Essex Book Festival

Summary Info Festival StoryFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info Not Available

Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Literary
Location of Festival Chelmsford, Essex, England, UK
Festival Contact Information

Essex Records Office
Wharf Road
Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6YT

Festival Description

Where can Dr Who, whistleblowers and pop star offspring be found side by side? Where can you meet poets, politicians and poultry keepers? The answer: the Essex Book Festival. Across the county, from Brentwood to Colchester, from Harwich to Epping, the Essex Book Festival will be offering Essex audiences a diverse and fascinating selection of new writers, experienced authors, experts and household names.

Festival Dates March 1 - 31, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Story:

The Essex Book Festival began in 1999 and is a month-long celebration of literature. It takes place annually during March in libraries, theatres and other venues across the county. In 2011, the Essex Festival became an independent trust and is now run by a board of volunteer directors. The Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, Essex County Council and the University of Essex. The Essex Book Festival works with independent book shops around the county at festival events to promote book sales. During the year, Essex Book Festival Extra offers a programme of writer development opportunities and activities which enable writers to meet their local peers and share knowledge and experience.


Festival Events:

Participants 2013:
  • Sandi Toksvig, Radio 4 regular Toksvig’s new book Valentine Grey, is the moving story of a young woman struggling against the rigid rules of Victorian society. Catch her at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, University of Essex on Thursday 7 March.
  • Gavin Esler’s ‘Lessons from the Top’ on 16 March, shows how leaders in all fields are masters at spinning stories.
  • Jack Straw will share his private memories of a very public life on 21 March and Michael Rosen will perform some favourite poems in his own unique way at the Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford on 24 March.
  • Michael Woodford, former CEO of Olympus, reveals the extraordinary scandal of the accounting fraud at the company at the University of Essex’s Southend Campus on 4 March.
  • Helen Renaux offers her eye-witness account of the horrors of partition in Pakistan.
  • Mark Townsend tells the story of Essex soldier Kenny Meighan and his adjustment to civilian life.
  • Professor Elaine Fox, a leading psychologist and neuroscientist, from the University of Essex will be asking ‘Do you look on the bright side or are you a pessimist?’ when she discusses her popular new book, Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain at the Lakeside Theatre in Colchester on 19 March.
  • Jemima Dury talks about her famous father Ian on 18 March.
  • Pauline Black, lead singer of seminal 2-Tone band The Selecter, discusses her experiences as a British mixed-race woman.
  • Daryl Easlea, the music writer hosts a panel discussion about rock writing from fanzines to Amazon in Leigh-on-Sea.
  • -Josephine Cox_, Best-selling author of more than 40 books, Cox will talk about her latest work, The Broken Man on 19 March.
  • Rachel Joyce whose heart-warming The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was long-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, will be talking about her book at Brentwood Library.
  • Georgina Harding was the only British writer to be short-listed for the 2012 Orange Prize.
  • Kate Worsley has produced a powerful, captivating début novel.
  • Dr Ronald Blythe, on 9 March, the Festival celebrates the 90th birthday of legendary East Anglian nature writer.
  • Nature writers, Wild Essex is also celebrated at the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park on 8 March, when Essex-based natural history writers talk about their passion for nature. Continuing the theme, Richard Mabey, one of the country’s greatest nature writers, gives the University of Essex Annual Burrows Lecture on 13 March, exploring ‘edgeland’, the area between inhabited and wild land.
  • and many, many more….


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