakersSee event listings for more details17 Aug 15.00Should Literature be Political? Keynote: Ahdaf Soueif Chaired by Elif Shafak Page 2718 Aug 15.00Style vs ContentKeynote: Ali Smith Chaired by Nathan Englander Page 3019 Aug 15.00Is There a 'National Literature'? Keynote: Irvine Welsh Chaired by Ian Rankin Page 3320 Aug 15.00Censorship Today Keynote: Patrick Ness Chaired by Chika Unigwe Page 3521 Aug 15.00The Future of the Novel Keynote: Aharon AppelfeldChaired by Janne Teller Page 39Join the conversation will not be admitted after the start of events and no refunds will be given.Events are 1 hour long unless otherwise stated and take place in Charlotte Square Gardens.5