A picture of Ros Green, Festival Director with the Mayor of Southend (2016)

We are currently recruiting a new Festival Assistant (part-time for 5 months) to join our small team in the run up to the next Essex Book Festival in March 2019. Here are the details:

EBF Festival Assistant Job Description (PDF document, 135KB)

Jobtitle: Festival Assistant
Responsible to: Festival Director
Location: Centre for Creative Writing, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex
Salary: £600 a month, based on 15 hours a week at £10 an hour (60 hours a month)
Contract: Freelance Contract 5 months (1 November – 30 March)

Application Deadline: Monday 22 October (midnight)
Interviews: Friday 26 October
Start date: Monday 5 November


About Us

Essex Book Festival takes place every March, and is the only festival of its kind to take place over a one month period, with over 140 events, hosted by forty venues, across one of the UK’s largest and most diverse counties. The festival, set up in 1999 by Essex Libraries, is now an independent charity. It collaborates with a number of local, regional, national and international organisations to fulfil its objectives.

Essex Book Festival has grown exponentially over the last three or four years, in terms of its audience reach and breadth of its programming. Our aims are to explore innovative ways of igniting people’s passion for the ‘book’ in all its forms; to nurture and showcase writers and artists at all levels of their careers; to push the boundaries; and create a meaningful legacy for Essex.


The Role

We are seeking a Festival Assistant to join our small team to help us run up to the next Essex Book Festival in March 2019.

This is a hands-on role for someone who is looking to gain experience working on a festival. The chosen candidate will demonstrate a desire to work within literature and the arts in a busy festival context.

Essex Book Festival is managed by a small team, and the Festival Assistant will play a crucial role in the delivery of the festival during the months before and during the festival itself. The Festival Assistant is a varied role incorporating elements of admin, event management, evaluation and marketing. It would ideally suit a recent graduate or an early career professional looking to gain more project experience.


Duties include

Festival admin – Liaise with authors, publishers and partners to collate key information, double check data, keep the master programme spreadsheet up to date, create/send out Letters of Agreement, administration of returned contracts and payments admin post-festival

Event Management and Front of House – Liaising with authors, venues and EBF event representatives to put together and circulate planning sheets for Festival events. Helping to recruit and coordinate volunteers. Preparing event bags for EBF Reps. Representing EBF at selected events and undertaking Front of House duties.

General office admin – manning the office and answering the phone, dealing with e-mail and phone enquiries from ticket purchasers/holders, contractors, authors/publishers, opening/sorting/sending post, and general administrative support.

Marketing admin – Assistance with admin for marketing, for example chasing authors and publishers for information for the brochure, compile event information for listings, update the festival website.

Assisting with festival evaluation – preparing and circulating feedback forms at events, photography at events and compiling data for reports

Any other duties reasonably requested by Festival Manager and Marketing & Audience Development Manager, in line with responsibilities and salary


Person Specification

We are looking for the following knowledge, experience and qualities:


– Experience of working in a small team in an office environment.
– Confident and wide ranging IT skills: Knowledge of MS Office including Word, Excel and Powerpoint (training provided in use of specific software).
– Confident people skills (in person and in writing).
– Self-motivated, positive, flexible and reliable.
– Able to work to deadlines, balance multiple and competing priorities.
– Accuracy, efficiency and excellent attention to detail.
– Have own car / access to a car (some of the Festival venues are poorly served by public transport).
– Passion for literature / the spoken and written word.
– Flexible re working hours – may including evening and weekend work during Festival (March 2019).


– Experience of working in an arts/festival environment.
– Qualifications: Degree and/or relevant experience.


To Apply

To apply please send a CV, details of two referees and a cover letter (no more than three pages) to [email protected] with FESTIVAL ASSISTANT in the subject line. Please outline why you are applying for the role, what you hope to gain from it and ensure you cover all the essential qualities as listed above.

Deadline for applications: Monday 22 October (midnight)

Interviews will be held on Friday 26 October at The Centre for Creative Writing, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

Start date: Monday 5 November

For further information please email [email protected] telephone 07952 563451


EBF Festival Assistant Job Description (PDF document, 135KB)