We are absolutely delighted to announce that our Opening Event for the 2017 Festival will feature best-selling author Sebastian Faulks in Derby Cathedral on Friday 9 June. Next year’s Festival coincides with the arrival of the Tower of London Poppies at the Silk Mill and we can’t think of anyone more appropriate than the author of Birdsong, depicting a British soldier’s experience on the frontline during the First World War and giving a harrowing account of life in the trenches, to launch our Festival. Sebastian has also edited A Broken World, a book of letters, diaries and memories from World War 1.
We are planning to put tickets on sale early in the New Year and will send you more details about this as soon as we have them.
Reverend Richard Coles at the Cathedral
Derby Cathedral will host a number of events including Reverend Richard Coles, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s weekly Saturday Live and a panellist on shows such as QI and Have I Got News For You. He is also a former member of the group The Communards. He will be talking about his latest book Bringing in the Sheaves.
Festival Lunch with Jenni Murray
The news that Jenni Murray DBE will join us for our Festival Lunch next year arrived too late for our press release, so we are delighted to be able to share it with our subscribers first! Jenni, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour has recently published A History of Britain in 21 Women.
Alan Johnson and Matthew Parris
Following the huge success of this year’s Festival event with Ken Livingstone, Matthew Parris will return to the Festival and will be in conversation with Labour MP Alan Johnson, whose third volume of his autobiography, The Long Winding Road, has just been published. Matthew will also appear at his own solo event during the Festival to talk about his new edition of Scorn.
Alison Weir returns to talk about Anne Boleyn
The Festival will also welcome back historian and novelist Alison Weir whose second novel in her series on each of the six wives of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, will be published in May 2017. Alison’s event at this year’s Festival was a sell out with many people disappointed that they couldn’t buy tickets. Her event received some of the highest ratings of the Festival and the audience was spellbound by her illustrated talk and her in- depth of knowledge of her subject.
Derbyshire Noir with local crime writers
Crime writer Stephen Booth, whose best-selling Cooper and Fry novels are set in the Peak District, will return to the Festival and lead an exciting event entitled Derbyshire Noir with fellow local crime authors Steven Dunne and Sarah Ward and debut author Roz Watkins.
Best Selling author Salley Vickers
Literary fiction author Salley Vickers will also be attending to talk about her latest novel Cousins. Her first novel, Miss Garnet’s Angel, became an international, word-of-mouth bestseller and is a favourite among book clubs and reading groups.
The children and families’ programme will see the return of the popular Bringing Books to Life event on Saturday 10 June in the Market Place featuring storytelling, crafts, street theatre, face painting and a children’s book swap stall.
The full Festival programme, covering all nine days, will be published on 11 April and will again include a broad range of events and activities aimed at all ages and interests from the children’s book trail and board games to author talks, discussions, live performances, films, quizzes and workshops for budding writers.
Events will take place in venues across the city centre and in local schools and communities. It will also include events to appeal to local people with Derby-related themes – engineering, birding, Royal Crown Derby, climbing and cricket.
We will announce further events in the coming months and will let you know about any early booking dates for events.