Off the Shelf

Image: Dylan Thomas' Boathouse

Off the Shelf Festival of Words is well established as one of the major events in Sheffield and the region's cultural calendar. The festival has grown into one of the largest, most popular and exciting events in the North of England 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 readings, workshops, storytelling, exhibitions, talks, walks, poetry and much more.

The Showroom is delighted to work in collaboration with Off the Shelf, presenting an exciting and extensive programme of guest speakers and film screenings 

Upcoming films & events

MADE Festival: In the Chair
Tue 23 Sep 19:00
A practical, up-to-date and comprehensive guide to how to become the successful Chair of any body.
Arne Dahl
Arne Dahl
Tue 7 Oct 19:00
Off the Shelf 2014
Sheffield Dreams - John P. Wilson
Sheffield Dreams with John P Wilson
Fri 10 Oct 19:30
Wake up, pay attention! Ever been embarrassed about daydreaming? Well no longer, research has revealed that we spend almost half our waking day lost in our thoughts and daydreaming is our natural default setting.
The Poisoner
The Poisoner: The Life and Times of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor - An Illustrated Talk by Stephen Bates
Sat 11 Oct 11:00
In 1856 a baying crowd of over 30,000 people gathered to watch the execution of a village doctor from Staffordshire. Known as the ‘Prince of Poisoners’ and described by Charles Dickens as “The greatest villain who ever stood trial at the Old Bailey”.
Kate Pullinger
Beyond the Book: Digital Fiction. With Kate Pullinger
Sun 12 Oct 14:00
Kate will discuss her award-winning digital projects.
Lorna Goodison
Lorna Goodison, Jim Caruth and Jenny King
Mon 13 Oct 19:00
Poetic voices from Jamaica and Sheffield…
A Runner’s Journey with Richard Askwith
Mon 13 Oct 19:00
Richard Askwith is a runner who is tired. Tired of signing up for marathons, tired of buying all the expensive kit, tired of pounding the concrete streets of the urban jungle. But he isn’t tired of running for the sheer fun of it...
Secrets of the National Archives
Secrets of the National Archives - An Illustrated Talk by Richard Taylor
Tue 14 Oct 19:00
With unprecedented access to the National Archives, Richard Taylor reveals an extraordinary collection of documents that helped shape the world we know today.
Singing from the Floor: A History of British Folk Clubs - With JP Bean and John Tams
Wed 15 Oct 19:00
Celebrated historian and writer JP Bean reads talks about his new book Singing from the Floor - the entertaining story of the British Folk Revival.
The Valley - Richard Benson
The Valley with Richard Benson
Thu 16 Oct 19:00
Best-selling author Richard Benson, talks about his acclaimed new book, The Valley, the story of four generations of his mother’s family in a Dearne Valley mining community.
Ideas Alive
Fri 17 Oct 17:45
These talks by academics at the University of Sheffield will introduce you to new ideas and cutting edge research.
Remember me this way
Sabine Durrant, Fergus McNeill, Kate Rhodes
Fri 17 Oct 19:30
Hosted by the Ecclesall Crime Readers Group
Helen Macdonald
H is for Hawk with Helen Macdonald
Sat 18 Oct 13:00
Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of a hawk's taming and her own un-taming.
Off the Shelf
Writing Motherhood
Sat 18 Oct 14:00
This specially curated event, funded by Arts Council England, and featuring three contemporary writers, considers how motherhood affects a writer's work.
Kes (PG)
Ken Loach's heartbreaking classic about a lonely boy who finds companionship with a kestrel.
  • Sat 18 Oct
  • 14.30
Swimming in the Derwent
Off The Press - Exhibition and Print Festival
Tue 21 Oct 10:00
Sheffield Printmakers will celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth with a week-long print exhibition Off The Press.
John Lahr - Tennessee Williams
John Lahr - Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh: A Biography
Tue 21 Oct 19:00
The definitive biography of America’s most impassioned and lyrical twentieth century playwright from acclaimed theatre critic John Lahr
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (12A)
A big screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a troubled Southern family battling it out over their dying father's millions.
  • Tue 21 Oct
  • 20.30
Howard Jacobson
Howard Jacobson
Wed 22 Oct 19:00
Celebrated writer and broadcaster Howard Jacobson discusses his new novel, J.
Rachel Joyce
Thu 23 Oct 19:00
Writer and playwright Rachel Joyce is the author of the worldwide bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Martyn Johnson - What's Tha Up To This Time?
Fri 24 Oct 15:00
Martyn Johnson's latest book, What's Tha Up To This Time? continues his wonderful stories about policing during the 1960s and 1970s. Written from the heart, the book has genuine feeling for the people, animals, places and history of Sheffield.
Centuries of Change An Illustrated Talk by Ian Mortimer
Mon 27 Oct 19:00
Ian Mortimer is inspirational in his ability to immerse us in history’s daily reality. His books include the best-selling Time Traveller’s Guides to Medieval and Elizabethan England.
Tom Stafford
What’s the Evidence on Using Rational Argument to Change People’s Minds? With Doctor Tom Stafford
Tue 28 Oct 19:00
Popular psychology books reinforce the idea that we’re emotional, irrational creatures, but Tom Stafford argues against this bleak portrait of human irrationality...
Farmageddon - Philip Lymbery
Farmageddon – The True Cost of Cheap Meat with Philip Lymbery
Wed 29 Oct 19:00
Farmageddon is an eye opening and ground-breaking examination of the quiet revolution of mega-farming that is threatening our countryside, farms and food.
The Workstation 20th Anniversary, Jonathan Wilkinson
Business Bites
Thu 30 Oct 12:00
A bite-sized slice of inspiration designed to fit in your lunch break. Chew over the wisdom of our specialist guest speakers while you tuck into a complimentary lunch.
The Hit - Melvin Burgess
Meet the author - Melvin Burgess
Thu 30 Oct 14:00
Melvin Burgess' gripping new young adult thriller is The Hit which features a mind-blowing central idea: a craze for a euthanasia drug that gives you the best week of your life – before killing you … It’s the ultimate high. At the ultimate price …
Desiree Reynolds
Desiree Reynolds
Fri 31 Oct 19:30
Sheffield-based writer, Desiree Reynolds talks about Seduce, her ambitious debut novel full of twists and surprises and a host of distinctly unforgettable characters.
Under Milk Wood
Under Milk Wood + Q&A (12A)
A rare chance to see Under Milk Wood, the 1972 British film, on the big screen, followed by Q&A with director Andrew Sinclair.
  • Sat 1 Nov
  • 13.30
Dylan Thomas' Boathouse
‘Conceive these Images in Air’ Dylan Thomas and the Visual Arts - A Talk with David Alston
Sun 2 Nov 11:00
Off the Shelf’s daylong (and more) celebration of Dylan Thomas ends with a talk by David Alston, Arts Director of the Arts Council of Wales, exploring visual imagery connected to the poet’s imagination.
Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield and Lauren Owen
Mon 3 Nov 19:00
Diane Setterfield is the author of the international bestseller The Thirteenth Tale. Her new novel Bellman & Black is another wonderful page-turner. The Quick is the debut of one of the most gifted of a new generation of British writers, Lauren Owen.
Blackpool Winter Gardens - Vanessa Toulmin
Magnificent Blackpool Winter Gardens An Illustrated Talk by Professor Vanessa Toulmin
Mon 24 Nov 19:00
This beautifully illustrated talk explores the history of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens from their opening in 1878 to the present day.


Sign up for email news and listings

We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you.

If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them.