Literary City: The Sheffield Connection - Off The Shelf
Throughout October, Sheffield becomes a hive of book-loving activity for the duration of Off
The Shelf, the city’s festival of words that has grown into one of the largest and most
accessible literary festivals in the UK.
Highlights of 2018 have already included everything from the superstar of crime writing Val
McDermid, to a fascinating exploration of Frankenstein’s 200 year history with Christopher
If you haven’t made it along to anything yet, or you’re just keen for more literary treats, there
are still plenty of events still to come in the programme. Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein
is a thrilling piece of immersive theatre showing at Sheffield Hallam University and featuring
performance students. This new adaptation is written by Hattie Naylor, lecturer in Stage and
Screen at the university, whose credits include Olivier nominated Ivan and the Dogs,
recently released as a film. The play weaves together Mary Shelley’s letters, what is known
about her life and the groundbreaking novel Frankenstein, to create this piece of theatre.
The play is showing on 25 and 26 October, and promises to be a real treat for gothic
If you’re looking for a family event, then Celebrating Harry Potter might be the one for you. If
you’re a fantastically beastly fan of the Harry Potter books then you can join Fleurble Laffalot
for a family friendly journey through JK Rowling’s much loved books. The event will explore
some of the key elements of life at Hogwarts – the sorting ceremony, Care of Magical
Creatures, spells, potions and much more. Celebrating Harry Potter is on 27 October at
Sheffield University Students’ Union.
Another highlight of the festival still to come is the launch of the 2018 Northern Book Prize
winner from Sheffield-based publishers And Other Stories. The prize was won by Amy
Arnold with her stunning novel Slip of a Fish. The book is an intense but playful and allusive
novel which has been recommended for fans of Ali Smith, Eimear McBride and Deborah
Arnold will be in conversation with one of the prize judges, the author Conor O'Callaghan on
27 October, followed by the launch party for the book.
Then the grand finale of the festival is an event on 30 October with Jodi Picoult, author of 24
internationally bestselling novels and one of the most popular women’s fiction writers in the
world. In a rare visit to the UK, she will be talking about her provocative new novel set in a
Women’s Reproductive Centre, A Spark of Light. The ticket price includes a signed copy of
For tickets and details of all these events go to www.offtheshelf.org.uk