Shoe Challenge @ EdBookFest

For many years at EdBookFest, I had conversations about footwear, as well as books. In 2011, author Vivian French was tickled by the idea that I could wear a different pair of shoes each day, and a surprising number of people chimed in.

The Shoe Challenge began, and the rules were simple: wear different shoes each day. Challengers would step forward, to pit their shoes against mine. There are lots of lovely shoes at the Book Fest, as well as a few comedy pairs – by the end, I had several daily challengers.

By popular demand, here’s a summary of the shoes I wore – follow the links for my main daily Festival blog.

Anna’s Daily Shoes @ EdBookFest

Day One – I got a bit muddy when dancing to the samba band as the Book Fest gates opened to the public. Alasdair Gray was on-site, as was Julia Donaldson and her Gruffalo. I also got to play with a Giant Panda Skull in the Authors’ Yurt.

More from Day One >

Day One EdBookFest Shoes


Day Two – I wandered the boardwalks to keep my golden brogues out of the mud. I went to see Caitlin Moran talk about how it’s ok for feminists to love pretty things, and the sun came out for the Emerging Writers’ Reception.

More from Day Two >

Day 2 EdBookFest Shoes


Day Three – with Strictly Come Dancing’s Arlene Phillips in the Authors’ Yurt, I wore my vintage ballroom shoes. I did not get to dance with Arlene. I did get to listen to Pulitzer-winner Jennifer Egan and head along to Gutter magazine’s Unbound night.

More from Day Three >

Day Three EdbookFest: Vintage Ballroom Shoes


Day Four – Oh dear. The God of Clouds turned the tap on, so I wore comfy, soggy flats, and put my feet up in the Event Office. I also met some fabulous Finnish children’s authors, drank hot chocolate and chatted to some literary agent friends as we all dried out by the Yurt stove. Later that night I left the Book Fest to go to an International Festival event. It was a water-themed concert, appropriately.

More from Day Four >

Day Four EdBookFest shoes - charity shop find


Day Five – cream and gold butterfly heels, snapped on my phone by literary paparazzo and Book Fest photographer Chris Scott. I flew off to see Audrey Niffenegger chat to Neil Gaiman about fairytales, and took behind-the-scenes pics of how staff put together the Book Festival.

More from Day Five >

Day 5 EdBookFest Shoes


Day Six – the day was grey, and so were my shoes, snapped here by Story Shop author Helen Jackson. You should read her story. We were on our way into the Writers’ Retreat for the announcement of the Kelpies Prize: congratulations to winner Alette Willis, for her book How To Make a Golem (And Terrify People).

More from Day Six >

Day 6 EdBookFest Shoes


Day Seven – it was a day for red, and after a straw poll on Twitter, I went for suede rather than patent leather. My colleague Ali set up this pic, with pink lemonade next to the Main Theatre – the Alexander McCall-Smith fans filing in to the RBS tent watched us with confusion. I also went toe-to-toe with a Shoe Challenger – travelling bookbinder Rachel Hazell wore red sandals.

More from Day Seven >

Day 7 EdBookFest Shoes


Day Eight – I wore my third favourite pair of shoes, patent black with silky flowers. Clare from Aussie publishers Allen & Unwin was my photographer, and Edinburgh’s Ian Rankin went toe-to-toe with me in the Authors’ Yurt as the day’s shoe challenger. Melbourne met Edinburgh all day, in fact, and I hosted our brand new 1-2-1 Writing Clinic.

More from Day Eight >

EIBF Day 8


Day Nine – the shoe challenge got a little pointed, as I sported some buckled brown suede shoes with a witchy tip. Today’s photographer was editor Rebecca Hearne, otherwise known as @bookshop_becky, so it seemed appropriate to get a snap in the EdBookFest shop, where I proceeded to buy too many books.

More from Day Nine >

EIBF Shoes day 9


Day Ten – these shoes transcend any Top 5 lists – they are pretty and coppery and really rather battered from love and wear. Having just chaired an event, I opted to photograph today’s shoes on a chair outside the Spiegeltent, before heading to see the Literary Death Match at Unbound. There were many shoe challengers, including author Nicola Morgan, @Bookshop_Becky and past EdBookFest Children’s Director Sara Grady.

More from Day Ten >

EIBF Shoes Day 10


Day Eleven – it felt a bit summery, so I went for a bit of a retro white-bows-and-cork-heels look. They were very popular with staff, and today’s photographer was Lady of the Yurt Alice Tarbuck. The shoes are pictured on the green felt of the EdBookFest photograper’s zone, before I trotted in to see Writers’ Bloc perform the Electric Lit Orchestra at Unbound.

More from Day Eleven >

EdBookFest Shoes Day 11


Day Twelve – I wore a sensible but stylish navy pair, with pinstripes, and just the right height of heel for running around the Book Fest showing off this stunning book sculpture. My photographer was the Party Impressario Sponsorship Team’s Eli, and my Shoe Challenger Ian Rankin, back for a rematch.

More from Day Twelve >

EdBookFest Shoes Day 12


Day Thirteen – I wore glittery silver shoes Dorothy herself would have been proud of – these are my second favourite pair. I also transformed them at the Activity Corner as I became Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods. I took pictures from the chimney pots and met Oscar-winning illustrator Shaun Tan.

More from Day Thirteen >

EIBF Shoes Day 13


Day Fourteen – There is a better photo of these teal T-bars with stripey wooden heels, but this blurry shot on the Book Fest boardwalks sums up that Day 14 feeling. After seeing Ian Rankin’s patterned primary colour socks, I decided that I was not making the most of this creative challenge and went for patterned tights. There were two shoe challengers, both in very smart footwear, and it was the Scottish Book Awards.

More from Day Fourteen >

 EIBF Shoes Day 14


Day Fifteen– there was a coppery shine to the day, as I wore these metallic lovelies. They gleam a little in the Spiegeltent lighting, but are pictured here in one of the empty theatre tents. It’s best of three with shoe challenger Ian Rankin – it’s all arranged for Monday evening, at the performance of Alasdair Gray’s Fleck.

More from Day Fifteen >

EdBookFest Shoes Day 15


Day Sixteen – pistachio green leather shoes with a rather high heel – bit too high for the slippy boardwalks. These shoes came Melbourne, Edinburgh’s sister City of Literature. Despite the fish-scale nature of the shoes, they did not agree with the continual downpour.

More from Day Sixteen >

 EdBookFest Day 16 Shoes _________________________________________

Day Seventeen – the end of EdBookFest 2011 meant truly special footwear: these boots are a fabric explosion, a riot of red and flowers and bows. They caused many ooohs and aaahs in Charlotte Square, not least because they make me about a foot taller. These shoes have soul. In fact, even the soles are decorated; they have little cherubs on them.

More from Day Seventeen >

EdBookFest Shoes - Finale


Day Eighteen – I had to give in and buy a pair of flat black pumps for dismantalling day – pretty heels and wading around in the mud really don’t go together. More importantly, I needed a sensible pair to tackle the Staff Book Grab. The tactic worked, and I now have a pile of hardback biographies that should keep me reading through the winter months.

More from Day Eighteen >

EdBookFest Shoes Day 18


2 responses to “Shoe Challenge @ EdBookFest

  1. Pingback: The Salon Project : A Night to Remember « Que Sera Sara?·

  2. I wish I’d known about the shoe challenge. Couldn’t compete with you on the lovely shoes (as I’m traveling from the USA and had to leave room in the suitcase for all the books I’m taking home), but could have staged a lovely wacky-socks coup!

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