Local arts professional, Theresa Keogh, has been appointed as the first Festival Director of Derby Book Festival.

Now in its fourth year, Theresa will take the Festival to the next stage in its development.

The Festival organisers have also announced the dates for the fourth Derby Book Festival.  Next year’s Festival will be held from Friday 1st June to Saturday 9th June 2018 in venues across the city and will again be organised in partnership with local organisations and businesses.

Theresa Keogh was born and educated in Derby, having attended Saint Benedict’s School before undertaking an English degree at the University of Birmingham.  She went on to study for an MA in Scriptwriting at De Montfort University.  She is an arts professional with a focus on writing and community engagement.

The Associate Director at New Perspectives Theatre Company, Theresa has created, managed and programmed work with a multitude of arts companies, working both locally and nationally with organisations including City Arts, Young Vic, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Nottingham Theatre Royal and Curve.

Theresa said:

I am delighted to be coming home to Derby to join the fantastic team at Derby Book Festival.  I am excited to explore new forms to deeply engage communities and audiences in the joy of reading; the chance to build on the inspiring legacy of this organisation, and its reputation for excellence, offers us an extraordinary chance to engage with the people of this city and beyond, both nationally and internationally.”

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival said:

We are delighted to announce Theresa’s appointment and feel sure her local knowledge and experience of working in the arts with new writers will provide her with the ideal experience and skills to support the existing Festival team.

We were delighted with the success of this year’s Festival with ticket sales up by 35% on 2016, with a total of 5423 tickets.  We held 83 events in 24 venues over the ten days offering something for everyone whatever their age or interests.  We received extensive feedback from this year’s Festival goers giving us lots of ideas about how to improve next year’s programme.

We aim to continue with our well established programme of an impressive range of fiction and non-fiction authors across a variety of subjects, particularly ones with a distinctly Derby character.”

The Festival aims to bring Derby’s residents together in a love of books and also to inspire new readers to appreciate the pleasure and power of reading.