Wirksworth Book Festival Announced, Fri 8 – Sun 10 April 2016

Category: General

A small book festival to highlight local authors, encourage readers and generally celebrate books – with readings, talks, activities, walks and a quiz.

As a first for this year, Wirksworth is hosting a small book festival over the weekend of the 8-10 April. Wirksworth Book Festival will highlight local authors, encourage readers and generally celebrate books.

The Book Festival will open with an evening to celebrate and talk about books with a number of local celebrities talking about and reading from some of their favourites. The Festival will also feature a number of author sessions, activity in the local library, a Book Walk and end with a Book Quiz on the Sunday evening.

The weekend is run in partnership with Wirksworth Festival and the Derby Book Festival and it is hoped that this small beginning might lead to a regular Book Festival in the town.  The Book Festival is also supported by Wirksworth Framing Company and the Curiosity Cafe.

Sign up to receive Wirksworth Festival newsletters or the Festival’s Facebook page for the Book Festival’s programme details as and when they are announced.

You can download a copy of the Wirksworth Book Festival Leaflet here.


No Right to Exist? ‘The Rainbow’ and other Books that Shocked

Wirksworth Heritage Centre (in their new location, 31 St John’s Street – Webster’s) will host part of the D.H.Lawrence Heritage Centre’s recent exhibition, ‘No Right to Exist? ‘The Rainbow’ and other Books that Shocked.’

This exhibition explores why books have been banned, suppressed or censored and how we view these works in today’s social climate.  Are we still offended by their content?

Open 10am-4pm, 8th -10th April 2016



Where The Wild Things Are

Friday 8 April, 11.30-12.30 at Wirksworth Library

Come along to Wirksworth Library and release your inner wild thing with stories, songs, games and crafts based on the bestselling book by Maurice Sendak. Dress in your favourite monster suit, gnash your terrible teeth, roar your terrible roars and join in the biggest, wildest rumpus of all!


Wirksworth Book Festival Launch Night

Friday 8 April in the Red Lion Ballroom from 6.30pm

Local ‘celebs’ talk about their favourite books, and a chance to talk about yours in a friendly atmosphere!

Please join us.




Saturday 9 April at the Northern Light Cinema from 10am

Tickets available from Wirksworth Framing, NOT directly from the cinema.
£3 per child, accompanying adults are free

Wirksworth Book Festival presents local poet, Judy Brown

Saturday 9 April at Richard’s Bookshop in Wirksworth at 2pm & 4.30pm

Judy Brown’s second book of poems, ‘Crowd Sensations’, is just out from Seren Books, and is a Poetry Book Society  recommendation. Judy was a 2014 writer-in-residence at Gladstone Library and in 2013 was poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. She has won the Manchester Poetry Prize, the London competition and the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canhem prize.

Judy works as a freelance tutor and mentor and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. (And she lives in Wirksworth!!)

‘A poet who instinctively sees the possibilities whenever she casts her penetrating colourful eye’ Carol Rumens, in The Guardian.

Dickens @ Gads Hill Place, a talk by Sally Barkley-Smith

Saturday 9 April upstairs at Mercia Wine Bar, 3-4pm

A light-hearted glimpse into Charles Dickens, his home at Gads Hill Place and his own observations of family life there, plus Sally’s family’s coincidental connections with him and the house.

Sally Barkley-Smith grew up in Kent, passing Gads Hill Place every day on the way to school and aware of Dickens’ close connections with the area. Later when her mother became Headmistress of Gads Hill School, she had access to more information about Dickens and his life there, but it was many years later that she discovered which family member knew him!
Tickets £4 – available from cazkinstaylor@gmail.com

The Wirksworth Book Festival presents Chris Thompson and Seni Seneviratne

Saturday 9 April in The Den at the Red Lion, from 7.30-9.30pm

Wirksworth Book Festival presents two very different, but fascinating, performers.

Chris Thompson is well known to Wirksworth, and Derbyshire folk. He is a raconteur, writer, TV and Radio scriptwriter and lecturer. Known for writing the sex in the shower scene in The Archers many years ago! as well as Emmerdale, Heartbeat and a number of plays. Chris is a wonderfully warm and funny speaker, and will share his tales of working in the world of words.

Seni Seneviratne is a poet and performer. She was born in Leeds, of Sri Lanka heritage. She has toured widely here and abroad, and published two collections of poetry, the latest of which (The Heart of It, Peepal Tree Press, 2012) was selected by New Writing North. One of her poems, ‘Operation Cast Lead’ was shortlisted in the Arvon International Poetry Competition.
Tickets £10 – available from cazkinstaylor@gmail.com



Wirksworth Book Festival Book Walk

Sunday 10 April meet at the Market Place at 2pm

Enjoy walking? Like talking about your favourite books?

Come and do both at the same time on a Wirksworth Book Walk.  Come with a favourite novel in mind, or one you have enjoyed recently.

When we are all assembled we will all introduce ourselves and the name of the book we have ‘brought’. Then we will set off for a walk lasting about 2 hours, where there will be lots of opportunity to talk to others about our selections.

The walk will be at a gentle speed and we will go at the pace of the slowest. There will be some uphill and uneven ground, so walking boots and suitable clothing will be needed. Well-behaved dogs are also welcome.

The walk will be led by Wirksworth writer and avid reader, Andy Miller.

If you would like to come, please email Andy in advance so he can check everyone has arrived before setting off. Email Andy on andychristophermiller@gmail.com

If heavy rain prevents us from walking we will repair to a local pub or cafe and have our conversations there!

Local Talks – Tricia Durdey

Sunday 10 April, 2.30pm at Scarthin Bookshop, Cromford

Local author, Tricia Durdey will read from her newly published novel, ‘The Green Table’ and talk about her experience of writing. Signed copies of her book will also be available to buy.

Wirksworth Book Festival Book Quiz

Sunday 10 April, 7pm at the Blacks Head, Market Place, Wirksworth

The Wirksworth Festival, with the Curiosity Café, presents a book quiz to finish off the weekend of fun at the Wirksworth Book Festival.

For those of a literary bent or who just like quizzing, form a team of up to four, and come to our BOOK QUIZ

Food kindly supplied by the Blacks Head. Prizes to be won!

Entry to the quiz is £1 per person

Please register your team at valstacey@mac.com or phone to leave a message on 07973 600701.