Jodi Picoult is the author of 24 internationally bestselling novels and one of the most popular women’s fiction writers in the world.
Professor Bashabi Fraser and Debjani Chatterjee lead a very special poetry workshop inspired by the poems and art of one of the world’s greatest creative geniuses, Rabindranath Tagore.
Take a journey with China’s favourite Monkey King. Possessing supernatural skills, the monkey – the first disciple to Monk Tang – aids the mission to fetch Buddhist scriptures from India.
Bisakha Sarker, artistic director of Chaturangan Indian Dance, will lead a dance and movement workshop for older people, inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s work.
Hop on your broomsticks, flying carpets or dragons and join us on The Moor for a spellbinding afternoon celebrating magical books of all kinds.
Take a fascinating look into the origins of central Sheffield’s street names in this illustrated talk, with maps, images and text.
Alysoun Owen, editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, offers her top tips on how to get published.
Putting a pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard can be nerve-wracking – how can we get over this fear of the blank page? This workshop will give you practical tools for overcoming uncertainty.
Professor Bashabi Fraser, Director of the Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies, will talk about Rabindranath Tagore, his views on freedom, education and internationalism.
SOLD OUT: Take a trip back in time with Sheffield historian Ron Clayton on a guided walk around Sheffield city centre.
Sunita Toor has been working with the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice to see how to improve access to justice, rights and protection for women and girl victims of violence.
The launch of Grit! – a book of new stories by Yorkshire writers. A family murder. A mad aunt in a sad house. An orphan buying a granny. Adultery. Retribution.
Emilie Taylor’s beautiful and evocative pots from her Edgelands series tell stories about her own past life. Emilie will be in conversation with Frances Byrnes.
This community event, featuring poem recitations by children, dance and songs, celebrates the multi-talented genius of Rabindranath Tagore, the national poet of India.
Billy Dosanjh’s documentary looks at the thousands of economic migrants from the former colonies who came to the town of Smethwick, in search of a promised land.
Contemporary fiction from two outstanding American authors — Nathan Hill and Omar El Akkad.
Andy Cave has lead expeditions to scale some of the world’s most difficult mountain climbs. Hear Andy talk about his adventures in Patagonia, Alaska, the Himalayas and beyond.
An out-of-this-world night of surreal humour that packs a punch.
Star of TV, radio and stage Robert Webb takes a laugh-out-loud look at the absurd expectations thrust upon boys and men, from schoolboy crushes to discovering the power of making people laugh.
This illustrated talk looks at how the face of Charlotte Brontë has been adapted across its 167-year history and explores our fascination with her life and work.
Billy discusses his work with celebrated novelist Sunjeev Sahota, author of Ours Are The Streets and The Year of the Runaways.
Do you know your Harry Potter from Azkaban to Zonkos? Put your knowledge to the test at this magical quiz night. Prizes for first and second place. Witches and wizards welcome.
Former Sheffield archivist Ruth Harman presents her new companion volume covering South and West Yorkshire, exploring the landscape and architecture – both ancient and modern.
The Novel Slam returns to Off the Shelf to encourage new writing talent. Showcase your novel to an enthusiastic audience and pitch to a panel of acclaimed published authors.
In Person: World Poets features poems from all over the world. Filmmaker Pamela Robertson-Pearce and Bloodaxe Books editor Neil Astley will introduce this warm and intimate film.
SOLD OUT: The Levellers are central to the history of British democracy. This thrilling new narrative brings to life the people who struggled for their rights in the 1640s.
A panel discussion exploring the clash between the religious and the secular and how to move beyond it.
An evening of historical crime fiction, with two acclaimed authors, S D Sykes and D M Mark.
What do we know about the place and meaning of sex and intimacy in the lives of older adults? This talk explores the secrets that are beginning to be revealed through research.
George Monbiot sets out the best new ideas to a better future. He explains how communities can be rebuilt and economies recharged – without destroying the living planet.
The long-awaited portrait of a literary genius from one of our greatest biographers.
From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Daughters of the House comes a sensuous and evocative novel, exploring prostitution and poverty in Victorian London.
A beautifully illustrated look at creating meadows in cities, including how the London Olympic Park was inspired by some of the world’s most extraordinary wild vegetation.
In this beautifully illustrated talk, expert Tim Birkhead celebrates Willughby’s life and work, which set a new standard for the way birds and natural history should be studied.
Former world light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods tells his gripping life story, laying bare the culture that surrounds his sport.
