Established in 2015, Derby Book Festival includes over 100 book-related events over 9 days in May/June and at our weekend Autumn Edition. The Festival celebrates the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests. It aims to bring Derby’s residents together in a love of books and inspire new readers to appreciate the pleasure and power of reading.
The Festival events are held in a wide range of arts and educational venues across the city. Our venue partners include QUAD, Deda, Derby Theatre, Derby Museums, Derby College, the University of Derby, Derby Cathedral, Derby City Libraries, DHA (Community led libraries), Waterstones, Artcore and Derby LIVE.
We believe the Festival is the largest and most successful literary festival in the East Midlands. It is funded by Arts Council England and the University of Derby with additional sponsorship from local businesses and individuals. We generate income from ticket and book sales as well as merchandise.
The Festival programme includes an eclectic mix of the very best in current fiction and non-fiction writing covering a broad range of genres. Each year we also try to include events which have a particular resonance with local people, celebrating the distinctive character of the city, its industrial and manufacturing past and role in the Enlightenment, its sporting achievements and its future as a centre of technological excellence.
As well as the main Festival programme, we have a strong community programme year round in our schools and colleges. We run two community projects: Shared Reading and Shared Writing working with individuals and groups to enable them to enjoy the pleasures of writing the reading together.
We work closely with schools and each year hold Meet the Author events at Derby Theatre and the University of Derby to give children the chance to meet a leading children’s author talk about their work, inspiring children and teachers in their reading and writing. We also organise the Derby Children’s Picture Book Award for Years 2 & 3 in the city’s primary schools, with the children voting for their favourite book from a shortlist of three.
The Festival is managed by a small team of part-time staff who work year round and on shorter term contracts. During the Festival period we have an army of trained Festival volunteers who manage the events, sell books, help with distribution and evaluation and advise us on future programming.
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