Arts Derbyshire


Autumn is just around the corner… | Derby Book Festival

We are looking forward to welcoming our audiences back to QUAD from 17 to 19 November – and to the Museum of Making for our Festival Book Fair on Saturday 18 November.

Plans for 2024

We are currently discussing our exciting plans for 2024 with the Arts Council England, our Trustees and publishers as we want to do something a bit different.  We will let you know more in the coming weeks, but we will continue to offer the same number of events each year … but not necessarily in the same format!

Book Drop

We had a great response to the Book Drop, organised by Marketing Derby during the May festival.  We invited people across the city, including Marketing Derby bondholders (businesses in the city) and Festival audiences, to donate unwanted but previously loved children’s books.  We pledged to find a new home for the books by donating them to children across the city, many of whom may not have books at home, via city schools.

The result was around 800 books, which were then sorted into age-appropriate bundles.  We invited schools to register for a box of 50 books each and 15 city schools collected their boxes in the final week of term, to be distributed to children or used in their school libraries.

We are organising another Book Drop in the run up to our Autumn Edition so we can distribute books to children via schools closer to Christmas – so please start planning a clear out of your bookshelves and cupboards!  There will be a range of places where you can donate books including CityLab in St James’ Street in the city centre and at local businesses.  We will also have a Book Drop box at QUAD during the Autumn Edition, so you can drop your books off when you attend events!

Festival evaluation

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on Festival events.  We had a good response to the event surveys both online and in-person and are pleased that the level of satisfaction with the content, quality and presentation of events continues to be high with 4.73 out of 5 overall rating.

Sound continues to be our biggest challenge and we plan to try something new at QUAD in November which we hope will improve this.

Thank you to our Festival volunteers

Thank you for to all our volunteers for their continuing support for the Festivals.  We really couldn’t manage the Festivals without you.  We are currently pulling together the rota for the Autumn Edition.  We may not be able to include everyone with only 12 events on offer, so please don’t be disappointed if you aren’t included this time.

If you are interested in being a volunteer for either the Festival or for Shared Reading we will be putting a call out again in the coming months.

Shared Reading update

In September we plan to advertise for two freelance contracts to run the Shared Reading project, following the successful National Lottery funding bid for its continuation for a further five years.  We are very grateful to Marian Forkin, Sheila McFarlane and Sam McKenna who have done an amazing job in managing the project over the past nine months and we have lots of plans for the future.

New Shared Reading group at Alvaston Library
If you are interested in finding out more about Shared Reading, we will be holding Taster sessions at Alvaston Library before a new group starts there in October.  Tasters are a great way to introduce the idea and sign people up for the group.

The Taster sessions will be held on:
Tuesday 3 October 2023 (at the coffee morning) at:

  • 10.30am x 30 mins
  • 11.15am x 30 mins

The Shared Reading Group, which will be an Open Access one so you can just turn up,  starts on
Thursday 12 October.  It will run from 10.30 -11.30am every 2 weeks on Thursdays.  There will be posters up in the library promoting the group.

Derby Poetry Festival


Derby Poetry Festival will take place between 2 – 8 October 2023.  You can find full details on their website.

The Adult Slam will be hosted on Friday 6 October at The Silk Mill, Museum of Making and it is open for applications until 4 September 2023 – so be quick!  If you know anyone who may be interested, the application form can be found here:


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