SOME of the country’s top authors will be taking part in the region’s biggest book festival later this year.

Tickets are on sale for the 2018 Durham Book Festival, which takes place from October 5-14.

Headline guests at this year’s event include Durham’s Booker Prize winner Pat Barker, former home secretary Alan Johnson, who has written a musical memoir, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and authors Sarah Waters, Sarah Perry and Kate Mosse.

Her new book The Little Stranger, which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, is the festival’s Big Read.

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, which produces the festival, said: “We are really excited to announce another packed programme for Durham Book Festival, which really does have something for every reader.”

“As a huge Sarah Waters fan, I’m especially looking forward to welcoming Sarah to Durham for this year’s Big Read. Her Gothic novel The Little Stranger is brilliantly chilling, so do pick up your free copy.”

This year the festival will also include a Little Read, and copies of picture book Izzy Gizmo will be given to every primary school in County Durham.

The festival features talks, readings and performances, including a gig by musicians Field Music, who will be playing songs inspired by their favourite children’s books and a Town Hall screening of Hitchcock’s adaptation of Rebecca, to mark the 80th anniversary of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece.

Original commissions include David Olusoga’s reflection on growing up as a black person in 1970s Gateshead and Lucie Brownlee’s investigation of women activists in the Durham miners’ strike.

Durham Book Festival is commissioned by Durham County Council and produced by New Writing North, with funding from Durham University and Arts Council England.

Councillor Ossie Johnson said: “This year’s Durham Book Festival looks set to be one of the best to date, and I’m sure people will be just as excited about the line-up as I am. Once again we are welcoming some of the country’s best-loved writers into County Durham, along with rising stars of the literary world.

“I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the fantastic talks, workshops and creative opportunities on offer.”

For the full programme visit