In 2018 we’re hosting an array of acclaimed writers, from political heavyweights to international authors. We’re delighted to announce some of our first Festival authors who will be joining us in 2018.
Ken Clarke and Alan Johnson
We have enjoyed great success with political author events. We hope this will continue in 2018 with the ‘dream team’ of Rt Hon Ken Clarke MP in conversation with this year’s Festival author, Alan Johnson, who we’re delighted to welcome back.
Ken Clarke is the ‘Father of the House’, having the longest continuous service as an MP (for Rushcliffe, where he has served for 46 years and counting!). In 2017 he published his biography, A Kind of Blue, which charts his remarkable progress from working-class Nottinghamshire schoolboy to high political office.
Anyone who was lucky enough to get tickets for Alan’s sold out event this year will know what a wonderful raconteur he is and we’re sure the conversation between Ken and Alan will be unmissable. This year’s event will be held in Derby Theatre, don’t miss this ‘hot ticket’!
Festival Lunch with Dame Margaret Drabble
We don’t have a deliberate policy of only inviting Dames, but Margaret Drabble will be our fourth! Dame Margaret Drabble has been writing best-selling literary fiction for over 40 years, including Jerusalem the Golden, The Millstone and The Witches of Exmoor.
She will join us as our guest at the annual Festival Lunch at Derbyshire County Cricket Club: this beautiful venue allows us to offer extra tickets so even more people will be able to enjoy our sought after lunch!
The Festival will also welcome former MP and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Roy Hattersley and one of Britain’s most prolific writers, whose latest book The Catholics, charts Catholicism in Britain from the Reformation to the present day. The book is dedicated to his father, who was a Catholic priest in 1932 when he fell in love with a young woman who had come to him with her fiancé for marriage preparation. The wedding went ahead, but two weeks later Father Hattersley eloped with the bride. The couple never told their son about their past. He only discovered it by accident after his father’s death in 1972. Roy attended the first Festival in 2015 and had a sold out event in Derby Theatre.
One for Archers fans!
BBC Radio 4 fans will be in for a treat with two of the station’s biggest stars appearing at the Festival. Tim Bentinck, who has appeared in the long running series, The Archers, for the past 35 years, will talk about Being David Archer.
… and another for Radio 4 fans
PM presenter, Eddie Mair will be in conversation with his former colleague and BBC editor Peter Gallimore, to discuss his book A Good Face for Radio: Confessions of a Radiohead.
The Festival is delighted to welcome author and Times’ journalist, Sathnam Sanghera. His beautiful memoir, The Boy with the Topknot, was dramatised and broadcast to critical acclaim last week on BBC2, you can still catch it on iplayer!
Festival volunteer to debut author
One of this year’s debut novelists will be our very own Jo Jakeman, who will launch her first novel, a psychological thriller, Sticks and Stones, in July 2018. Jo lives in Derby and has supported Derby Book Festival as a Lead Volunteer since its inception in 2015. At our launch event for the 2016 Festival she heard Joanna Cannon talking about her ‘journey’ to getting her first book published after winning a competition at the Harrogate Writing Festival in 2015. In 2016 Jo entered the same competition – and won, with the same great result as she was inundated with offers from agents and went on to secure a publishing deal with Harvill Secker.
Jo will appear with fellow debut author, Roz Watkins, who is in the same writing group as Jo. Roz appeared at this year’s Festival on the Derbyshire Noir panel so we look forward to welcoming her for a second time. Roz’s first novel, a police procedural crime novel The Devil’s Dice, is published in March.
Further Festival announcements
Our fourth festival will be taking place over 9 days: 1-9 June 2018. We’ll be announcing more authors and exciting events over the coming months. You can join us for the full, official programme launch, Derby Reads, on 12th April at QUAD, when Festival tickets will go on sale (some venues tickets will go on sale before this: Déda, Derby Theatre and Derby LIVE).