The memoir of the poet and political campaigner, exploring his first 23 years. Hear Michael tell his story as no one else can.
An analysis of arguments around prostitution and its legislation informed by interviews with 250 people, from trafficked women to legal brothel owners.
Acclaimed Sheffield poet Helen Mort and BBC 6 Music presenter and author Stuart Maconie have compiled an anthology of contemporary poems creating everyone’s ideal pub crawl.
This three-day workshop will help you turn your experience of reading into a story – and then give you the skills to make your story into a short digital film.
In 1972, Sir Hugh Sykes bought his first company. By the mid-1980s, his portfolio was valued at millions. Hear Sir Hugh talk candidly about his inspirational journey.
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali paints an illuminating portrait of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the 1917 uprising.
Rosie Wilby presents her book-based show, using breakup emails and Richard Hawley music to examine separation in a post-Gwyneth world.
Venus, the Roman Goddess of love, has washed up on British shores to witness the aftermath of the 2017 general election. Venus experiences what it means to be a 21st century immigrant woman.
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers, whose books regularly feature at the number one slot worldwide. Hear Lee talk about his creative process and bestsellers.
Wordlife and Now Then magazine host Off the Shelf’s annual party, this year with a focus on radicalism.
Have your short story published in a science fiction/fantasy anthology. The event includes talks, panel discussions and workshops from genre authors.
The Stories of Activism team invites you to an informal drop-in session. Learn about Sheffield’s rich and diverse history of activism and how you can contribute to the project’s growing archive.
Celebrating Sheffield’s place in the fight to access the Peak District moors, A Clarion Call features previously unseen photographs of the early days of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers.
A talk by the artist Lizz Tuckerman on the visual and auditory exhibition created by Lizz and Reading Sheffield.
A workshop led by Said Jama Hussein, a noted scholar, short-story writer and essayist, as well as an important translator of Somali poetry and promoter of the Somali language.
Said Jama is a regular contributor to the annual London Somali Week Festival. His collections of short stories are Shufbeel and Safar Aan Jaho Lahayn (A Flight into the Unknown).
Bring a poem to read in any language on the National Poetry Day topic of freedom. The poem can be your own or someone else’s.
CANCELLED: To mark the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987, Tamsin's illustrated talk explores how the storm altered lives as well as the landscape.
Peter Fiennes celebrates Britain’s woods, examining issues of conservation, power and property. This illustrated talk reveals our relationship to forests and our duty to protect them.
The multi-award-winning author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher discusses her latest book – the gripping account of a shocking murder case that sent late Victorian Britain into a frenzy.
Martine Wright’s life changed forever when she lost both legs in the London bombings of 7/7. Not only did she survive her injuries, but she went on to represent GB at the 2012 Paralympics.
Detective fiction often refers to earlier literature including Shakespeare. From Christie to Sayers, McDermid to Atkinson, there are significant borrowings from dark Jacobean tragedies.
Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain in search of the hundred best railway stations.
Reds sets the romance between journalists Louise Bryant and John Reed against the backdrop of radical politics during the early 20th century, culminating in the 1917 October Revolution.
Elly Griffiths and Simon Beckett have one important thing in common – forensics is a crucial part of their crime novels. Hear these two brilliant writers discuss how they create their work.
CANCELLED - Acclaimed author Philip Kerr is the creator of twelve Hitler-era thrillers starting in 1936 Berlin. His latest novel Prussian Blue sees the much anticipated return of Bernie Gunther.
Acclaimed author Mick Herron’s books include the Sarah Tucker/Zoë Boehm series and Jackson Lamb series. A master of plotting and dialogue, hear Mick discuss his work.
As The Star prepares to move offices for the first time, Editor Nancy Fielder looks back at the newspaper’s 130-year history.
This talk addresses the problem of persistent physical symptoms where medical tests show no disease. Are they coming from the mind, the body or both? And what happens when doctors try to explain them?
SOLD OUT: In May 1381, King Richard felt secure in his God-given right to reign. But then a vast force of common people invaded London demanding freedom and equality.
Revealing fascinating insights into life in the SAS, Chris looks frankly at the ever-changing dangers of our world and empowers readers to take responsibility for their security.
Until now, the story of Africans in Tudor England has remained untold. Historian Miranda Kaufmann’s new book Black Tudors explores their lives and reveals new research.
Nicky Harman and Michelle Deeter compare alternative translations of a story by one of China’s brightest women writers, Aman Song.
