The fifth Derby Book Festival opens today!

Fri 31 May 2019

The fifth Derby Book Festival opens TODAY (Friday 31 May) and will include over 90 events across nine days.

The Festival, which runs until 8 June, includes events for all ages and interests in venues across the city, including QUAD, Déda, Derby Theatre, Derby Museum, the University of Derby and Waterstones. Tickets have been selling well since they went on sale eight weeks ago and there are already several sold out events.

Highlights of this year’s Festival include broadcaster and author, Melvyn Bragg, comedian Susan Calman, politician and Tory leadership hopeful, Rory Stewart MP, Victoria Hislop, Stephen Booth, John Harvey, children’s author, Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon), historian Alison Weir, Simon Jenkins, Dolly Alderton and Paul Mason.

Each year the Festival organises a Flash Fiction Writing competition with the winning entries illustrated and produced on Festival bookmarks by local design company, Burnthebook, who also designed this year’s Festival programme. This year’s theme was ‘Our World’ and received nearly 350 entries across four categories: under 11s, 12 – 17s, over 18s and a special category for HMP Foston Hall. The winners are announced tomorrow and the bookmarks are available at all Festival venues and from local libraries.

The Festival will take over Déda, Derby’s dance centre, on Sunday 2 June, when they will have a day of fascinating and varied author events. Visitors can buy a special Sunday Takeover Festival Pass for the day for £25 to attend any of the events programmed there.

There will also be a full day of free children and family activities on Saturday 8 June in Derby’s Market Place with the Day of Dragons event, which coincides with Cressida Cowell’s event in QUAD, featuring storytelling with CBeebies’ Magic Hands’ Donna Mullins, street theatre and dragon-related arts and crafts.

For more information, visit:

For full details of this year’s Festival programme, visit: