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

Digby Jones

Wednesday 8 October at 7pm

Pennine Theatre, Owen Building, Howard Street, S1  

Tickets £8/£6.50 (cons) from /  0114 22 33 777 (10% booking charge) or in person at City Hall Box Office 

Previously UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment and Director General of the CBI, Lord Digby Jones is now a life peer and sits in the House of Lords as Lord Jones of Birmingham.  Host of the BBC series The New Troubleshooter and author of Fixing Britain: the Business of Reshaping Our Nation, Digby Jones is an outstanding orator – witty, authoritative and bristling with anecdotes – and a passionate cheerleader for British Manufacturing.   This is an expert insight into the world of business and trade and the talk will present a unique take on the importance of aspiration and socially inclusive wealth creation.  

In collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University.

Help us improve Off the Shelf

We are always pleased to hear your views, reviews and ideas.  See Contact Us for ways to get in touch. 

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