Off the Shelf Festival of Words announces lineup for its 31st edition

5th September 2022

Off the Shelf Festival of Words, one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, will make its 31st return to Sheffield and South Yorkshire this October (14-30), bringing together the best of local, regional and international literary talent for the 2022

  • One of the largest literary festivals in the UK, Off the Shelf Festival of Words, is returning to Sheffield and South Yorkshire in October 2022 (14-30) with a programme of events featuring some of the best of local, regional and international literary talent
  • Delivered by the University of Sheffield, this year’s festival will play host to over 80 live and online events including household names, Sheffield celebrities and academics

Off the Shelf Festival of Words, one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, will make its 31st return to Sheffield and South Yorkshire this October (14-30), bringing together the best of local, regional and international literary talent for the 2022 programme of events.

Brought to you by the University of Sheffield, this year’s festival will play host to over 80 live and online events including household names such as Hugh Bonneville, Melvyn Bragg, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Susie Dent and the Reverend Richard Coles - plus a roll-call of Sheffield celebrities including broadcaster and University of Sheffield alumnus Dan Walker and musician Martyn Ware, journalist Marina Hyde, musician Cosey Fanni Tutti - all alongside the next generation of literary talent.

Poet William Sieghart, founder of National Poetry Day will also be appearing as part of this year’s event line-up, together with reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson who will celebrate his 70th birthday at the festival, and Sheffield favourite and acclaimed author Desiree Reynolds hosts another Black Women Write Now event.

Akeem Balogun became involved with the festival 10 years ago as a volunteer, not long after he started writing. He has seen the festival grow alongside his career. This year he is curating an event for Off the Shelf 2022 billed as a multi-layered immersive literary experience. 

Akeem said: “Off the Shelf asking me to be a guest curator this year feels like a natural progression, as it comes after me being published, winning an award and producing stories for various projects. My event, Words, Vision & Sound, aims to be one of the most creative events in Off the Shelf's history. It will be the festival's first event at Event Central, located in Sheffield's Fargate, and in the spirit of the festival, it will bring together established and talented artists who will allow us to experience literature in a wholly original manner.”

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield said: “We like to surpass expectations with our increasingly diverse programme of events which aim to inform, please and stimulate our audiences.

“Our national and international reputation allows us to bring well-known names to our region, and our flexibility provides the necessary platforms for up-and-coming literary talent to thrive. Niche and popular is our goal – a festival full of character and depth - and after 31years it’s an ambition I believe we deliver.”

As part of this year’s festival, the University of Sheffield will be presenting a series of films, podcasts and talks about research from academics. Highlights include: The Politics of Street Trees with a panel of Sheffield-based practitioners, politicians, activists and academics discussing the health and environmental benefits, history and context of Sheffield’s street trees and the recent crisis; and Understanding Palliative Care, an animation exploring the needs and experiences of people with mesothelioma and their family carers, dispelling some of the myths about palliative care.

Off the Shelf Festival of Words runs from 14-30 October 2022 with events in Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham.

For the full programme of events and to book tickets, visit the Off the Shelf website. Tickets can also be booked in person from Sheffield Theatres Box Office  or by telephone - 0114 249 6000.

You might also be interested in

Students get set to go global with international industry placements

Wed 17th April 2024

Students at The Sheffield College are getting set to go global with the launch of international industry placements.

Ryan Wilkes and Liam Buttery promoted to Director at Shorts

Tue 16th April 2024

Shorts are delighted to announce the double promotions of Ryan Wilkes and Liam Buttery to the positions of Directors within the Owner Managed Business team with effect from 1st April 2024.

Naylor Industries Shines at Get Up to Speed Event, Inspiring Future Talent

Tue 16th April 2024

Naylor Industries, a fourth-generation family business renowned for its excellence in the manufacturing industry, made waves at the recent Get Up to Speed event, held in collaboration with Workwise at Magna Science Adventure Centre on March 20th.

Apprenticeship scheme for South Yorkshire businesses reaches new milestone

Tue 16th April 2024

A new scheme that provides apprenticeship advice and support to businesses across South Yorkshire has reached a key milestone.