A fast-moving performance of twelve original short plays, stories, poems and songs drawing on the spirit and history of our city.
A fascinating look at the factors that shape children's attitudes towards reading.
Radical Happiness is a passionate call for the rediscovery of the political and emotional joy that emerges when we learn to share our lives together.
To celebrate the centenary of the first publication by Hogarth Press Mark Haddon has written a new story, St Bride’s Bay. He will talk about his work and his admiration for Virginia Woolf.
Tim Dowling’s popular weekly Guardian column charts the ups and downs of family life. And his largely unsuccessful attempts to be recognised as a competent father and husband.
Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin 140 years ago. Sally Goldsmith tells an engaging story from Sheffield’s history.
What happens to all the information that is collected about you? What is the law? And can you control how this information is used?
Chetna Makan (semi-finalist in Bake Off 2014) has travelled to the four corners of India sampling the street food on offer. You will enjoy an exquisite three-course meal based on her recipes.
Celebrated philosopher A C Grayling examines the contemporary problems of democracy and presents his case for how to fix them.
This spellbinding novel by bestselling author Salley Vickers centres on a family in trauma after teenager Will Tye suffers a life-changing accident.
Owls is the story of a club struggling to find its way in an ever-changing game. The book has revealing interviews and pieces together a compelling account of Wednesday’s recent history.
Emma Tarlo, Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, talks about her book Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair.
Element Society and Our Mel present an open mic for Black History Month 2017. Expect a celebration of voices with a focus on people of colour.
Poets Bryony Doran and Isabel Palmer read from their collections. Home Front presents a compelling account of the fear and longing felt by all those left behind in war.
Laurie’s writing provokes challenging conversations about the definitive social issues of today and gives readers hope and tools for change.
Participants will learn about the role of artwork in storytelling and collaborate to create a fully illustrated picture book for adults with intellectual disabilities who are learning to read.
Pelé has eleven. Sheffield United have three, Wednesday none. China's 2002 World Cup Squad have got one each. Welcome to the strange world of football statues and the clubs and fans who build them.
As a comedy writer, parliamentary candidate and one-time recipient of Tony Blair’s Christmas cards, John offers a unique and insightful vision into modern-day politics.
This talk explores what it was like to live through a time of terrifying violence, religious fervour and radical politics.
Chris Bush talks about her experiences writing for the Sheffield People’s Theatre at the Crucible and the importance of place and community in new theatre writing.
Sheffield-themed short story competition with shortlisted entries read out on the night and the winner revealed live. First prize: publication in Now Then magazine and a Kindle e-reader.
Joanna Walsh is one of the most exciting writers in contemporary fiction today. Hot on the heels of 2016’s Vertigo, comes a wonderfully playful, funny collection, Worlds from the Word’s End.
Toast the arrival to Sheffield of one of the UK’s most exciting new literary presses with a reputation for publishing great authors including Yuri Herrera and Deborah Levy.
SOLD OUT: Toast the arrival to Sheffield of one of the UK’s most exciting new literary presses with a reputation for publishing great authors including Yuri Herrera and Deborah Levy.
Eric Ravilious is one of the most important British artists of the 20th century and his captivating watercolours and wood engravings capture the spirit of mid-century England.
Sarah Winman presents her latest book, Tin Man and Tessa Hadley presents her collection of short stories Bad Dreams, which show small acts have large consequences.
Hollie McNish is a sensational poetry performance star. She will perform poems from new collection Plum about her childhood, attempted adulthood, guilt, sex, fruit and politics.
Sheffield Wednesday legend Fred Spiksley achieved every major honour for club and country. Mark Metcalf and Clive Nicholson will bring this colourful character to life.
SOLD OUT: Roger Quail’s music blog details every concert he’s attended. Former drummer with Clock DVA and The Box, his writing explores Sheffield’s music scene 1978–81.
Discover the history of the cemetery from its opening in 1836 to the present day. Learn about its famous and not so famous residents and discover some spectacular monuments.
Charlie Peace – His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend charts the evolution of a Sheffield-born Victorian master burglar and murderer from truth to legend, using rare sources and illustrations.
Shelley Roche-Jacques performs dramatic monologues from her debut collection Risk the Pier with subjects including anger management, neighbour vengeance fantasies and Anton Chekhov.
Are you a writer or thinking about writing? Do you have a novel in a drawer or a dozen ideas in your head? Stefan and Tara Tobler of the award-winning publisher And Other Stories can help.
