Our Festival programme is nearly complete!

1st March 2016

The final adjustments are currently being made to the Festival programme, which must be delivered to our designers at WDA Branding this week. It will be launched at Derby Readssponsored by the East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)on 5 April in QUAD.

We are really excited about this year’s programme, which has so many amazing writers, poets, historians, politicians, illustrators, storytellers and musicians – you will be spoilt for choice! From cricket to cycling, railways to real ale and birding to board games … there’s something for everyone!

We are particularly pleased with our children and families’ programme which includes Bringing Books to Life, a full day of events and activities in Derby’s Market Place, the Guildhall and in QUAD on Saturday 4 June.

The Secret’s out – Flash Fiction entries reach 300!

We are overwhelmed by the number of entries to this year’s Flash Fiction competition with over 300 at the final count.  The competition closed at midnight on Friday 19 February with 58 under 16 entries and 244 in the over 16 category.  Our panel of judges – Liz Fothergill – Chair of Derby Book Festival, Paul Whickman – Lecturer in English, University of Derby, Richard Pettinger – Marketing and Commercial Manager, Black Apricot Creative and Alex Davis – Publisher, Boo Books – met on Sunday 21 February at QUAD for what turned out to be an intense discussion about the entries before coming to a unanimous decision about the winners.

However, because they couldn’t reach a decision between two excellent entries from the under 16s, it was agreed to give prizes to two of the entrants. So this year there will be a set of SIX Festival bookmarks for you to collect.

On Monday 22 February students on the Illustration course at the University of Derby were briefed about a competition which will be run between now and 18 March to illustrate the bookmarks.

The bookmarks – printed with the winning stories and the illustrations – will be available at Derby Reads the launch event for the Festival programme to be held on the evening of 5 April at QUAD.  The event will be free but ticketed with tickets available online and at QUAD from 15 March.

More events revealed …

Final confirmations are coming in and we’re delighted that Derby born author Sunjeev Sahota will be appearing at the Festival on Monday 6 June in QUAD.  Sunjeev’s second novel The Year of the Runaways was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015 and has recently been published in paperback.

An exciting evening of books and music will take place on Thursday 8 June with best selling author Louis de Bernières and The Bookshop Band, who write songs inspired by books. The band recently collaborated with Louis to write a song inspired by his new book, which will be released as part of a collection of over 10 new book-inspired albums.

What’s the point of short stories?

For those who are interested in knowing more about short stories, and want to brush up their literary critiquing skills before the Festival, you may be interested in a WEA course which begins on Thursday 14 April for 7 weeks at the WEA in Lodge Lane.

Billed as ‘A not very long course reading short stories!’, the course will examine a range of modern and contemporary authors including stories by Alice Munro, Tim O’Brien, Jon McGregor and James Lasdun – and a theme emerges: what might have been.   As the course progresses, it is intended that other authors, other titles, will be suggested by the group.  For more details visit:

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