Only a few days to go until we announce this year’s Festival programme at our Derby Reads launch event in QUAD on Wednesday 10 April.  You will then be able to book tickets for all our Festival events either online from 6pm or you can book in person or over the phone at the relevant box office at QUAD, Déda, Derby Theatre and Derby LIVE.

We feel that this year’s programme, with around 90 events, is stronger than ever with a broader range of genres and an international flavour.  There’s something for everyone with topics ranging from the circus to crime, history to heroes and blood to bookselling!  We have slightly fewer events than last year – but it’s quality not quantity!

We’ll email you on Wednesday with a link to the programme on our website.

Festival programme
You’ll be able to pick up a copy of the Festival programme from the venues as well as from the Artboxes around the city and county, libraries, tourist offices as well as numerous cafés and village halls.  Our designers at Burnthebook has been working on the programme since 1 March and have done a great job.

Latest news
We’re delighted that we will take over Déda again on Sunday 2 June and, for the first time, are able to offer a Festival Pass for the day’s events.  The Pass costs £25 and enables you to book as many events as you are able to attend on our Sunday Takeover Day.

We are particularly excited this year with our international programming which includes authors from Norway as well as British Asian writers and poets.  We also have a very special guest flying over from Australia … but more of that on Wednesday!

We’ll also have The Bookshop Band (pictured above) returning to the Festival for the third time.

There’ll be lots more authors announced on Wednesday – and of course we already have some events on sale at Derby Theatre and at the Guildhall Clubrooms with Derby LIVE: Melvyn Bragg is selling particularly well and there is  lot of interest in our Commemorating D-Day event on the 75th anniversary – 6 June.

As the programming ends, so the meticulous organising of each event begins: finalising travel arrangements, making hotel bookings for authors, identifying interviewers and ensuring they have a copy of the author’s book, organising any technical requirements with the venues, arranging access times with each venue, identifying volunteers, arranging book sales … and then there’s the distribution of programmes and marketing to ensure we actually sell any tickets!

Turning the Page exhibition: Five Years of Derby Book Festival
This year our wonderful partner, Déda, has offered us the chance to hold a photographic exhibition featuring images from our first five years.  Since its inception, photographer Kim Gribbon, as well as other talented local photographers, has captured the excitement, enthusiasm and spirit of the Festival, creating an invaluable record of memories for audience and artists alike.

The exhibition opens on 16 May and runs until 27 July.  It will be located upstairs in Déda and we hope it will bring back lots of happy memories for you of attending events.

Taster Events
Each year we hold Taster Events in the run up to the Festival.    The aim is to spread the word a bit more widely about the Festival to introduce new audiences to the Festival.   Some of the local authors who will be appearing at the Festival have a chance to give a quick preview of their events to entice people to come along.  To date we’ve held these in Melbourne, Ashbourne and Wirksworth.

This year’s Tasters will be held at Trent College, Long Eaton (on Monday 13 May) and at the St James’ Centre in Normanton (date to be confirmed).  These will include two or three of our Festival authors giving short introductions to their books.  The events are free and light refreshments will be served.  Do pop along if there’s one in your area.

Flash Fiction Writing competition
This year’s competition will be launched at Derby Reads on 10 April and we will have the winners’ stories printed on bookmarks which will be available from the start of the Festival.  These will also include the dates for our 2020 Festival, giving them a longer shelf life for the whole year.

We’ll have four categories again for the competition: under 11s, 12 – 17 and over 18s as well as a special category for HM Prison Foston Hall.  This year there will be a £50 book token for the winner of each category.

The stories will be illustrated by Evelyn Hunter, who recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University and who is also illustrating the books that are being produced as part of our Community Programme with Derby College students and school pupils.

Derby Reads
We look forward to seeing many of you at our Derby Reads launch event on 10 April in QUAD.

Derby Book Festival

29 May – 6 June 2020

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