Welcome to Off the Shelf Festival of Words

Sheffield's Off the Shelf Festival of Words is 23 this year!

Running from 11 October – 1 November and with some pre festival and post festival specials, the festival has grown into one of the UK’s most popular and exciting events attracting some of the best known names in literature and the media. The festival offers a wide range of events for audiences of all ages including author events, workshops, debate, exhibitions, talks, , poetry, competitions and more.

This year’s festival includes events with Kirsty Wark, Allan Ahlberg, Arne Dahl, Yotam Ottolenghi, Paul Merton, Wendy Cope, John Lydon, Viv Albertine, Julian Cope, John Julius Norwich, Patience Agbabi, Digby Jones, Alan Johnson, Viv Groskop and Francesca Martinez to name just a few.  We do hope that you are able to enjoy an Off the Shelf event this year.

“By far and away one of the best festivals in the UK” Clara Wormersley Random House

“One of the most pleasant and enjoyable festivals I have attended – and I’ve been to one or two.” Sir Michael Parkinson

Tues 28 October at 7.30pm

Julian Cope

The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students’ Union

Tickets £8/£6.50 (cons) from Sheffield City Hall Box Office in person or 0114 22 33 777 or Students’ Union Box Office


Visionary musician, antiquarian and musicologist Julian Cope reads from his new 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 artist marks him has one of British music's great innovators and his writing is no less exciting and ground-breaking. 


“So many novelists try to get into rock stars' heads. You won't know how badly they fail till you read this.  Reading Cope is like running with Shakespeare at a rave.”  DBC Pierre


In collaboration with University of Sheffield Students’ Union – Gold Sponsor

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Rhyme and Reason

Rhyme and Reason will provide bookstalls at festival events.  If you are unable to attend an event in person, Rhyme and Reason can organised signed copies for you.  Tel. 0114 266 1950 or e-mail