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First for book festival

The Edinburgh book festival will be able to commission and publish the writing of contemporary Scottish authors for the first time, thanks to millions in additional funding for Edinburgh's festivals from the Scottish Government, writes Emma Seith

The Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund is making an extra pound;6 million available over the next three years to the 12 separate festivals which make up what is loosely referred to as the Edinburgh Festival. Productions, events and books targeted at children will be among the beneficiaries.

The fund can be used to support new productions, events or exhibitions involving Scottish-based participants that premiere at any of the Edinburgh festivals. It can also be used to support touring of events or performances after their showing at the festival.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said that the new cash would make it possible for more work from Scottish children's theatre companies, such as Wee Stories for Children, to be featured in the children's festival, Imaginate.

The Government will not be prescriptive when deciding which projects qualify as "Scottish", according to Ms Fabiani: "I don't think we want to be too prescriptive and perhaps miss a gem. We will look at what the festivals bring forward as their idea of Scottish work."

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