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Derby Book Festival

20 - 28 May 2022

Join us for our 2022 Festival from 20 - 28 May with a broad range of book-related events for all ages and interests in accessible venues across the city.

This year’s programme has over 70 events.  You can find full details of all the events on our website with booking links or details about how to book. 
You can also find full programme listings on the News page so you can see at a glance what is happening each day to help you plan your Festival.

This year we will be offering you another hybrid Festival with three options for enjoying Festival events:

  • in-person events in our venues
  • live streamed events, so you can watch an event at home whilst it is taking place. 
  • recorded events so you can watch events at your leisure after the Festival finishes by buying a Digital Pass for £25. 

The Digital Pass gives you unlimited access to 22 recorded events which will be available to view from Thursday 2 June for 6 weeks to Thursday 14 July*.  The Pass is available from our website and costs £25.

* Please note that Esme Young's event is available for a shorter period and will be available for two weeks, until midnight on Thursday 16 June.

All of these events will also be live streamed and recorded. This year you can buy individual recordings of events as well.  We realise not everyone wants all 22 events – but the Digital Pass does offer excellent value for money!

If you buy a Digital Pass, you will be sent a link once the Festival has finished giving you access to our YouTube channel where you can stream all the events. Please do not share the link.

Takeover Day Pass at Derby College

We will be taking over Derby College (Roundhouse complex) for the day on Sunday 22 May with all the events being held in one venue.  You can buy a Day Pass for £25 enabling you to attend as many events as you want or buy individual event tickets.  We have built in 10 minutes between events to enable you to move between locations within the building.  The Pass includes all events that day except for the Festival Book Quiz.

Follow us on social media for more updates:

Twitter: @DerbyBookFest

Instagram: @derby_book_festival 

Facebook: @DerbyBookFestival 

Here's a peek of what's on:

Citizens Together: Tony Butler in conversation with Jon Alexander - 20 May

In conversation with Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, Jon Alexander and Ece Temelkuran.... read more

Morning Coffee with Adrian Tinniswood: Noble Ambitions - 20 May

From the best-selling author of The Long Weekend: a wild, sad and sometimes hilarious tour of the English country house after the Second Wor... read more

Julia Samuel: Every Family Has A Story: How we inherit love and loss - 20 May

In Every Family Has A Story, best-selling psychotherapist Julia Samuel turns from her acclaimed work with individuals to draw on her session... read more

Francesca May: Wild & Wicked Things - 20 May

In the aftermath of the First World War, a young woman gets swept into a glittering world filled with illicit magic, romance, blood debts an... read more

John Crace: A Farewell to Calm: The New Normal Survival Guide - 20 May

In A Farewell to Calm, John introduces an infectiously funny selection of his finest pieces from 2020-21, taking in everything from a summer... read more

Joanne Burn: The Hemlock Cure - 21 May

Based on the real history of Eyam during the Great Plague, The Hemlock Cure is an utterly beguiling tale of fear and ambition, betrayal, sel... read more

Franny Moyle: The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein - 21 May

Franny Moyle traces and analyses the life and work of an extraordinary artist against the backdrop of an era of political turbulence and cul... read more

Rebecca Lee: How Words Get Good: The Story of Making a Book - 21 May

A behind-the-scenes tour for book lovers everywhere, from ghostwriters to indexes and erratas.... read more

Helen Taylor: Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives - 21 May

Helen Taylor’s book explains how precious fiction is to contemporary British women readers and how they draw on it to tell the stories... read more

Caleb Azumah Nelson: Open Water - 21 May

Winner of the 2021 Costa First Novel Award, Open Water is a stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black British artists falling in and ... read more

Robert Hardman: Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II - 21 May

In Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Year, we are delighted to welcome Robert Hardman, one of Britain’s leading royal authoriti... read more

Graeme Macrae Burnet: Case Study - 21 May

In Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet presents these notebooks interspersed with his own biographical research into Collins Braithwaite.... read more

Isy Suttie: Jane is Trying - 21 May

Comedian, actress and writer, Isy Suttie returns to her Matlock roots in her first novel, Jane is Trying, in which her central character mov... read more

