More than 100 delegates are expected at the conference
The great-great grandson of Charles Dickens is to read extracts from the novelist's works at Durham Town Hall.
Gerald Dickens will launch the 102nd annual International Dickens Fellowship Conference, being staged in the city for six days from Wednesday.
More than 100 delegates are expected at the conference from 48 worldwide fellowship branches.
Delegates will visit places where the Victorian author performed in Newcastle during a national reading tour in 1838.
Trips to Barnard Castle and Bowes, where Dickens spent time researching his novel The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, are also planned.
The programme of events combines lectures from academics and enthusiasts.