Page turns for Sheffield’s latest literary festival

Sarah Mann, Gavin Extence, Jackie Kay, Helen Mort & Isobel Bowler
Sarah Mann, Gavin Extence, Jackie Kay, Helen Mort & Isobel Bowler

Sheffield’s 22nd Off the Shelf festival was formally launched this week with a billing of one of the best literary festivals in the country.

With author Jackie Kay as the first female curator, it will include celebrity writers such as Kate Adie, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Pam Ayres, Lucy Worsley, Dan Snow, Andy Kershaw, Roy Hattersley and Roddy Doyle.

Events range from a Doctor Who evening at The Showroom to consultant Psychiatrist Steve Peters discussing his work with Olympic athletes to an analysis of

mathematics in The Simpsons.

The festival, from October 12 to November 2, was launched yesterday at The Crucible with platinum sponsors Civica.

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, said it will “once again host a myriad of amazing literary talent – internationally known authors, celebrities, recognition of the up-and-coming talent of tomorrow, children’s events and community engagement offering a diverse and packed literary festival that ranks as one of the best in the country. Authors love the festival as they are well looked after, are so well received by audiences in Sheffield and recognise Off the Shelf as a noted and respected festival on the busy literary festival calendar.”

Jackie Kay’s curation theme is ‘outside’. “It is a mixture of art, cinema, politics and poetry. I like literature to reach out to the world and the concerns of our time, to give people an experience and pleasure.”