Julia Stonehouse: John Stonehouse, My Father - 22 May

The true story of the MP who faked his own death, by his daughter.... read more

Ben Aitken: The Marmalade Diaries - 22 May

From the author of The Gran Tour, a portrait of an intergenerational friendship.... read more

Sunday Papers - 22 May

Join us for a relaxed look at the Sunday news with our panel, who will discuss the headlines and stories that have caught their attention.... read more

Caitlin Davies: Queens of the Underworld - 22 May

Caitlin Davies returns to the Festival following her sell-out event in 2019 with Bad Girls.... read more

Women, Class and Writing the Past - 22 May

Two historical thrillers by two celebrated writers who share their experiences of writing about fascinating women who exist beyond the bound... read more

John Wright: A Spotter’s Guide to Countryside Mysteries - 22 May

Take a walk in the countryside and so many questions come up. Why is this field laid out the way it is? What is a pond doing on top of that ... read more

Stacey Halls: Mrs England - 22 May

Nominee for the Women’s Prize for Fiction x Good Housekeeping Futures Award, celebrating the most promising female authors under the a... read more

Garry Martin: The Orcadian Trilogy - 22 May

G J Martin will present a set of readings from his Orcadian Trilogy. The books imagine the adventures of the Dons of Westray, a hybrid race ... read more

Lulah Ellender: Grounding: Finding Home in a Garden - 22 May

Lulah Ellender's garden in Sussex is an unruly but beloved place. It is also not permanently her own. When just a few weeks after losing her... read more

A Spotter's Walk in Derby with John Wright - 22 May

On this walk, John Wright, author of The Spotter's Guide to Countryside Mysteries, will describe and explain such things as bracket and rust... read more

Arthur der Weduwen & Andrew Pettegree: The Library - 22 May

In this, the first major history of its kind, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen explore the contested and dramatic history of the libr... read more

Debut Author: Alex Hyde: Violets - 22 May

An astonishing debut novel of motherhood and loss in the dying days of the Second World War.... read more

Festival Quiz - 22 May

The Festival Book Quiz returns in the splendour of Derby College’s Roundhouse.... read more

David Hendy back up page - 23 May

David Hendy back up page - 23 May

Don't Miss, Festivals, Talks

In The BBC, professor and historian David Hendy traces the BBC from its maverick beginnings through war, the creation of television, changin... read more

Patrick Mackie: Mozart in Motion: His Work and His World in Pieces - 23 May

Mozart in Motion Is a fresh and revitalising exploration of Mozart’s life and work through the prism of the turbulent time in which he... read more

Dr Amy Jeffs: Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain - 23 May

Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year, Storyland is a new illustrated mythology of Britain, set in its wildest landscapes where Dr Am... read more

Fairy Tale Puppet Show with AVP Theatre: Alvaston Library - 23 - 26 May

Join Amy from AVP Theatre for a delightful retelling of some traditional and some original fairy and folktales.... read more

Marketing Derby Bondholder Event - 24 May

Inner Brilliance, Outer Shine takes you through a step-by-step process to help you to eliminate the things that create imposter syndrome.... read more

Alison Weir: Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose - 24 May

The spellbinding story of Elizabeth of York, the first Tudor queen.... read more

Andrew Roberts: George III - 24 May

Andrew Roberts' magnificent new biography takes entirely the opposite view. It convincingly portrays an intelligent, benevolent monarch who,... read more

Esme Young: Behind the Seams - 24 May

From adventures at Central Saint Martins to The Great British Sewing Bee, go behind the seams of Esme Young's amazing life ...... read more

Morning Coffee with Victoria Finlay - 25 May

In Fabric, best-selling author Victoria Finlay spins us round the globe, weaving stories of our relationship with cloth and asking how and w... read more

Amo Raju: Walk Like a Man - 25 May

Based on the real-life events of Amo Raju, Walk Like a Man follows the trials and tribulations of navigating a world not designed for disabl... read more

