It is with a very heavy heart that we have taken the decision to cancel the final events of this year’s Essex Book Festival. The safety of our audiences, artists and festival team is of paramount importance to us. While we will not be able to reschedule all of our events, we will do everything within our power to reschedule as many as possible. Indeed, the list is already growing of those artists and writers willing and able to return to Essex later in the year.

Despite the festival’s abrupt and premature ending we do feel fortunate to have enjoyed eighteen days and nights of exceptional events in venues across Essex, beginning with our wonderful launch event with Val McDermid at Anglia Ruskin University on 28th February, through to last night’s final events with Laura Purcell and Mark Ellis in Manningtree Library and Gray Library respectively.

For other news and updates, please monitor this page, social media, and email communication. We will be updating this webpage with further information as it comes.

In the meantime, we wish everyone the very best in this exceptionally difficult time.

Current Essex Book Festival Activity…

Stand Up For Diversity: Online

Stand Up For Diversity
Stand Up For Diversity

Online via Zoom
Wednesday 3 June 7.30pm (registration from 7.15pm)

Join us for an evening of three-minute mini-talks as we continue with our series of events that puts a spotlight on diversity, with short soap-box shout-outs on why Diversity Matters.

Places are limited, booking required.

Find out more about Stand Up For Diversity

Criminally Good Crime Writing Story Competition

To make up for the disappointment of cancelling this year’s Golden Age of Crime Weekend at the Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend-on-Sea, we have decided to run a special crime writing short story competition. After all, who knows if the next Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham or Martina Cole is waiting in the wings!

You could win a free mentoring session with literary agent Camilla Shestopal and writer Samantha Lee Howe, plus publication on Essex Book Festival website. The deadline is 30th May so make sure you get your entry in before then.

Find out more about the prizes, format and guidelines for our Criminally Good Crime Writing Story Competition

Get Bunting!

Bunting 3x2

To mark Essex 2020: A year of Science & Creativity, Essex Book Festival is working with its partners and friends to create a giant snake of bunting.

Why? The bunting will form part of our Manifesto For Essex: a countywide project that offers children and young people a creative platform to express their thoughts and feelings about Climate Change.

Following a number of hugely successful bunting-making workshops in venues across Essex as part of this year’s Essex Book Festival, we are now urging everyone to join in the fun at home.

Find out how you can get involved with our Get Bunting project

What We Are Reading Now

Read the latest book reviews from Essex Bookworms. Local Book Clubs and our Festival Bookies (volunteers) have been sending us their book reviews. Be inspired – find out what they’ve been reading and which books they’d recommend.

Take a look at our What We are Reading Now book review blog