These are the members of our board.

Jeremy Lucas

A lifelong resident of the county, Jeremy was a Member of Essex County Council from 1989-1993 and 2001-2013. In 2012 he became Cabinet Member for Customer Service, Environment and Culture, being involved with culture and the arts for many years before that. He’s enthusiastic about art, sport (especially cricket) and his home county of Essex.

Seona Ford (Chair)

Born and bred in Essex of Scottish parents, Seona has spent much of her career working in education in the county. Throughout her life she has nurtured and developed a tremendous interest in books and writing. She belongs to several literary societies, writes poetry and is very proud to be Chair of Essex Book Festival.

Jim MacDonald

A career in finance might appear an unlikely background for a lover of books; although, government circulars do have a degree of intrigue! Jim brings his professional experience and enthusiasm for books to the board. A wide reader, he enjoys  recommendations of The Times and Independent and keeps a keen eye on the Booker Prize.

Camilla Shestopal

Camilla is passionate about books, being involved in publishing throughout her career. She has been involved in selling rights in all areas of publishing on authors and children’s brands and is a director at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop, focusing on Estates to bring well-known names of the past back into the public consciousness.

Pat Gaudin

Pat loves books, has belonged to her book group for over 10 years, and has attended the Festival since its inception. She is a PR consultant working in local public sectors across East Anglia, London, Hertfordshire; lecturer on PR courses; trustee of Essex Coalition of Disabled People; and member of Rotary Club, Chelmsford Mildmay.

Peter Donaldson

Peter has been professionally involved with books since 1978 when he and his wife Sarah opened Red Lion Books in Colchester. Active in book trade affairs at both regional and national level, he was involved in the launch of the inaugural World Book Night in 2011 and on the judging panel for the 2011 Costa Book Awards.