A NEW chapter is written in the 30-year history of a literary festival starting tomorrow.

The Durham Book Festival will, for the first time, be entirely online, due to Covid-19 restrictions preventing the usual live talks and theatre events at venues around the city.

But the festival still promises to be a real page turner, with 50 free activities and events online, between October 9 and 18.

Headline guests include David Almond, Alistair Campbell, Anthony Anaxagorou, Richard Osman, Ian Rankin and popular North-East crime writer Ann Cleeves, who has written a new Vera short story, set in Durham.

Written in Blood has been exclusively penned for the festival’s Big Read section.

Durham County Council’s library service will be distributing 4,000 copies to libraries, businesses, prisons and community groups round the city.

Opening the ten-day festival, tomorrow, is Man Book Prize winner DBC Pierre, with an exclusive podcast in the festival’s Writing Durham series.

The Australian-born author will talk about his commissioned work, The Long Cascade, which is said to be inspired by his family’s strong connection to Durham, as well as his new novel Meanwhile in Dopamine City.

Sharing the first night bill are the QI Elves, who dig up the facts for the popular tv series.

They will be giving a live interactive quiz, based on their book, Funny You Should Ask, from 7.30pm. There is a £12.99 book and ticket deal for this event.

The festival is commissioned by Durham County Council and produced by New Writing North, with funding from Durham University and the Arts Council England, and support from BBC Radio Newcastle.

Further details on tomorrow's events and the rest of the programme is available via durhambookfestival.com, the festival's website.