Durham Book Festival announces 2014 programme

Posted by

This year’s festival takes place from 6-18 October in a selection of venues around Durham. The programme for 2014 includes internationally known authors, politicians, academics, poets and writers of all genres and styles.

The programme includes many household names from literature, politics and broadcasting, including Kate Adie, Michael Chaplin, John Carey, Laura Bates, Kirsty Wark and Bryan and Mary Talbot. Chris Mullin will give an affectionate – but not uncritical – tribute to his old friend Tony Benn. We’ll also hear from Gazan authors Nayrouz Qarmout and Mona Abu Sharekh, contributors to The Book of Gaza: Short Stories from Gaza.

There are also several new commissions for this year, including a new piece of work by Festival Laureate, poet Paul Farley, and we’ve sent writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie to explore the Durham Dales and report back about his experiences.

The festival will be hosting Carina Rodney’s specially-commissioned musical adaptation of children’s book, The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and illustrated by Newcastle-based Sara Ogilvie, which is directed by Ruth Johnson. New Writing North is also delighted to be taking the show on the road, touring to community centres, libraries and schools across County Durham as well as to Manchester and Sheffield as part of a partnership with other book festivals in the North.

The programme launch event included an appearance by writer Richard Benson, author of the The Farm, who read a short extract from his new novel, The Valley, and also announced the shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize, which you can read more about here.

The launch also revealed a series of exciting events scheduled for young readers and writers in this year’s programme, with the Durham Book Festival Schools Day on 6-7 October and the family-friendly Durham Big Read, where we’ll be encouraging as many of you as possible to read classic favourite, The Wind in the Willows.

There are many more events – over 60 this year, including a number of free events – so have a look at the full programme and book tickets at

Durham Book festival is a Durham County Council festival produced by New Writing North and has been made possible by support from Durham University and Arts Council England, and with sponsorship from Banks Group, Muckle LLP, Swinburne Maddison, and the University of Sunderland.