off the shelf – picks

Off the Shelf Festival: 7 picks from the Shelf

One of the UK’s biggest literary festivals, Off the Shelf, returns to Sheffield this month.

From the 7th-28th of October, the Steel City will get its annual bumper dose of literary culture with a festival celebrating the written and spoken word across a multitude of venues. Now in its 25th year, this year’s line-up will include authors discussing their work, music performance, live readings and demonstrations.

While all that makes for a diverse festival, it also makes it hard to choose what to go to first. Handily, we’ve made it a little easier for you with a few choice highlights…

Robert Webb
9th October // Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield
robert - webb- how - not - to - be - a - boy
Robert Webb brings his Sunday Times bestselling autobiography How Not To Be a Boy to Sheffield. Looking back over personal experiences from losing his mother to becoming a father himself, Webb will dissect the expectations of men and boys with signature humour in a performance which has now been extended to include a matinee due to high demand.
Get tickets for the matinee here.

Lee Child
13th October // Oval Hall, Sheffield City Hall
Author of the international bestselling Jack Reacher novels, Lee Child is one of the most widely recognised thriller writers today. You can catch him talking about his creative process and top-sellers in this event, sure to be a crowd-puller during the weekend devoted to crime writing.
Get tickets here.

Laurie Penny
18th October // University of Sheffield Student’s Union Auditorium
A Guardian and New Statesman columnist, Laurie Penny has long been on the front lines of debates around feminism in the 21st century. She’ll discuss her latest book Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults which dissects Donald Trump’s election, transgender rights and online harassment with a smattering of dark humour.
Get tickets here.

Roger Quail
20th October // DINA, Cambridge St
Former Clock DVA and The Box drummer Roger Quail has spent the last 30 years detailing every gig he’s ever been to in his blog My Life in the Mosh of Ghosts, which delves into the music scene in Sheffield 1978-81. In this event, he’ll be discussing his writing as well as reuniting with former bandmate Charlie Collins, plus Dereck Saw and Beatrix Ward-Fernandez to perform some free jazz tunes.
Get tickets here.

Richard Osman
27th October // Octagon Centre
The title of Osman’s new book ‘The World Cup of Everything’ might need a quick explanation. The Pointless presenter is attempting to set the world to rights by pitting contenders such as crisps, sitcoms and Christmas songs against each other in a ‘World Cup’ showdown. In this event Richard will be discussing the results and sharing his favourite pieces of trivia with the audience.
Get tickets here.

Brian Blessed
3rd November // Crucible theatre

Meet the man behind the voice at Brian Blessed’s event My Wild Life With Animals. His latest book The Panther in My Kitchen shows a different side to the actor as he discusses his love of animals. As well as hearing about his life, you can expect anecdotes about rescue dogs, boa constrictors and Kali the black panther.
Get tickets here.

Colin Holmes
28th October // Showroom cinema
William Joyce, or Lord Haw-Haw, might not be a pair of names most people are familiar with today, but they were once notorious. Historian Colin Holmes brings to life the story of Joyce, who took on the persona of Lord Haw-Haw to be a radio propagandist for the Nazis in a tale of hope, frustration and failure.
Get tickets here.

Check out the full listings at

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