Derbyshire Literature Festival starts today

Sathnam Sanghera
Sathnam Sanghera

The eighth Derbyshire Literature Festival is being staged across the county from May 8-17 with a range of more than 40 exciting events from author talks and workshops to fun for children and families.

The events are taking place in the county’s libraries as well as stately homes, museums, parks and community centres.

There will be talks from writers from around the UK and also a growing group of local authors who will be supporting the Made In Derbyshire theme for 2015.

For those who enjoy music there will be a performance by Derbyshire folk group Mills and Chimneys at Chesterfield Library on May 15 while a performance of The Lunar Men by Maria Whatton and Sarah Matthews at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery on May 8 combines music and storytelling.

The programme for families will feature children’s writers Jonathan Emmett and Abi Burlingham, poet Mark Gwynne Jones and storyteller Gordon McLellan.

Workshops in writing, poetry, comics, and printmaking will also add a creative element to the festival programme.

In one workshop with author Emma Pass and her printmaker husband Duncan you will be able to produce a piece of writing and then create a cover image using simple print techniques.

Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort will be at Renishaw Hall on May 16 and Shottle Hall the following day; Christine Robinson, the housekeeper at Chatsworth, will be talking about her book at Chesterfield Library on May 8 and Long Eaton Library on May 12.

Three up and coming women writers – Tracy Bloom, Emma Bamford and Joanna Courtney, who have all appeared in artsbeat in the past will be at Melbourne Assembly Rooms to talk about their books on May 15.

Adrian Farmer is launching his latest book in Belper on May 14 and you can read more about him on page 58.

Derbyshire’s Labour politician, the fiery and forthright Dennis Skinner is one of the best-known faces in Vritish politics and he will be talking about his memoir Sailing Close to the Wind at Bolsover Library on May 15.

Among this year’s line-up of UK authors are the bestselling Matt Haig, who will be talking about his new inspirational memoir Reasons to Stay Alive; Kate Williams, TV historian, biographer, journalist and novelist, who will be discussing The Storms of War, her latest historical novel set during the Great War. And Richard Benson will be talking about The Valley, his fascinating family history of the 20th century.

Sathnam Sanghera, a journalist who won Mind Book of the Year for his first book The Boy in the Topknot will also be at the festival discussing his comic novel Marriage Material; Jill Dawson, a critically acclaimed writer who has been listed for many prizes will talking about her latest novel The Tell-Tale Heart and Cath Staincliffe, crime writer and creator of the Scott & Bailey TV series, will be talking about her third book Ruthless.

For more festival information and to book tickets go to 

Tickets and copies of the festival brochure are also available in any Derbyshire Library.

n And one last reminder  there is still time  to enter the Derbyshire Poem a Month Writing Competition. For full details and entry form go to the website or ask in the libraries. The closing date is May 29.