Congratulations to Jo Bunt (pictured above centre at our first Festival) who you may recognise from her role at many  Festival events as one of our Lead Volunteers.  Jo is also an author and recently took part in the Festival of Writing in York where she entered the Friday Night Live competition.  Jo looks like she may be following in the footsteps of Joanna Cannon, who this competition in 2014 with the first chapter of The Trouble with Sheep and Goats.  Within forty-eight hours of leaving York, Joanna had received offers of representation from a number of literary agents, and she went on to publish her first novel in January 2016.

We are thrilled that Jo Bunt has won this year’s competition (voted for by the audience) and are waiting for news of her future but we already understand there are a number of agents keen to read the whole manuscript.  We hope that she will be our first volunteer to make the transition from Volunteer to Author at our next Festival!!

Progress on our plans for 2017

Plans are well underway for 2017 and we now have 11 confirmed authors!  We will be announcing events in the coming months and tickets will go on sale for some of these on 1st January 2017.

Last week Jenny and Sian met publicists from seven publishers to discuss their spring catalogues and potential authors, so things are moving on apace.

This week sees the first meeting with our partners across the city to discuss the Festival programme to share our plans and hear their ideas.

Festival Book Quiz and Flash Fiction return

It’s a bit early for us to have Festival traditions, but we do have a few events and activities that are firmly established in the Festival programme.  One is our Festival Quiz and we are delighted that organisers Andy Powell and Stuart Leslie have agreed to run this again and we anticipate even more frenzied competition for the trophy in 2017.

We will also be launching our Fifty Word Flash Fiction Writing Competition in the new year.

Nottingham Festival of Literature

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Nottingham Festival of Literature’s  programme which was launched recently.  It will be held from 8 – 11 November 2016 and has a wide range of fascinating events and activities.   Perfectly placed seven months before our Festival, we hope to work closely with the organisers to promote both Festivals across the two cities and counties.

Message to our volunteers

Diane Irvine, our volunteer coordinator, has contacted everyone who expressed an interest in volunteering asking them to confirm if they wish to be part of the volunteer team.  If you haven’t heard from Diane yet and you would like to volunteer, please contact her direct at

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