Derby Book Festival

31 May - 8 June 2019

The Derby Book Festival will return on 31 May - 8 June 2019.

Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests, with a programme featuring great writers, poets, historians, politicians, illustrators, storytellers and musicians.

Each year we welcome internationally celebrated, best-selling authors as well as a broad range of local writing talent and include an exciting children, families and educational programme.

There’s something for everyone with topics ranging from cycling to cricket, railways to real ale and birding to board games!

To find out more, visit the Festival website and sign up for more information.  You can also follow the Festival on Twitter at: @DerbyBookFest and ‘like’ the Festival on Facebook:


Here's a peek of what's on;



Festivals, School Holidays

Join us for a trail of tales around the Museum.... read more


In this session the whole family is welcome to play, make and have fun together.... read more

Create Your Own Happy - 31 May

Based on their book Create Your Own Happy, join authors Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill for a fun, interactive session offering your... read more

Bess of Hardwick - Kate Hubbard - 31 May

Next to Queen Elizabeth I, Bess of Hardwick was one of the richest and most powerful women in 16th century England. Through canny choices, f... read more

Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him - Tracy Borman - 31 May

In Tracy Borman’s new biography of Henry VIII, she casts light on the men who surrounded him, revealing much about his beliefs, behavi... read more

Celebrating Norway - 31 May

Join us for a special evening looking at the best of Norwegian literature with a UK preview of the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Norway is the ... read more


Manchester, August 1819: 60,000 people gathered to hear reformer Henry Hunt campaigning for parliamentary reform to enable voting as a unive... read more

Kamal Ahmed - 1 June

One of Britain’s most respected journalists, Kamal Ahmed grew up in London in the 1970s and explores what it means to be British as on... read more

Paul Mason: Clear Bright Future - 1 June

Former Channel 4 Economics Editor Paul Mason’s new book, Clear Bright Future, calls for a radical, impassioned defence of the human be... read more

Scavengers - 1 June

Scavengers is a Young Adult novel tackling the big questions: What do you believe? What happens when you break the rules? How do you find ou... read more

How the Borks Became - 1 June

Borks live on a planet quite like our own Earth. They have shaggy yellow fur and long thin necks. But once they had short blue fur and almos... read more

James Runcie: The Road to Grantchester- 1 June

The Road to Grantchester is the captivating prequel to the treasured Grantchester series following the life, loves and losses of Sidney Cham... read more

Routes into Publishing - 1 June

I did it my way! Join Lucy Foley, Rachel Abbott and Tracy Bloom who will explain how they have achieved success in their writing and publish... read more

Samantha Shannon - 1 June

Internationally best-selling author of The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon has acquired a loyal following of readers who love her fantasy nove... read more

Patrick Gale, Melissa Harrison and The Bookshop Band - 1 June

A special evening of books and music. Best selling novelist Patrick Gale will join us to talk about his latest novel, Take Nothing With You ... read more

Dolly Alderton -  1 June

Author, journalist, broadcaster and podcaster, Dolly Alderton’s riotously funny debut book, Everything I Know About Love, was shortlis... read more

Takeover: A Farmer's Diary: Sally Urwin - 2 June

A Farmer's Diary reveals the highs, lows and hard, hard work involved in making a living from the land.... read more


Celebrating the Horrible Histories books, join us at the Museum and Art Gallery for a blast into the past and meet some gruesome characters ... read more

Takeover - 2 June

Derby Book Festival takes over Déda again! Join us for a Sunday of lively debate, author talks and music on issues ranging from books... read more

Takeover: Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood - 2 June

Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Rose George’s Nine Pints takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting ... read more

Takeover: Sunday Papers - 2 June

Derby Book Festival takes over Déda again! Join us for a Sunday of lively debate, author talks and music on issues ranging from books... read more

Takeover: Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades - 2 June

Until its closure in 2016, HM Prison Holloway was western Europe's largest women's prison. First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Hol... read more

Takeover: Riding in the Zone Rouge - 2 June

Tom Isitt tells the rediscovered story of the toughest bicycle race ever staged: the Circuit des Champs de Bataille (the Tour of the Battlef... read more

Takeover: Mark Billingham, A.A. Dhand & Fran  Dorricott - 2 June

We’re bringing together three of the most exciting crime authors: Mark Billingham, A. A. Dhand and Fran Dorricot. They will discuss th... read more

