About Us

Off the Shelf has grown into one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, attracting some of the best known names in literature and media to Sheffield each year.  The festival programme is wide ranging and offers over 200 events for all ages.  We hope you will enjoy an Off the Shelf event this year.

A tale of one city ... our city

Sheffield – a free spirit, curious with a warm heart and a northern soul.  Off the Shelf – a festival bursting with innovation – creative, sassy, steely, authentic and alive. 

In October our city embraces words, ideas, conversations and the unexpected. Since ’91 the characters in our story have been many and varied – Hilary Mantel, Benjamin Zephaniah, David Mitchell, Carol Ann Duffy… At Off the Shelf you will meet great writers, historians, artists, scientists, journalists, musicians. You can listen, question, create, discover some secrets…  

Words are powerful – they shape our lives and our thinking, tell our stories, inform us, amuse us, move us and change us. From the Crucible Theatre to a friendly real ale pub expect a great atmosphere, a warm welcome and a chance to immerse yourself in the best of the written and spoken work. Experience literature as live as it gets – no retakes, no edits, no second chances. 

Hear it as it happens in Sheffield this autumn – be part of the story and live the word.  

Off the Shelf - It Makes You Think