The fifth Derby Book Festival 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.


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.


Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival said: “This year’s Festival has an amazing array of writing talent and covers a wide range of topics, from circus to crime, history to heroes and blood to bookselling.


“The Festival goes from strength to strength and has an international flavour this year with authors flying in from France, Norway and Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) is making a rare visit from Australia.


“It is now a well-established part of the city’s arts programme with a loyal audience returning each year. We are delighted with ticket sales but there are still tickets available for most events so we encourage people to take a look at the programme in the next few days.”


For full details of this year’s Festival programme, visit this website now.