Media Release: Edinburgh International Book Festival director, Nick Barley, to deliver keynote at inaugural SYP Scotland conference


THE Society of Young Publishers Scotland is thrilled to announce that Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, will be delivering the keynote speech for their inaugural conference, 2020: A Publishing Odyssey, which takes place on March 18th at Lauriston Hall, Edinburgh.

Begins a spokesperson: “With the New Statesman recently declaring that Scottish festivals ‘set the best example’ when it comes to author treatment, there is no finer way to kickstart this look into what the country has to offer than hearing from the director of the world’s largest public celebration of the written word.

“Nick Barley promises to deliver ‘a rallying call to publishers, authors, editors, agents and readers to make the most of the amazing opportunities Scotland offers’.”

The SYP aims to assist those in their first ten years in the industry or looking to get into publishing, through informative monthly events, an online programme and fantastic blog.

Our conference will shine a spotlight on the thriving publishing industry in Scotland, with a look at books, magazines and comics, to give first-hand look into many areas and key topics, with three strands:

  • The Hunger Games: Hunting for Publishing Jobs
  • A Tale for the Time Being: Publishing Now
  • Divergent: Where is it All Going?

Nick Barley (selected as an industry trendsetter in The Bookseller’s Top 100 list) has worked his way through the industry, moving from being a publisher at Blueprint to editor of The List to his current role of director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a post he has held since 2009.

In recent years, the Book Festival has hosted names such as Reverend Jesse Jackson, George RR Martin, Jacqueline Wilson and Malala Yousafzai.

With a consistent push to innovate, bringing more international work to Scotland, tackling hard-hitting topics from politics to mental health and experimenting with the format of events, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is at the forefront of what book festivals can achieve.

2020: A Publishing Odyssey is a must-attend event for showcasing the diverse mix Scotland’s publishing industry has to offer.

Events confirmed so far are a Careers Panel for students, Intellectual Property session, a look to the future with the Electric Bookshop, and a panel dedicated to our thriving lit festival scene.

Announced guests so far include representatives of Publishing Scotland, PPA Scotland, Literary Dundee, Bright Red Publishing and Edinburgh’s City of Literature with plenty more to come!

Tickets are currently available for members (£28), non-members (£32), and with a membership bundle, where you can attend and join the SYP for a year (£42).

For more information, please send an email FAO Laura Jones to

Facebook event:

Ticket link:

Confirmed programme:

Quotes for use:

Zara Markland, SYP UK chair:

“We are absolutely delighted that Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival will be heading up and supporting the SYP in our first conference hosted in Scotland. ‘2020: A Publishing Odyssey’ is set to be a diverse and thought-provoking celebration of the publishing industry in Scotland and a look at the pivotal discussion points for young publishers in the industry today.

“Nick is the ideal Keynote for such a showcase and along with several other inspirational guests already confirmed the SYP conference in Scotland should definitely be in your calendar, if it’s not already!”

Rosie Howie, SYP Scotland co-chair:

“It is a real honour to have Nick Barley confirmed as the Keynote for the Society of Young Publishers’ first-ever Scottish conference.

“We aim to showcase the best of Scottish publishing on the day and are thrilled to have Nick kicking things off in style as Keynote. The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a huge part of the publishing calendar up here and he is a real inspiration to us all.”

MEDIA RELEASE issued by SYP Scotland. You too can post media releases on Email here for more information.

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Contact: SYP Scotland