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Highlights Include:

Howard Jacobson

Weds Oct 22 7pm

Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, S1 

Celebrated writer and broadcaster Howard Jacobson discusses his new novel, J. Set in a future where the past is a dangerous country J is a strange, terrifying and tender love story, as original and though provoking as 1984 or Brave New World. Jacobson’s previous books include The Mighty Walzer, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; Kalooki Nights, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and The Finkler Question, winner of the Man Booker Prize.


Viv Albertine

Weds Oct 22 7:30pm

The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Western Bank, S10

After forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Viv Albertine joined The Slits and made musical history as one of the first generation of punk bands who changed music and the discourse around it, forever. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys tells the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk.

This highly acclaimed memoir is an unflinching account of a life lived on the frontiers of experience, by a true pioneer.


Rachel Joyce

Thurs Oct 23 7pm

Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, S1 

Writer and playwright Rachel Joyce is the author of the worldwide bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. As the 2 million plus readers of the book will know this funny and moving tale featured one Queenie Hennessy – the dying friend Harold makes his ‘pilgrimage’ for. Rachel’s new novel is The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy – telling Queenie’s side of the story and sure to delight Rachel’s many fans.


Simon Armitage

Thurs Oct 23 7pm

The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Western Bank, S10

Award-winning poet, novelist and playwright Simon Armitage talks about the challenges of writing poetry for The Not Dead: Forgotten Heroes television documentary, originally aired on Channel 4, and his new BBC commission of seven poems for The Great War: An Elegy.

Simon will be reading poems, showing short film clips and will be in conversation with Dr. Jo Gavins from Sheffield University in an event that is part of the festival’s commemoration of the anniversary of World War 1.


Alan Johnson – Please Mr Postman

Sat Oct 25 7pm

Pennine Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University, Owen Building, Howard Street, S1  

One of Britain’s best loved public figures delivers another fascinating chapter in his life story. In Please Mr Postman – the sequel to Sunday Times bestseller This Boy – Alan Johnson continues his memoirs as an 18 year old husband, father and postman in 70s Slough.

With honesty, humour and genuine emotion Johnson evokes a very different Britain as he journeys into the union and the start of his political career. Later to become a longstanding MP for Hull and three times secretary of state, Alan Johnson has recently won two literary awards – the Orwell Prize and the Ondaatje Prize.


Dan Walker

Sat Oct 25 7:30pm 

The Foundry, University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Western Bank, S10

It was while commentating on a Goal of the Month competition that Dan Walker muttered the immortal line: ‘What a strike from Mike Sheron – what a thronker!’ He’d coined the term to describe a long-range shot that blasted into the net, threatening to annihilate any passing pigeon. Since then he has been trying to get the word accepted – if not by the OED then at least by Countdown. Hence this book has become a Thronkersaurus, a book of hilarious stories of the great and not-so-great moments in footballing history.

Dan Walker is the presenter of BBC1’s Saturday lunchtime show Football Focus and presents the afternoon show on Radio 5 Live.  He lives in Sheffield.


Julian Cope

Tues Oct 28  7:30pm

The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Western Bank, S10

Visionary musician, antiquarian and musicologist Julian Cope reads from his novel One Three One – a riotous plunge into a mind-expanding collision of time travel, who-dunnit and road movie hurtling up and down Sardinia’s only highway, the 131.

Cope’s work with The Teardrop Explodes and as a solo artists marks him as one of British music’s great innovators and his writing is no less exciting and ground-breaking.


Civica School Competition: 

To celebrate the centenary of World War One Civica are inviting Sheffield’s students to take part in a writing competition to win a Kindle Fire.

Pupils in the age categories of 4-7, 8-11 and 12-16 years old are asked to enter 500 words or a 2 minute podcast or video in the voice of a character living through the war.  To help inspire budding authors, a microsite has been created where students can meet World War One Heroes – visit

All entries will be published onto the microsite and must be submitted before noon on Friday 21 November for a chance to win the top prize of a Kindle Fire.

Off the Shelf runs from 11 October to 1 November this year. For more information please visit

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