Running in parallel with the main festival over recent years has been the mushrooming of a Schools Gala Programme and a Borders-wide writing competition for primary school pupils, both of which have attracted and engaged thousands of children, forming part of a strategy to build audiences and readers for the future.
The Knight Frank Schools Gala Day Programme and The Davidson Chalmers Write On! Writing Competition offer fantastic opportunities for young readers and writers to become actively involved in the world of writing, to explore their own creativity, and above all, to have fun with words. This year's Schools Gala Day takes place on Friday 14 June and the winners of the Write On! awards will be announced at an event on Saturday 15 June.
Both the schools events and writing programmes for primary schools have been developed with the support of key partners Historic Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Borders Libraries and the Southern Reporter.
In 2012 a partnership developed between Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Borders Book Festival to bring authors attending the Edinburgh festival for outreach events with high schools in the Scottish Borders. This pilot scheme was enthusiastically welcomed and will return for a second year in 2013. Details of this year's high school outreach programme will be announced in May.