The waiting is over!  We can now reveal just a few of the authors who will be joining us at our 2019 Festival.  Crime fiction is probably the most popular genre of literature currently and we are delighted to announce that Val McDermid, arguably the leading crime writer in the UK today, will be joining us in QUAD on Sunday 2 June.  Val is probably best known for her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan crime series, immortalised on TV in Wire in the Blood starring Robson Green.  She has also written series featuring journalist, Lindsay Gordon and private investigator, Kate Brannigan.  She’s sold over 15 million copies of her books and has been translated into 40 languages!  We feel sure tickets will be in demand for this event and will be announcing when they are on sale very soon.

Kamal Ahmed

Recently appointed as BBC News’ Editorial Director, former BBC Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed has recently published his memoir, The Life and Times of a Very British Man.  It recounts his experiences of being brought up in 1970s London with a white English mother and a black Sudanese father.

James Runcie

James Runcie is probably best known for his Grantchester series of novels, which have been turned into a successful ITV crime series with James Norton.  He is also a documentary film-maker, television producer and playwright, as well as the Commissioning Editor for Arts on BBC Radio 4.

Sir Simon Jenkins

Join us for ‘An Evening with Sir Simon Jenkins’: author and journalist, Sir Simon Jenkins has had a formidable career.  He served as editor of the Evening Standard from 1976 to 1978 and of The Times from 1990 to 1992. He also chaired the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty from 2008 to 2014.

His most recent books have featured Cathedrals and Railways but he has now turned his attention towards Europe.  A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin covers the key events, eras and individuals and his portrait of the continent could not be more timely – or more masterful.

Dolly Alderton

Journalist and writer, Dolly Alderton will be joining us and no doubt attracting a very different Festival audience.  Her book, Everything I Know About Love, is shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2018 and Dolly has also been announced as one of the judges for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, which will be revealed on 5 June during the Festival week.

Bess of Hardwick

We’re always keen to include subjects close to Derby’s heart and local history is always popular at the Festival.  In 2019 biographer Kate Hubbard will be talking about Bess of Hardwick and the buildings of Elizabethan England, including Hardwick Hall.

Local authors

We continue to support local authors and one of 2019’s debut novelists will be Sophie Draper, whose first novel, the gothic thriller, Cuckoo, won the 2017 York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Prize, following in the footsteps of Joanna Cannon and Jo Jakeman.

We will also welcome historical fiction author, Joanna Courtney, who will be talking about Lady Macbeth in her new book Blood Queen, the first of three novels featuring Shakespeare’s queens.

Further Festival announcements

Our fifth festival will be taking place over 9 days: 31 May – 8 June 2019. 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 10 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).

Photo credit: Clara Molden

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