We would like to wish all our subscribers a very Happy Christmas and to thank you for your support in 2018.  Your support is vital to ensuring the continuation and development of the Festival so we do hope to see you at next year’s Festival. Please do continue to help us spread the word and encourage your fellow book lovers to sign up for our Festival news.

2018 – another exciting year!
One of our key goals is to encourage more people to develop a love of reading and broaden their reading tastes, so we were delighted that in 2018 we saw yet another increase in our ticket sales. as well as a mammoth 41% increase in book sales.

Here are some of our key achievements over the last year:

  • 106 events over 9 days in 19 venues
  • 10 sold out events
  • 6832 tickets sold, with a 25% increase in ticket sales on 2017
  • 91% rated events as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’
  • The launch of our book Small City, Big Heart,  which collates the stories of children and students from Derby College, Bemrose School and Pear Tree Junior School. You can find out more about the book below.
  • The expansion of our Shared Reading programme into three more settings across the city.

Next year marks our fifth anniversary and, with four years’ experience under our belts, we’re planning to bring you the most exciting Festival yet! We’ve already confirmed lots of authors, some of whom we’ve announced, with many more to be revealed in the New Year!  As always our Subscribers will be kept informed!

Festival organises an inspirational speaker for Derby College Lexis students
As part of the Festival’s Community Programme, we recently invited Indi Deol, founder and manager of the award-winning British Asian website DesiBlitz, to come in and give an inspirational talk to students on Derby College’s Lexis programme. Lexis students are 16 to 18 year olds who have only recently arrived in the country and are learning English at the College.

As many of you will know, it was these students who this year wrote their personal stories about arriving in Derby for the Festival book – Small City, Big Heart .  If you haven’t already seen a copy you will find it on the Communities page of the website: http://www.derbybookfestival.co.uk/community-programme/

The students prepared for Indi’s visit by reading a short article about Indi and then developing questions to ask him about his life and work.  Indi’s life lessons: hard work, learning by your mistakes and trying new things when old ones don’t work. The students’ verdict at the end: Indi was ‘cool’!

Indi is also working with the Festival to put together a series of events around British Asian writers for the main Festival in June, which we will announce next year.

Derby Book Festival goes international!
2019 is being billed as the year of Norwegian literature with the Frankfurt Book Fair (the most important event in the publishing calendar when all the major international deals are done each year) hosting Norway as their Guest of Honour.  The Norwegian Embassy are keen to showcase their authors on a world stage.  Last week our Festival directors, Theresa and Sian, were invited to visit Oslo for three days of meetings with publishers, agents and literary organisations to discuss potential authors for our 2019 Festival.  It was a fascinating few days and they have come back with lots of ideas for some interesting events to introduce you to Norwegian literary fiction and non-fiction.

The perfect Christmas gift: Festival Friends membership!
We are delighted that our Festival Friends membership is proving to be a success again.
The annual membership, which runs from 1 January each year, offers a range of benefits and you can either have a single membership for £25 or joint membership for £40.
Visit our website for full details, terms and conditions and how to apply:  http://www.derbybookfestival.co.uk/festival-friends/

Literacy Volunteers
Do you have the same morning or afternoon free once a week? Do you live in Ilkeston or within a 5 mile radius? Then Literacy Volunteers need you!

Literacy Volunteers help children to enjoy reading and communicating.

They help children in schools and early year’s settings. They do not teach reading. Instead they help on a one-to-one basis with children to give them confidence in their reading and communication skills through conversation, reading, writing and playing games.If you’re interested please contact Emma Trowbridge at Emmatrowbridge@literacyvolunteers.org.uk or call the Literacy Volunteers team on 0115 876 5474. You can also find further information on their website: http://www.literacyvolunteers.org.uk/

Our Christmas gift to you!

At last year’s Festival, our wonderful partners at QUAD made audio recordings of several of our Festival events.  We have now uploaded a few more of these to our website and we hope you will enjoy listening to them over the holiday period to either re-live your favourite events or hear them for the first time.  We will be releasing more in the coming months as we lead up to our 2019 Festival.

The events we’re sharing are: Kate Mosse, Stephen McGann, Lionel Shriver, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Ed Douglas (Kinder Scout) and Roy Hattersley.  Just a little reminder of the sort of joys we’ll be bring you in 2019!

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