The programme for the third Derby Book Festival, which will be held from 9-17 June, will include over 70 events and activities in venues across the city.

Highlights of this year’s Festival will include the Opening Event, sponsored by Peveril Homes, with author Sebastian Faulks in conversation with James Naughtie, who returns to the Festival for a third time, in Derby Cathedral.  Sebastian is probably best known for his First World War novel, Birdsong, and his latest novel Where My Heart Used to Beat returns to the theme of love and war, particularly appropriate with the arrival in the city of the poppies exhibition at The Silk Mill.

Sebastian Faulks
The Opening Event – Author Sebastian Faulks

QUAD will again be the main Festival Box Office and will host many of the exciting Festival events, but events will also be held at venues across the city including Déda, Derby Theatre, Guildhall Theatre, Cathedral Quarter Hotel and Derby Cathedral:

  • Novelists Salley Vickers (Miss Garnet’s Angel) , Sarah Perry (The Essex Serpent), Alex Wheatle, Jon McGregor, Joanna Cannon & Emma Henderson plus a special event with Virago Press
  • Humour from Jenny Eclair and Shappi Khorsandi plus The Guardian’s columnist Tim Dowling and Matthew Parris on his latest book Scorn
  • Biographies by Martin Pearce (Spymaster), TV and film producer Tony Garnett, Alan Johnson MP (with Matthew Parris), heart surgeon Stephen Westaby, Laura Beers (on Ellen Wilkinson) and Helena Kelly on Jane Austen
  • Sports fans can enjoy Stuart Webb (on Derby County) and Ironman competitor, John McAvoy, who will feature at the Marketing Derby Bondholders’ Event
  • Eat and drink whilst listening to some of the country’s favourite authors at the Festival Lunch, with Dame Jenni Murray, and Afternoon Tea events with Katie Fforde and Paula Byrne plus Morning Coffee with Wendy Holden
  • History fans can enjoy Alison Weir (Anne Boleyn), David Templeman on Mary, Queen of Scots, and architectural historian Dan Cruickshank plus two social history events on Gardens of the British Working Class and fashion through the ages with The Button Box
  • Thriller writers: Louise Doughty, Joseph Knox
  • For poetry lovers: John Hegley and Helen Mort
  • Closing Event with graphic artist Dave McKean featuring Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, commissioned by 14-18 Now who have organised the Poppies: Weeping Window tour.

The Festival also includes events with a local flavour, including James Hamilton-Paterson on World War One aircraft at Rolls-Royce, Royal Crown Derby ceramic painter, ‘Quaker’ Pegg and the launch of a new book on Joseph Wright of Derby at the Museum & Art Gallery.

The Festival’s programme includes a broad range of events and activities aimed at all ages and interests. This year there is an expanded programme for children and families on Saturday 10 June with events in QUAD with author and illustrator, Hilary Robinson & Martin Impey and children’s book publisher, Nosy Crow.  The Guardian’s Children’s Fiction Prize winner, Alex Wheatle will also have an event there.

The main event will be the return of  the children and families Bringing Books to Life event, sponsored by Smiths Partnership, in the Market Place.  This year’s theme is ‘Friendship’ and there will be events throughout the day, including pavement art, street theatre, storytelling, children’s quizzes, book stalls, story writing around the Museum’s artefacts, book swap stall and Derby Shakespeare Company performing on a Trent Barton Bus.

Liz Fothergill, Chair of the Festival, said:

We believe that this year’s Festival is even more exciting, varied and inclusive than our first two Festivals.  Ticket sales for our Opening Event with Sebastian Faulks are selling fast and there seems to be even more awareness and excitement about the Festival this year.”

The Festival programme will be available from all Festival venues, which include QUAD, Déda, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, The Guildhall Theatre, Derby Theatre, Derby Cathedral, WEA and from all libraries and tourist offices. The Festival is organised in partnership with all the major arts and cultural partners in the city.

Tickets can be booked online on the Derby Book Festival website or in person or by phone at QUAD.