CITIZEN, a new project by the Edinburgh International Book Festival, has been launched.

The festival hopes it will be a forum for listening to residents from across the capital city.

The festival said it will be "offering residents an opportunity to explore their connection to each other and their relationship to their local area, looking at how local conversations are heard or echoed on a national or global level."

Nick Barley, director of the EIBF, said “I feel passionately that book festivals are not just about books: they are much-needed forums for public discourse.

"If we are going to sustain a genuinely inclusive forum for grassroots democratic discussion in Edinburgh, we must reach out more effectively to give everyone the chance to take part.

"That’s why it’s so exciting to be able to work with community groups that haven’t traditionally been so well represented in the audiences at the August festival.

"We’re also honoured that authors Claire Askew and Eleanor Thom have agreed to join us in creating long-term community partnerships: I can’t wait to see what kind of events and stories will develop out of the Citizen project."

Ms Askew has been appointed as the Citizen Schools Writer-in-Residence and will be working with three secondary schools including Liberton High School and Craigroyston Community High School.

Ms Thom has been appointed as the Citizen Community Writer-in-Residence and will be working through North Edinburgh Arts with groups living and working in the North of the city as well as in partnership with WHALE Arts Agency in Wester Hailes and Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre in Moredun.

Ms Thom said: "The most powerful stories are likely happening beyond the geography of the festival and exploring these narratives can transform how we all see our city, ourselves, and others. That’s why Citizen is important."

The same group will work to create a mini Book Festival to be held in North Edinburgh Arts in May 2020.

Citizen will continue until August 2021 and will draw in communities in and around Musselburgh with the support of the Brunton Theatre.

The 2019 Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from 10 to 26 August 2019.

THE Colonsay Book Festival has announced the line-up for its 2019 Festival.

The award-winning writers and authors appearing at the event, on 27 and 28 April next year, are Ann Cleeves, Robin Crawford, Jen Hadfield, Clare Hunter, Sarah Maine and James and Tom Morton.

More names will be released in late January.

Tickets are now on sale.

Richard Irvine, Co-Director of the event, said: “As an island festival, we’re delighted this year to have such a strong focus on writing ‘from the edge’.

“Colonsay is such an unspoilt special place, it’s the perfect setting to meet and mingle with some of the country’s leading writers and hear and talk about life and literature. Whether at the event itself, in the pub afterwards, or walking on one of its unspoilt beaches.

“It’s a hugely enjoyable event for visitors, authors and locals alike.

“Tickets are on sale now, with a special early bird rate available until the end of January 2019. You can keep up to date with all our news on our website and via Twitter and Facebook.”

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will be joined by, tenor and BBC Scotland and Scottish Proms in the Park presenter Jamie MacDougall for its annual RSNO Christmas Concerts.

It will perform these concerts to audiences in Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow next month.

The RSNO Christmas Concert (sponsored by the RSNO’s Principal Transport Partner ScotRail) features the screening of Raymond Briggs’ animation The Snowman, the story narrated by Mr MacDougall with live symphonic accompaniment, led by conductor and Hallé choral director Matthew Hamilton.

He said: “It's always a pleasure to work with my friends at the RSNO and I'm looking forward with great anticipation to this Season's Christmas Concerts.

"There surely aren’t many who haven’t seen Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman but in the context of a full symphonic concert it takes on a new and emotionally heightened dimension."