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Derby Book Festival 2021 Lineup


Derby Book Festival is set to go ahead, starting in just over a month on 27th May.

The 10-day festival, spanning 60 events and 10 venues around Derby, includes interviews with BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel, musical family the Kanneh-Masons, and BBC Special Correspondent James Naughtie.

There’s even a gothic fiction panel featuring Stuart Turton (The Devil and the Dark Water), Catriona Ward (The Last House on Needless Street) and Sarah Ward (The Quickening).

Debut authors Jane Bettany, Helen Cooper, Rebecca Watson, and Abigail Dean also make their maiden appearances on the book festival circuit.

When do Derby Book Festival tickets go on sale?

Tickets are on sale now at derbybookfestival.co.uk!

Where can I buy tickets for Derby Book Festival?

Beginning 29th April, you can buy your tickets on the Derby Book Festival events page.

Each event is ticketed, with the full information including pricing, dates, and times listed below.

Derby Book Festival Full Lineup

Thursday 27th May

John Preston, Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell (Tickets)

James Naughtie, On the Road: Adventures from Nixon to Trump (Tickets)

Friday 28th May

Helen Mort, Never Leave the Dog Behind (Tickets)

Writing Real Women with Tracy Bloom & Laura Jane Williams (Tickets)

Jon McGregor, Lean Fall Stand (Tickets)

Saturday 29th May

Debut Author: Home-grown talent – Jane Bettany and Helen Cooper (Tickets)

John Kampfner: Why the Germans Do It Better (Tickets)

Christian Wolmar, Cathedrals of Steam (Tickets)

365 Days Wild with Lucy McRobert (Tickets)

Monique Roffey, The Mermaid of Black Conch (Winner of the Costa Book Award 2020) (Tickets)

Alison Weir, Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen (Tickets)

Christie Watson, The Courage to Care: A Call for Compassion (Tickets)

Shaun Bythell, Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops (Tickets)

Jasper Rees, Let’s Do It: The Authorised Biography of Victoria Wood (Tickets)

Sunday 30th May

Roger Morgan-Grenville, Liquid Gold: Bees and the Pursuit of Midlife Honey (Tickets)

Debut Author: Rebecca Watson, little scratch (Tickets)

Peter Ross, A Tomb with a View (Tickets)

Brian Bilston, Alexa, what is there to know about love? (Tickets)

Ben Aitken & Helen Moat, Travels with my Elders … and Youngers (Tickets)

Val McDermid, Still Life (Tickets)

Monday 31st May

Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens (Tickets)

Shrabani Basu, The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer (Tickets)

Alternative Crime: Russ Thomas & Alex Reeve (Tickets)

Polly Samson, A Theatre for Dreamers with music from David Gilmour (Tickets)

Tuesday 1st June

Duncan Campbell-Smith, Jet Man: The Making and Breaking of Frank Whittle, the Genius of the Jet Revolution (Tickets)

Patricia Fara, Erasmus Darwin: Sex, Science, and Serendipity (Tickets)

Creating Historical Fiction: Lucy Jago & Natasha Pulley (Tickets)

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason: House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons (Tickets)

Wednesday 2nd June

Richard Bates & Jonathan Memel: Florence Nightingale at Home (Tickets)

Afternoon Tea: Francesca Wade, Square Haunting (Tickets)

Festival Book Quiz (Tickets)

Thursday 3rd June

Marketing Derby Bondholder Event – Andrew Wallas: Business Alchemy (Tickets)

Festival Lunch with Anna Pasternak, The American Duchess (Tickets)

Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudspotting Day 1 (Tickets)

Matthew Parris, Fracture (Tickets)

Hollie McNish: Slug (Tickets)

Friday 4th June

Morning Coffee: Helen Lewis, Difficult Women: History of Feminism in 11 Fights (Tickets)

Afternoon Tea: Pen Vogler, Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain (Tickets)

Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudspotting Day 2 (Tickets)

Gothic Panel with Stuart Turton, Catriona Ward & Sarah Ward (Tickets)

Claire Wilcox, Patch Work: A Life Amongst Clothes (Tickets)

Saturday 5th June 

Collage Workshop with author & illustrator, Jane Porter, The Boy Who Loved Everyone (Tickets)

Bird Watching Walk with Mark Cocker (Tickets)

Kate Summerscale: The Haunting of Alma Fielding (Tickets)

Collage Workshop with author & illustrator, Jane Porter, Tiny Penguins and the New Baby (Tickets)

Mark Cocker, A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet (Tickets)

Iain Dale, The Prime Ministers: 55 Leaders, 55 Authors, 300 Years of History (Tickets)

Jon Sopel, UnPresidented: Politics, Pandemics and the Race That Trumped All Others (Tickets)

To find out more about Derby Book Festival, visit

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