Richard Wilson, Dan Snow and Stuart Maconie among stars of South Yorkshire festival

Dan Snow
Dan Snow

Following a successful partnership in 2011, Civica, a market leader in specialist systems and business process services that helps organisations transform the way they work, has been named as platinum sponsor of the annual Off the Shelf literary festival for the second year running.

Off the Shelf, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, will take place between October 13 and November 3 and will run over 200 events in over 80 venues city-wide. The festival will once again offer an excellent, highly charged programme of events, which brings some of the best-known names from literature and the media to Sheffield. Guests for 2012 include; Black Diamonds author Catherine Bailey, local historian Mike Spick and historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, award winning actor, director and author Richard Wilson, prolific presenter and author Stuart Maconie and Pulitzer Prize Winner Richard Ford.

Civica will be hosting a number of key events throughout the festival, including a Poetry Party with award winning poet and Off the Shelf guest-curator Benjamin Zephaniah, at the Lyceum Theatre on October 9th. Students from across the city will be invited to perform on stage with Benjamin in person.

Lee Burley, Managing Director of Civica’s Education Division, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Off the Shelf Festival 2012. We initially became aware of the event through our work providing bespoke ICT-based learning environments for secondary schools in Sheffield. It’s fitting that we support schools’ writing and learning ambitions on a nation-wide basis as the festival is continuing to grow and gain national prominence as a forum for ideas and learning.”

Richard Eyre, Sheffield City Council’s Head of City Centre Management and Major Events said, “It is recognition of the cultural value and reputation of Off the Shelf that an international company such as Civica has committed to the festival again. We are very grateful for their continued support. Sponsors enable us to grow and develop the festival to incorporate new ideas, encourage greater access and ultimately showcase literature to local and national audiences. The festival is now a set fixture on the literary calendar and adds to the city’s growing national profile.”

To help celebrate the festival’s 21st year, Civica has announced that it will be holding a writing competition to give Sheffield school children and students aged between 5 and 18 the opportunity to demonstrate their budding talent by submitting a written piece on the theme of Celebration. Winners will receive an Android Tablet PC which will help to encourage their literary skills.

Civica is also due to support a series of free events, organised by Sheffield Libraries for school children, to be held in community libraries across the city. This includes a talk with Sheffield Children’s Book Award winning author Jonathan Emmett, a workshop with writer and illustrator Lynne Chapman, and an event where historian Martyn Gillie will be discussing Charles Dickens’ inspiration for Oliver Twist.

For more information or to download the brochure, visit Welcome to Sheffield