Book Festival officially launched

183_DerbyBookFestival_Colour_Logo_LargeIf you have a love of books and reading then you need to cross out anything else in your diary for the week of May 31-June 7 and head to Derby, where the city’s first book festival is being staged.

The organisers have drawn together a packed programme of events that was officially launched at QUAD last night to mark World Book Night and Shakespeare’s birthday.

Last month artsbeat gave you a taster to the line-up, which then included Roy Hattersley, Stephen Booth, Penelope Lively, poet Simon Armitage and a visit from the BBC Radio Four Book Club.

One of the main highlights will be bestselling author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo, who will give a performance of Only Remembered, songs, stories and poetry from the Great War, with Coope, Boyes and Simpson.

Now we can also tell you that William Fotheringham, the Guardian’s cycling correspondent and author of the number one bestseller Merckx: Half Man Half Bike, will be at the newly opened Derby Arena on May 31 to talk about his new book Bernard Hinault and the Rise and Fall of French Cycling.

David Nicholls, who is one of Britain’s most talented, versatile and bestselling writers, will be in conversation with Katy Guest, the literary editor of The Independent at QUAD on Sunday, June 3. His novel One Day sold over five million copies and was adapted into a screenplay of the same name starring Anne Hathaway. His latest book, Us, was released last year.

There will be a unique double bill of horror that will have you crying with laughter as well as cowering in fear at QUAD on June 5 as the latest instalment of the annual collection of the UK’s horror fiction – Best British Horror 2015 – is launched alongside Dead Funny, an anthology of horror stories written by comedians.

The books have been edited by Johnny Mains, who is being joined by authors including Victoria Leslie, Marie O’Regan and Simon Kurt Unsworth, as well as Robin Ince, one of the country’s funniest comedians, who co-edited Dead Funny with Main.

Sarah Waters, author of  Fingersmith, Affinity and Tipping the Velvet will be in conversation at QUAD on June 6 and James Hanning the deputy editor of The Independent on Sunday will talk about his book The News Machine: Hacking The Untold Story on June 7 in the city’s council chamber.

There’s lots more going on during the week, so to make sure you don’t miss anything either pick up a programme or go to