Sheffield Showcase #18: Off The Shelf Festival

Every month, Mixtape Couture will be showcasing and shining a light on the talent that can be found in Sheffield. From bands to fashion brands, shops to restaurants, events to exhibitions, if it’s in Sheffield and it’s worth you knowing about then I will be letting you know. Whether you are a Sheffield resident yourself or are planning a visit one day [which I highly recommend] then hopefully this feature will help you to know where to visit, what to do and what’s going on in the Steel City.

This month, I thought I would go very relevant with what is happening on the Sheffield scene at the moment. October sees the arrival of the annual Off The Shelf festival in the city which is billed as “the Festival of Words” and sees a plethora of great authors take to the city’s venues to talk about their work and the brilliance and sometimes torture of writing and being a writer.




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Having started out back in 1991, the festival has grown and grown becoming one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, attracting some of the best known names in literature and media and now offers over 200 events each year for all ages. With everyone from Hilary Mantel, David Mitchell, Carol Ann Duffy and more gracing the city and the festival over the years, this festival really does attract the best and biggest names along with those to watch out for in the future.

The point of the festival is to embrace words, ideas, conversations and the unexpected and this festival certainly does that. This year’s calender sees everything from talks by Owen Jones, Howard Middleton, The Hairy Bikers, Mary Portas and Dave Haslam about their most recent books alongside a Saturday morning book swap, Poetry Light Night, an evening of beer and books at The Greystones, the first anniversary of Writers in The Bath, a talk of DIY publishing and Word Life Open Mic. There really is something for everybody from the immersive talks with your inspirations to how to get involved with writing yourself whether it is for fun or something you want to start professionally.









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The range of events mix the free with the paid for and take in plenty of city centre venues from libraries to theatres, pubs to the Winter Gardens, Churches to the Showroom Cinema. There is still lots left to catch for the rest of this festival with it finishing at the end of the month so make sure you catch something brilliant at this year’s Off The Shelf festival while you still have the chance.

To find out more about Off The Shelf Festival visit their website, their Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter – @otsfestival


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