Born in Essex of Scottish parents, Seona spent much of her career working in education in the county. Throughout her life she has worked to nurture and celebrate the people who write, publish and sell books. She belongs to several literary societies and has a great interest in family and local history.
Sarah is Service Development Lead for Essex Libraries, responsible for the book and e-resources collection, reader development activities and working towards making Essex Libraries accessible, welcoming and safe spaces to all customers and potential customers. She’s been involved with the Festival for many years and is delighted to be an advisor to the board. Sarah is a lifelong reader and a passionate advocate for the power of reading and the importance of public libraries.
Jules is Professor of Environment & Society at the University of Essex and Director of the Centre for Public and Policy Engagement. He is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. He received an OBE for services to sustainable agriculture, an honorary degree from Ohio State University, and the British Science Association Presidential Medal. He is the host of podcast Louder Than Words and film shorts series Brighter Futures.
Marc is Culture Services Manager at Chelmsford City Council, co-chair of SECEN, a network supporting the creative sector in the South East, cofounder of Colchester Makerspace, and one of the original founders of Creative Coop. He believes in using art, design, culture and technology to make a positive impact in the world. He draws inspiration from our radical roots and heritage in innovation in Essex. He advocates for our communities to lead, own and drive social, cultural and environmental change.