Durham Big Read

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Join us on Palace Green on Wednesday 12 August as we launch Durham Book Festival and Durham Big Read.

On Wednesday 12 August, we will be launching the programme for Durham Book Festival 2015, revealing more than 50 literary events taking place in Durham this October. From that date, all of our tickets will be on sale via

Our Durham Big Read project also launches on Wednesday, as we bring the Frozen North to Durham to celebrate 20 years of Philip Pullman’s seminal novel, Northern Lights. Philip Pullman will be taking part in a rare event at Durham Book Festival in October. Before that, we are giving away 3,000 copies of his seminal novel Northern Lights through schools, libraries, community centres, the university—and on Palace Green on Wednesday 12 August.

The His Dark Materials trilogy, of which Northern Lights is the first book, has won every major children’s book prize and is a best-seller among adults. With this thrilling book, we are inviting County Durham residents to join us on an extraordinary journey of the imagination.

To launch the Big Read and this journey, we are bringing the Frozen North to Durham with an incredible, life-size polar bear on Palace Green. We will be distributing FREE copies of Northern Lights, as well as the Durham Book Festival programme, which launches on the same day.

So, come along and see us on Palace Green to pick up your free copy of the book and Durham Book Festival programme and to meet the amazing polar bear.

There will be live performances at 10am, 12pm and 1.30pm on Wednesday 12 August on Palace Green.