Shared Reading Taster Event - 25 May

Shared Reading Taster Event - 25 May

Don't Miss, Festivals

A mindful Shared Reading event at Derby Cathedral as part of their Peace Doves programme, where we will look at a range of readings related ... read more

Will Buckingham: Hello, Stranger - 25 May

Hello, Stranger asks: how do we set aside our instinctive xenophobia - fear of outsiders - and embrace our equally natural philoxenia - love... read more

Tom Bradby: Yesterday’s Spy - 25 May

Best known as presenter of ITV News at Ten, Tom is also a novelist and his latest, Yesterday's Spy, is a cunning espionage novel set in Tehr... read more

Debut author: Susan Stokes-Chapman: Pandora - 25 May

Set in Georgian London, this Sunday Times best-selling novel centres on the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase, setting in motion ... read more

Aethelflaed: Lady of the Mercians with Tim Clarkson - 26 May

Author Tim Clarkson speaks on Aetheflaed, lady of the Mercians, daughter of King Alfred the Great.... read more

James Hamilton: Constable: A Portrait - 26 May

John Constable, the revolutionary 19th century painter of the landscapes and skies of southern England, is Britain's best-loved but perhaps ... read more

Chatsworth and Me: Lexis Stories - 26 May

We are delighted to announce the launch of our 7th book of stories written by the Derby College Lexis students – young people who have... read more

Rebecca Nesbit: Tickets for the Ark - 26 May

Our planet hasn't seen the current rate of extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and global conservation effort... read more

Russ Thomas & Fran Dorricott: The Scene of the Crime - 26 May

Two successful crimewriters based in the East Midlands brilliantly recreate a sense of place in their novels.... read more

Sarah Moss: The Fell - 26 May

Sarah Moss is the author of eight novels including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller Summerwater, and Ghost Wall, which was longlisted for... read more

Tea with Wendy Mitchell - 27 May

Wise, practical and life affirming, What I Wish People Knew About Dementia combines anecdotes, research and Wendy Mitchell's own brilliant w... read more

Christopher Somerville: A View from the Hill - 27 May

During the enforced idleness of the Covid-19 pandemic, Christopher Somerville, Walking Correspondent of The Times, revisited the 450 noteboo... read more

Jacqueline Riding: Hogarth: Life in Progress - 28 May

Following in his own footsteps from humble beginnings to professional triumph (and occasional disaster), Hogarth illuminates the work and li... read more

Down The Rabbit Hole! Alice in Wonderland at Pickford’s House - 28 May

Venture down the rabbit hole with Alice and her Wonderland friends at Pickford’s House!... read more

Roald Dahl & The Imagination Seekers - 28 May

Roald Dahl & The Imagination Seekers - 28 May

Don't Miss, Family Fun, School Holidays, Theatre

All around the world Roald Dahl’s words are disappearing, not only from books but children’s minds too! Now, only a secret organ... read more

Kiran Millwood Hargrave: The Dance Tree - 28 May

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is probably best known for her award-winning children's books, The Girl of Ink & Stars, The Island at the End of... read more

Rob Young: The Magic Box - 28 May

In The Magic Box, Rob Young takes us on a fascinating journey into this influential golden age of screen and discovers what it reveals about... read more

Paul Mason: How To Stop Fascism - 28 May

In How to Stop Fascism, Paul Mason offers a radical, hopeful blueprint for resisting and defeating the new far right.... read more

Closing Event: The English Wine Project plus wine tasting - 28 May

Join us for our Closing Event with a very local Derbyshire flavour - and bouquet!... read more

Lauren Child: Clarice Bean - 30 May

The award-winning author and illustrator and former Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, creator of family favourites including Charlie ... read more

David Baddiel: (The Boy Who Got) Accidentally Famous - 31 May

Join comedian and author David Baddiel, whose entertaining adventure stories for young readers have sold over a million copies in the UK and... read more

Jacqueline Wilson: The Magic Faraway Tree: A New Adventure - 1 June

An in-person event with Jacqueline Wilson for fans of all ages.... read more

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