Nick Barley moved to Scotland in 2003 to become editor of the cultural magazine The List, and he was 2005 PPA Editor of the Year. From 2006-2009 he was director of The Lighthouse – Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, where he commissioned a major Scottish Pavilion by Gareth Hoskins for the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Since October 2009 he has been director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Innovations during his directorship include Unbound, a free evening mini-festival of literary performances; the 2012 Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference which took place in 17 cities worldwide; Conversations with Ourselves, a major academic project in partnership with Durham University exploring the role voice hearing in the writing process; and a Fringe First-winning promenade theatre production, Letters Home, co-produced with Grid Iron Theatre Company in 2014.

He is a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, President of the Word Alliance – an international network of the world’s leading literary festivals – and in 2017 chair of the judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize.