Book yourself in for festival launch

You can be one of the first to hear the full line-up for the 2019 Derby Book Festival by going along to the launch event, Derby Reads, on April 10.

Based on the traditional Victorian Penny Readings popularised by Charles Dickens, the evening offers a selection of taster readings from books which will be featured in this year’s fifth festival. 

The festival will also be announcing the theme of the Fifty Word Flash Fiction Writing Competition the same evening. 

Some tickets for the festival’s main events, including Melvyn Bragg; a special event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and The  Sleepover at Derby Museum & Art Gallery, are already on sale and selling fast. 

You can book for all other events at and pick up a Festival Programme from April 10.

Some of the other highlights already announced are talks by BBC editorial director and former economics editor, Kamal Ahmed; James Runcie best known for his Grantchester series of novels; novelist Patrick Gale; comedian and author Susan Calman; children’s author Cressida Cowell (How To Train Your Dragon); cricketer Graeme Fowler; historian Alison Weir on Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anna of Kleve; journalist, blogger and author Dolly Alderton; historical biographer Kate Hubbard on Bess of Hardwick and the Festival Lunch with Rory Stewart MP.

The free, but ticketed Derby Reads event is at QUAD from 6.30-8pm. To book a ticket go to