Julie Mellor’s Out of the Weather is full of restless curiosity. Matt Black’s Spoon Rebellion includes wonderful and surreal work that illuminates the times we live in.
Performance for Stage and Screen students at Sheffield Hallam University perform an adapted reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Mystery of Marie Roget.
Join us for the compelling story of women in the 20th century, told through the clothes they wore. Lynn Knight takes us on an ingenious tour of domestic and social history.
It’s a big day for Mouse – her first day at school. Lydia Monks will tell you all about Mouse’s big day and help you to draw your own school picture to take home.
This captivating verse-drama, written and performed by Cora Greenhill and guests, imagines the sibling rivalry of mythical twins, Artemis and Apollo.
This talk explores Walter Greenwood's neglected 1944 sequel novel, casts new light on the book’s censorship and looks at how Greenwood supported the People’s War and the welfare state.
As dusk falls, discover the history of the cemetery and its residents in this atmospheric guided tour by torchlight.
Peggy Seeger, one of folk’s most influential and respected artists, has a life steeped in music and politics. With her generous spirit, expect a beautifully realised account of her life.
The history of Britain is presented through 21 women whose lives intrigue and inspire.
Jon Bridle is the course leader for BA Film Studies and Screenwriting at Sheffield Hallam University and will help give you the skills needed to write a successful screenplay.
We are sorry to say that this event has been cancelled. Please contact the box office tickets were purchased from for a full refund.
Alison Twells explores Edward Carpenter as a prophet of the early socialist movement and as a campaigner for same-sex love to be recognised as a natural ‘variety of sexual passion’.
SOLD OUT: One of the earliest and best film noirs, Double Indemnity is based on a James M Cain novel and scripted by director Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler.
Human rights campaigner Sara Khan campaigns for tolerance and equal rights in Muslim communities and asks how Muslims and non-Muslims alike can win the battle against extremism.
Lara Pawson discusses This Is the Place to Be, a stark, compassionate and fragmentary memoir exploring identity, violence, race, class and sexuality across continents.
Can you build a lightsaber? Join Jedi Master (or is that Sith Lord?) Karl Byrne as he answers questions about the science from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
SOLD OUT: The Star Retro supplement writer Julia Armstrong looks at the Sheffield newspapers of the 18th century and how their editors faced jail and exile for their outspoken opinions.
A talk on how animals vocalise sounds and how this process can be modelled in a computer. Learn how a voice was created for MiRo – a biomimetic animal-like robot.
Alison Weir weaves new research into the dark, powerful tale of a woman ahead of her time, who dared to question traditional concepts of femininity.
Many Europeans living in the UK have found partners who are UK citizens. Jeremy Abrahams has photographed and interviewed 20 such couples. Hear him talk about this pertinent project.
As a teenager, Cathy Rentzenbrink’s family was torn apart by unthinkable tragedy. In this book she describes learning to live with grief and explores how to cope with life at its most difficult.
What if the way we understand our world is wrong and it isn’t politicians and events that shape our lives, but secret deals? Investigative journalist Jacques Peretti lets you into the secret.
What is utopian thinking and how can it unite and mobilise grassroots action for systemic change?
Fiona Macintosh arrived in Nicaragua in 1981, found a country in ruins and met print shop worker Rosa. Over 28 years, Fiona recorded Rosa and her family.
Henry Blofeld’s voice is the sound of summer to thousands of cricket lovers. This autobiographical book is a celebration of his career commentating on the sport he loves.
Whether bestseller or prizewinner – no author is immune from being forgotten. Christopher Fowler lifts the lid on the lives of forgotten authors and why they disappeared from the public eye.
Investigative journalist Stephen Armstrong tells the story of an unreported Britain, abandoned by politicians and betrayed by austerity policies.
In The Children of Jocasta, Haynes reimagines the Oedipus and Antigone stories from the perspectives of two often overlooked women: Jocasta and Ismene.
Brimming with northern warmth and humour, Sex and Love and Rock and Roll is a book to unite and inspire.
What is ultrafast spectroscopy and how can it be used to see some of the fastest chemical reactions in nature?
This talk by the editor of Graves’ War Poems traces the terrible road from schoolboy to soldier-poet. Poems will be read by actor and singer Natalia Farrán Graves, Robert’s granddaughter.
Julianne Pachico, new lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University talks about her debut The Lucky Ones. Set in Colombia from 1993 to 2013 — peak years of violence during the Colombian conflict.
