Arts Derbyshire


Amends to Derby Book Festival Spring Collection programme

Sadly, Amy Boyington has had to withdraw from the Festival for personal reasons.  She was due to join us on Saturday 2 March to discuss Hidden Patrons.  

We are delighted that we have been able to secure another author: Michael Greaney, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Lancaster University, who will join us to talk about his book, An A-Z of Jane Austen.  You can now book for this event.

Saturday 2 March
Tea with Michael Greaney:  An A-Z of Jane Austen
2 – 3.30pm
Old Library, Derby Museum & Art Gallery
£15 (inc. tea plus scone with cream & jam)

A Digital recording of this event is also available. Cost £5

In An A – Z of Jane Austen, Michael Greaney provides a reader-friendly A-Z structure that provides a unique and playful entry-point into one of our best loved and most widely read author’s work.  The Austen ‘industry’ is significant – even today she has a substantial following of dedicated ‘Janeites’.

He provides fresh angles on familiar Austen themes, drawing attention to the tiniest linguistic detail in her work, offering new perspectives.  Why are children so marginal in her storylines? Who is the best exponent of matchmaking in her fiction? Why are many of her female characters – but none of her heroines – called Jane?

Michael’s book offers a renewed appreciation of the infinite subtlety and endless re-readability of a body of writing in which every word counts.

Michael Greaney is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Lancaster University.

Derby Children’s Picture Book Award

We are delighted to announce the three shortlisted books for the Derby Children’s Picture Book Award 2024, selected by 14 Derby primary school teachers last Saturday (pictured here at QUAD with the shortlisted books).   Many thanks to all of them!

Now in its sixth year, the Award celebrates picture books that children can relate to and in which the diversity and challenges of modern life are represented.

The 2024 shortlist comprises:

  • Thunder Boots by Naomi Jones and Rebecca Ashdown (Oxford University Press)
  • Ingenious Edie, Master Inventor of Tiny Town by Patrick Corrigan (Flying Eye Books)
  • Someone Just Like You by Helen Docherty and David Roberts (Simon and Schuster).

This year, for the first time, the teachers also chose one more book to be Highly Commended, The Dress in the Window, by Robert Tregoning (author) and Pippa Curnick (illustrator), published by Oxford University Press.  It narrowly missed out on being shortlisted and is a phenomenal book with a powerful message.  Pippa Curnick was awarded a first-class honours degree in Illustration from the University of Derby and is now an Associate Lecturer there.

Children’s publishers were invited to submit up to three books, published in 2023, which meet the Award criteria. A record number of 51 books were submitted from 22 publishers.  Members of the Festival’s Education Group selected the longlist of 11 books before the team of teachers made their selection of the shortlist.

This year 53 schools have signed up to be involved, that’s 188 classes and over 5,600 children who will vote on their favourite book.

50-word Flash Fiction Writing Competition

Only a few days to go until we launch this year’s Flash Fiction Writing Competition!  We will be announcing the theme on Monday 29 January at 10am and will email you with the announcement.  We do hope you will feel inspired to spend time composing your entries – it really is addictive once you start.  And you can submit as many stories as you like!  The winning stories will be illustrated by an Illustration student at the University of Derby – here are last year’s.

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