So, what’s Alt.Fiction all about?

Alt.Fiction is an event taking place for the fifth time this year in Derby, concentrating on science fiction, fantasy and horror writing. Part literature festival, part convention, it’s the ideal starting point for any writers or readers who are followers of the genre. It’s also a great way for those with a passing interest in the genre, or absolute beginners, to get a flavour of what today’s publishers and writers have to offer. It’s all part of the work of Writing East Midlands, the literature development agency for the region, and it’s been exciting to work with them on delivering this year’s event.

This year we’ll be running as a weekend event for the first time, allowing us the opportunity to run not only our usual threads of programming but also some new and exciting aspects of the schedule. We’ve got a host of panels taking place over the weekend, with hot topics including publishing, comics, e-books, writing for young adults and scriptwriting. For all the budding authors out there, there is an active programme of writing workshops running all weekend, featuring leading names such as Dan Abnett, Alastair Reynolds, Tony Ballantyne, Graham Joyce, MD Lachlan, and many more. There will also be an informal stream of podcasts and discussion sessions with an intimate and fun feel, as well as many top names at the event.

For those who prefer to read a good book than try to write their own, we’ve got readings all day on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, with two authors paired up throughout. It’s a great chance to hear from authors you already love and find out about new talents! Leading readings will see Alastair Reynolds, Paul Cornell, Robert Shearman, Graham Joyce, Peter Crowther and plenty more taking part. There will also be a book room open on Saturday, giving you the chance to pick up an exciting range of titles from the participating authors, as well as checking out a range of small presses and magazines.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got two new additions for this year – the Alt.Fiction raffle is a fantastic chance to win some very special prizes, including a number of signed books from Iain M Banks, Neil Gaiman, Peter F Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Joe Hill, China Mieville among others. Also included within the ticket price are a number of film screenings, including a double bill of Val Lewton’s seminal Cat People movies, introduced by Paul Finch, a number of rare showings of BBC ghost stories (including Charles Dickens’ The Signalman, introduced by Stephen Volk) plus an exclusive preview screening of the grindhouse feature Hobo with a Shotgun, starring Rutger Hauer.

As you can guess, the programme is pretty crammed, so it’s looking like a great weekend all round! It all takes place at QUAD in Derby, a fantastic independent cinema and arts space, and tickets for the weekend are just £45, with Saturday passes available at £30 and Sunday tickets at £20. Your ticket includes access to all of the activities above, so be sure not to miss out!

More information is available at, or call QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606.

Alex Davis

Co-ordinator, Alt.Fiction

(For Writing East Midlands)


One response

24 06 2011
Theresa Derwin

I am absolutely excited about this weekend. I discovered it last year and in a year it has enhanced my writing and my profile. Well worth it

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