Authors shaving their hair on stage, poets playing ping pong and a verbal punch up between Chris Brookmyre and Billy Letford – just some of the things that have happened at Unbound, the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s series of late night live literature events.

Now in its third year, and quickly gaining a reputation as somewhere to expect the unexpected, the festival within a festival will take place in the Guardian Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens every night from 12-27 August at 9pm.

This year’s line up, ais set to feature a Saturday night disco with Chic’s Nile Rodgers, a sensual show of words with Man Booker nominated author Sarah Hall and Scotland’s own Alan Bissett, as well as celebrated writer Mark Haddon debuting his one man stand-up show.

Roland Gulliver, Programme Manager for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said, “We are thrilled to be welcoming back Unbound favourites such as Literary Death Match, as well as collaborating with new Unbounders such as the Electric Voice Phenomena for what is set to be our most exciting and international year yet. This August’s line up encompasses all that Unbound is – something new, possibly cheeky, slightly chaotic and always fun.“

Other participants include Glasgow-based literary night Words Per Minute, as well as Kohl Publishing who will launch their first novel as an e-book download. Relocating to the Scottish capital for one night only will be London based spoken word group Homework featuring Joe Dunthorne and Ross Sutherland, as well as the Faber Social from publishers Faber & Faber, with their authors Teju Cole and Jeet Thayil.

Edinburgh-based Illicit Ink will present their night of Magic Words, Americans Simon Felice and TM Wolfe will team up for an evening of music and musing, and making their Unbound debut on the closing night will be a host of new Scottish talent from the Scottish Book Trust. Cargo and McSweeney’s, publishers of the Book Festival’s new collection of short stories Elsewhere, will host a night with authors from the book to celebrate its launch.

Christine Otten will participate in an evening of contemporary fiction and spoken word from the Netherlands, supported by the Dutch Foundation for Literature, whilst Kamila Shamsie and Hari Kunzru will be creating a mixtape of South Asian stories with DJ Neil Kulkarni in an event from the South Asian Literature Festival.

Taking place in Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Unbound will celebrate two new cities to carry this title, Reykjavik and Dublin. Icelandic author Sjón will host a night of fiction from his home country, supported by the Icelandic Literature Fund and Irish writer Kevin Barry will join artists Julie Feeney and Maeve Higgins, to take part in an evening of story and song, supported by Culture Ireland.

Unbound is free and unticketed, and is a place for writers to experiment with storytelling, fusing together words, music and performance.  Full details of all the Unbound events are available from today in this month’s edition of The Skinny magazine, media sponsor of Unbound,  and online at