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

The Knowledge – How to Rebuild our World from Scratch with Lewis Dartnell

The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Western Bank, S1 
Tuesday 21 October at 7.30pm 

tickets £8.00 / £6.50 (cons) from Univesity of Sheffield Students' Union Box office in person or

What if the world as we know it has ended through an asteroid hit, a nuclear war or mass avian flu? How would we set about rebuilding our world from scratch? The Knowledge is a guidebook for survivors.  The Knowledge will transform your understanding of the world – and help you prepare for when it’s no longer here.  Lewis Dartnell is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester in the field of astrobiology and the search for signs of life on Mars. He has won several awards for his science writing, and contributes to the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist.

‘Useful if civilization collapses, and entertaining if it doesn't’ S. M. Stirling

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