The Essex Serpent is coming to Derby

1st February 2017

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Perry will join us at the third Derby Book Festival to talk about her best selling novel, The Essex Serpent, which won the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 and was also shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year. Set in 1893, this gothic tale follows the young widow Cora Seaborne, an enthusiastic amateur palaeontologist, to a dank wetlands village in Essex, where a sea serpent is said to be terrorising villagers.  Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, it is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.

Sarah will be joining us on Sunday 11 June and tickets will go on sale on 11 April online at or at the Festival Box Office in QUAD.

So many Journeys … so little time!
You only have a few more days to submit your 50 word story in our Flash Fiction Writing competition.  The closing date for entries is 10 February.

This year’s theme is ‘Journeys ‘ and it certainly seems to have inspired people.  We’ve had nearly 200 entries so far and anticipate that the final number will exceed last year’s total of just under 300.

There are two age categories for the competition: under 16s and over 16s.

The winning stories will be illustrated by a student from the University of Derby (in a separate competition for their art and design students).  Each illustrated story will then be printed on Festival bookmarks and distributed around the city and county to promote the Festival.  The winners will be announced on 11 April at our special Derby Reads launch event in QUAD. More details of how to book tickets for this event will be announced soon.

Arts Council funding secured
Derby Book Festival could not be run without the support of Arts Council England and we spent many long hours in October writing our application for ACE funding.

We are delighted to have heard this month that ACE have agreed to fund the Festival for a third year.

It’s great to have this endorsement and support which means we can continue providing an exciting and high quality programme.

Derby Book Festival

31 May – 8 June 2019

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Derby Book Festival is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Number 1159763