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

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas


To celebrate 100 years since the birth of Dylan Thomas, Off the Shelf invites writers to submit a short piece of work.   From the work selected, 16 pieces will be featured on a website created by Off the Shelf in collaboration with eleven design.   The writing can be poetry or prose and the piece should be inspired by place – the specific place you work in or the landscape around you.

The piece should be a maximum of 250 words.  It should not have been previously published.  We also ask that writers submit short biography of 50 words and a further 50 words describing the writing workspace.   Deadline for submissions is 10am on Friday 12 September.  Please see the Shedloads of Work button opposite. 

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