Outskirts tells the story of the creation of these mysterious tracts of land – exploring their history from the time of Elizabeth I to National Trust founder Octavia Hill.
Pop legend Chris Difford discusses his book Some Fantastic Place, charting his rise to fame in Squeeze, one of the best-loved British bands of the 1970s and 1980s.
A feast of football, celebrating notable anniversaries (including 160 years of Sheffield FC – the world’s oldest football club), delving into the lockers of the 19th-century game.
Asha Lul and Clare have recently collaborated on a new collection of poems in English translation. Join them for an informal workshop to explore the art of writing and translating poetry.
The gripping story of 30 years of progressive women’s politics told through Harriet Harman’s lifelong campaign to bring women’s issues to the heart of the Labour Party and Parliament.
Asha Lul reads alongside the leading English poet Clare Pollard, who shares her English translations of Yusuf’s poems. This bilingual reading celebrates a long-standing friendship.
CN Lester busts some mainstream myths and honestly relays what it’s like to grow up transgender.
Two writers of Indian-set crime series discuss their latest works. Abir Mukherjee is the creator of the Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrender-Not Banerjee series.
Get ready for the funniest book ever written about the NHS. Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010 and kept a diary of his experience.
Local young people perform pieces written during workshops with Hive, sharing their experiences and hopes. Sharing the stage with the young performers is Yorkshire poet Toria Garbutt.
Holy Terrors (2017) is a film set in Whitby, featuring four stories by the Victorian master of the macabre, Arthur Machen.
This illustrated talk is a fascinating insight into the Sheffield firm Frank Tory & Sons, a father and twin son team of architectural and monumental sculptors.
Jo Peel’s exquisite work documents her fascination with everyday scenes in great detail. Jo discusses her work in this beautifully illustrated talk.
To mark 200 years since Jane Austen’s death, Off the Shelf – together with Beverley and Ilkley Literature Festivals – has commissioned new work inspired by one of Britain’s greatest novelists.
Pete Brown takes us on a journey through the nature and science of brewing to reveal the magic of beer. Raise a glass to the miracle brew as you sample three half pints.
Richard Osman looks at the most important issues of today in the The World Cup of Everything.
Join us for the launch of Sheffield author Neil Anderson’s new Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Working Men’s Clubs. The retro feel 1970s style event is a tribute to local legend Bobby Knutt.
Poetry Business Writing Days are open to all, with writing exercises in the morning and a critical workshop in the afternoon.
Write for performance and improve your confidence, stage presence and delivery with poet and playwright Khadijah Ibrahiim. Khadijah combines art forms to reimagine poetry as performance theatre.
William Joyce became notorious as a fascist, an anti-Semite and then as a second world war traitor when, assuming the persona of Lord Haw-Haw, he acted as a radio propagandist for the Nazis.
In Coromandel, Charles continues the investigation into early Indian history that began in his acclaimed Ashoka. He explores the lesser known and very different history of the oldest India.
An afternoon of reading heaven for fiction lovers in the beautiful Firth Hall. A chance to meet seven wonderful authors and people who love books as much as you do.
A celebration of traditional crafts and industries surviving into the modern world, captured in Rob Scott’s dramatic photographs and Anthony Burton’s captivating descriptions.
Aged 42, Robert McCrum suffered a near-fatal stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir My Year Off. Since then, he’s lived in the shadow of death.
Route 57 is the University of Sheffield’s creative writing journal featuring work from students, staff and alumni.
Michael Glover, native Sheffielder, critic and poet, introduces 111 Places in Sheffield That You Shouldn’t Miss, his forthcoming illustrated guide book to the city.
Why does Victorian literature so often describe the act of reading? This event will explore the representation of the Victorian reader in fiction and poetry.
Got BARz? SLAM BARz is a supportive citywide event for young emerging urban lyricists and rappers to come and show their skills through an open mic.
Flesh and Blood is the story of the McGann family told through the diseases and injuries that have afflicted Stephen’s relatives over the last 150 years.
All welcome, but the stage belongs to young people (14-25 year-olds) from across South Yorkshire. This is an evening to celebrate your words and talents in a warm, supportive atmosphere.
Dr David Bramwell will take you on a mysterious water journey from the pollution of Sheffield’s industrial revolution, back to a time when rivers were worshipped as living goddesses.
There’s no one quite like Brian Blessed – actor, explorer and mountaineer. He is also a lifetime lover of animals. Brian will talk about his new book The Panther in My Kitchen.