Takeover: The Diary Of A Bookseller - 2 June

In his wry and hilarious best-selling diaries, Shaun Bythell takes an insider’s look at the challenges of life in the book trade.... read more

Takeover: Refugee Tales with Patrick Gale and Marina Lewycka - 2 June

In the third volume of Refugee Tales, writers, including Patrick Gale and Marina Lewycka, retell the true stories of those who have been det... read more

Takeover: Sofka Zinovieff - 2 June

It is the 1970s and Ralph, an up-and-coming composer, is visiting Edmund Greenslay at his riverside home to discuss a collaboration. Through... read more

Takeover: Helen Mort: Black Car Burning - 2 June

We welcome back Helen Mort, best known for her award winning poetry, to talk about her brilliant debut novel, Black Car Burning.... read more

Takeover: Quiz - 2 June

The Festival Book Quiz returns to Déda with more questions to keep you on your toes. Prepare to be entertained with more mind bogglin... read more

Sophie Draper - 2 June

Sophie’s first book, Cuckoo, is a gothic psychological thriller set in the wintry landscape of rural Derbyshire. It won the Bath Novel... read more

Family Film: Matilda - 2 June

Join us in the Carriage Shop Theatre at the Roundhouse for a themed family film screening of Matilda, based on Roald Dahl’s award winn... read more

Debut Author: Laura Shepherd-Robinson - 2 June

Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s debut novel takes us to the murky politics of the 18th century slave trade in this fascinating tale set in L... read more

The Apprehensive Gardener - 3 June

In The Apprehensive Gardener Griselda Kerr has written a practical guide on how to look after your garden plants throughout the year. Based ... read more

Poetry with Rupinder Kaur & Nafeesa Hamid - 3 June

Rupinder Kaur is a Birmingham born Panjabi poet whose 2018 debut collection, Rooh transcends borders and arbitrary boundaries. Her poems str... read more

Crime has its Place with Stephen Booth, T M Logan & K L Slater - 3 June

Forget Robin Hood and put those ancient rivalries between Derby and Nottingham aside as three of Nottinghamshire's most successful contempor... read more

Markus Zusak - 3 June

We are delighted to welcome Australian author, Markus Zusak, on a rare visit to the UK.... read more

Susan Calman - 3 June

Susan Calman enchanted us all with her enthusiasm for dance during Strictly Come Dancing 2017!... read more

Edward Lear's Stuff and Nonsense - 4 June

Enjoy an audience with Mr Edward Lear, King of the Nonsense Rhyme and Loopy Limerick!... read more


In the summer of 1940, Britain stood perilously close to invasion by the Nazis, but what would a British occupation have looked like?... read more

Out of the Box - 4 June

Out of the Box is part of a three-year arts programme, working with people at Growing Lives in Ilkeston, funded by Arts Council England.... read more

Vaseem Khan - 4 June

Vaseem Khan is the author of the bestselling Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series featuring Indian detective Ashwin Chopra and his baby eleph... read more

Debut Author: Anne Griffin, When All is Said - 4 June

Anne Griffin’s debut novel takes us to the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town to join 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He's alone... read more

Professor Steve Peters: Managing the Mind Marketing Derby Breakfast Event - 4 June

Marketing Derby Event - Understanding the neuroscience of the mind can improve the quality of life and success both personally and professio... read more

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: Philippa Perry - 4 June

A must for any parent! The most influential relationships are between parents and children. Yet for so many families, these relationships ca... read more

Strictly Sherlock - 5 June

After the terrific success of The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, we return with this follow-up stage play.... read more

The Lady Killers - 4 June

Join highly acclaimed authors CJ Tudor (author of The Chalk Man, and The Taking of Annie Thorne), Fiona Cummins (Rattle, The Collector, and ... read more

Joanna Courtney: Blood Queen - 5 June

Joanna Courtney’s latest historical fiction series features Shakespeare’s Queens, the first being Lady Macbeth in Blood Queen.... read more

Starry Night: Van Gogh at the Asylum - 5 June

Vincent Van Gogh spent a year in an asylum at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in the South of France after he had mutilated his ear in the Yellow Hous... read more

Afternoon Tea with Clare Hunter: Threads of Life - 5 June

In Threads of Life, an eloquent blend of history and memoir, Clare Hunter takes us from the political propaganda of the Bayeux Tapestry to t... read more

How to Give Up Plastic - Will McCallum - 5 June

As Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, Will McCallum is at the forefront of the anti-plastics movement.... read more

