We are recruiting a Festival Director

20th June 2017

Would you like to be our Festival Director?

To apply, you should email a cv and covering letter by 14 July to Liz Fothergill CBE, Chair of Derby Book Festival Trustees:

This is an 11 month Freelance Contract.  Interviews are planned for 26 July in Derby.

Derby Book Festival:        w/b 1st or 8th June 2018 (to be confirmed)

Post:                        Festival Director
Contract Period:      11 months, commencing September 2017
(time variable through the  year and to be agreed – the current pattern is 1 day per week Sept to December, building up to full time at the Festival)
Fee:                         £17,000
Based at:                 Derby Book Festival Office, 67 Bridge Street, Derby
Responsible to:        Board of Trustees
Responsible for:       Executive Director & General Manager

Key Working Relationships
Executive Director, General Manager, Administration Assistant, External Partners and Volunteers

The Role
Derby Book Festival (DBF) is at a crucial time in its organisational development. Having just delivered its third successful Festival, the Board of Trustees is now looking to secure the organisation’s artistic and financial future over the next 3 – 5 years. We are looking for an outstanding cultural leader to work with the DBF Team over an initial 12 month period to create an exciting and sustainable mixed economy model which capitalises on the Festival’s substantial cross-sector support within the City.

The Festival Director is responsible for the development and delivery of the 2018 Derby Book Festival and is the main advocate and spokesperson for the Festival. The post holder has overall responsibility for all aspects of the Festival from concept, development and content creation to delivery and evaluation. They will work closely with the Executive Director and the DBF Trustees to meet set targets for audience development, ticket sales, income and expenditure and educational objectives.

Key Responsibilities
Strategic Direction and Development of the Festival

  • Upholding the artistic integrity and vision of DBF
  • Extending its reach to wider, more diverse audiences, sponsors and donors
  • Developing the artistic ethos in line with DBF objectives
Programming (shared with Executive Director)
  • Identifying potential authors
  • Preparing pitches and meeting with publishers
  • Logistical planning – scheduling, pricing, capacity setting etc.
  • Delivery of identified projects e.g. Derby Reads

Finance, Funding and Sponsorship

  • Oversight of budget management
  • Lead on 2017/18 ACE bid for submission by 31 October 2017
  • Leading on the development and implementation of a Fundraising Strategy
  • Develop sponsorship packages matching sponsors with appropriate events
  • Work with Festival Chair in identifying and securing individual sponsors
  • Develop and maintain close ties with Festival supporters/funders

Festival Management

  • Attend Trustee meetings/Operations Group
  • Work with Executive Director on the further development of the Marketing & abbAudience Development Plan
  • Liaison with venue Directors and Programmers
  • Relationships with venues, linked agencies, organisations and groups in the catchment area
  • Staff recruitment and management
  • Oversight of volunteer recruitment, training and placement
  • Oversee contractual and logistical arrangements for authors
  • Ensure that appropriate polices are followed e.g. Health & Safety


  • Ensure that DBF collects all required data for evaluation reporting using a variety of qualitative and quantitative tools – working with University Of Derby Intern
  • Manage the completion and submission of the Arts Council England Activity Report

Festival programme delivery
In addition to the overall planning, the Festival Director is responsible for delivering all aspects of a significant number of the Festival programme events and will be expected to work some evenings and weekends, particularly during the Festival. This contract will require a phased and managed approach to time across the year, with intense periods during and in the run up to the Festival.

Essential Qualities/Experience

  • Ability to work cooperatively whilst taking leadership responsibility
  • A love of books and an understanding of their power to inspire
  • Outstanding administrative / organisational skills and strategic drive
  • Excellent IT skills including Word and Excel, and willingness to become efficient in new systems
  • Understanding of social media and their applications
  • Writing and editorial skills, including experience of generating content for online and web-based spaces
  • Ability to multi-task and manage different priorities
  • The ability to meet deadlines and remain calm under pressure
  • Excellent people and communication skills
  • Awareness of equal opportunities issues
  • Resourceful with the ability to work as part of a team or on own initiative as the situation requires.

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Experience of working in an arts or festivals environment
  • Experience of producing literature events
  • Understanding of the publishing industry
  • Knowledge of Literature and the UK Literature Sector.

If you have any questions about the role, you are welcome to contact the Chair of the Festival Trustees, Liz Fothergill CBE, on 07767 408832.

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