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3 Festivals for 2024


Our schools’ programme includes our annual Meet the Author events for both primary and secondary schools across Derby to inspire a love of reading.

Each year we invite all Derby City schools to send a group of pupils to our Meet the Author events for Primary and Secondary schools.

At our first Festival in 2015 we welcomed Sir Michael Morpurgo to Derby Theatre where we had a packed audience of over 500 primary school children and teachers. We have continued to do this ever since (except in 2020).  Authors who have joined us to date have included inspiring children’s authors: Lauren Child, Marcia Williams, Rachel Rooney, Sarah McIntryre, Philip Reeve, Jeanne Willis and the current Children’s Laureate poet Joseph Coelho.

We hold two Meet the Author events each year for primary schools: one for Years 2, 3 & 4 and one for Years 5 & 6. We offer schools 8 places for children and 2 for adults to join us at Derby Theatre.  Since 2021, we have live streamed these events into schools.  In 2022 over 10,000 pupils took part in the event either in-person or in school.  We now include schools in Derbyshire as well as Derby City. 

The events give the children the chance to meet their favourite authors and to visit the lovely theatre, often for the first time. Local educational suppliers, Cosy, have sponsored the events since 2016 and we are very grateful to them for the support.

We also hold Meet the Author events for secondary schools.  These have been held at the University of Derby, giving many pupils their first experience of visiting the University as well as hearing an author talk about their work.  We now hold these as virtual events which are live streamed to schools.  In 2023, John Boyne will join us to talk about his work, including the globally best-selling, multi-million-copy The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Order Meet the Author books for your school here!

Whether you're coming along in-person to Derby Theatre, or watching virtually, this is your chance to purchase discounted books ahead of the event.

Purchase your books here

All you need to do is create an account, ideally with the name of your school, and order as many books as you'd like. We'll then bring them with us to Derby Theatre.