From superstars of the crime world, to more niche events to satisfy the gothic aficionados among us, Sheffield’s very own literature festival is set to provide another bumper year of literary delights.
Off The Shelf kicks off its packed programme of over 130 events on 6 October, with talks and discussions attracting international authors, featuring home grown talent, and writers from the arts, journalism, politics and history.
There are three themes reflected throughout the festival: Suffrage 100, Frankenstein 200
and Circus 250.
This year, there is an exceptional array of fiction authors appearing at the festival, from Philip Hensher to the queen of crime herself, Val McDermid. Off The Shelf also provides the only opportunity outside London to meet the shortlisted authors for the Man Booker Prize, as well as hosting the launch of the winning Northern Book Prize title, Slip Of A Fish by Amy Arnold.
The fiction extravaganza culminates on Saturday 13 October with It’s All A Fiction, a whole
afternoon of reading heaven for fiction lovers in the prestigious Town Hall Reception Rooms
featuring six successful authors.
Writers taking part are Sarah Ward with her latest DC Childs crime mystery, The Shrouded
Path, set in the Derbyshire Peak District; Sharlene Teo with a remarkable debut of friendship
and memory Ponti; Kim Sherwood with her moving debut Testament which uncovers a
family’s past as Hungarian Jews; CWA Dagger- winning author Stephen Booth with the new
Cooper & Fry thriller Fall Down Dead; and Guardian journalist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett with her beautiful coming of age debut novel The Tyranny of Lost Things. It promises to be a treat for fiction lovers who want to come along and meet some of their favourites, as well as find new writers to enjoy.
Off The Shelf is also hosting a rare visit to the UK by Jodi Picoult, author of 24 internationally
bestselling novels and one of the most popular women’s fiction writers in the world. She will
be talking about her provocative new novel set in a Women’s Reproductive Centre, A Spark
Of Light, on Tuesday 30 October.
And for readers like me who love their books on the darker, gothic side of the shelf, the
Frankenstein themed events in particular look delicious, including a series of events in the
Sheffield General Cemetery and its Samuel Worth Chapel. They include a unique occasion
when the whole of Mary Shelley’s novel will be read aloud by various readers, together with
other performances, walks, talks and outdoor film screenings of the Bride of Frankenstein
and Young Frankenstein.
For the full programme of events, and information about how to buy tickets, go to