In Conversation with Graeme Fowler - 5 June

In Mind Over Batter, former Test batsman, commentator and coach Graeme Fowler looks into all facets of the game to assess the mental aspect ... read more

D-Day: 6 June 1944 - 6 June

75 years ago, on 6 June 1944, the greatest seaborne invasion in history took place. D-Day saw an epic battle involving 156,000 men, 7,000 s... read more

Mother: An Unconventional History - Sarah Knot - 6 June

In what is probably the first historical analysis of motherhood, acclaimed historian Sarah Knott analyses the real experience for women acro... read more


Acclaimed historian Sarah Knott analyses the real experience of motherhood for women across the ages, from the South Carolina field slave to... read more

Hollie McNish - 6 June

Hollie McNish, winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry, joins us to read from her poetic memoir, Nobody Told Me, a taboo-breaking, hum... read more

Victoria Hislop: Those Who Are Loved - 6 June

Best-selling author Victoria Hislop's latest novel is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in World War II.... read more

When the Dogs Don’t Bark: A Forensic Scientist’s Search for the Truth - 6 June

With ever-more sophisticated and powerful techniques at their disposal, forensic scientists have an unprecedented ability to help solve even... read more

Melvyn Bragg in conversation - 7 June

Derby Book Festival welcomes broadcaster, author and parliamentarian, Melvyn Bragg (Lord Bragg of Wigton) to their fifth Festival. He has b... read more

Genre Fluid with Dan Webber - 7 June

Genre Fluid is the culmination of three years of writing, touring and performing at various events and festivals across the country.... read more

Iestyn Edwards: My Tutu went AWO - 7 June

On the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, Iestyn Edwards, Bass Baritone, sang at the naval supper on HMS Victory and met Royal Ma... read more


Fifty years ago, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar was first published.... read more

Debut Author: Elizabeth Macneal - The Doll Factory - 7 June

An intoxicating tale of art, obsession and possession, Elizabeth Macneal’s debut The Doll Factory is set in London in 1850/51, a radic... read more

Life, Happiness and Everything and Mindfulness Workshop - 7 June

Join us for a morning of mindfulness. The event starts with a one-hour mindfulness session where you will learn practices to help you relax,... read more

Simon Jenkins - 7 June

Sir Simon Jenkins is a British author, newspaper columnist and editor. Formerly the editor of the Times, Jenkins currently writes columns fo... read more

Festival Lunch with Rory Stewart MP - 7 June

Rory Stewart OBE is a British politician, documentary-maker and writer. Since May 2010, he has been the Member of Parliament for Penrith and... read more

Book Fair - 8 June

Book Fair - 8 June

Festivals, Markets & Fairs

Where to find us

The Book Fair returns in a new venue: the former Central Library.... read more

Family Day: A Day of Dragons - 8 June

This year’s Derby Book Festival Family Day has an exciting Dragon theme.... read more

A Night of Circus and Cabaret - 8 June

Roll up…roll up! Come and help us celebrate the closing night of Derby Book festival exploring Circus as an art form. As well as a da... read more

Dan Walker: Sky Thieves - 8 June

Meet Zoya DeLarose, who embarks upon a life-changing adventure when she wakes up aboard a flying skyship. With a shadowy character lurking i... read more

Cressida Cowell: Dragons and Wizards - 8 June

Meet multi-million-copy selling, award-winning author Cressida Cowell, creator of the How to Train Your Dragon (also a DreamWorks film) and ... read more

Debut Author: Bridget Collins: The Binding - 8 June

The Binding is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story about Emmett Farmer who is, unexpectedly, given the chance to ... read more

Alison Weir: Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets - 8 June

Best-selling historian, Alison Weir, returns with her fourth novel in the highly acclaimed Six Tudor Queens series: Anna of Kleve: Queen of ... read more

Poetry: Henry Normal - 8 June

Join Henry Normal for a night of poetry as he performs Swallowing the Entire Ocean, his latest poetry collection which is concerned with the... read more

Gunnar Staalesen on Nordic Noir - 8 June

Over the last decade, Nordic Noir has dominated global bestseller lists; renowned for its simple prose, dramatic plots, and social criticism... read more

Done Deal: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Football - 8 June

In Done Deal, Premier League lawyer Daniel Geey lifts the lid on the inner workings of modern football. Whether it is a manager being sacked... read more

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