As Essex gets into its stride for its 2020: Year of Science and Creativity, Essex Book Festival is delighted to announce the launch of its Young Essex Manifesto For Essex, which forms part of the county’s year-long programme of special science-inspired events.

What is the Manifesto? Put simply, the Manifesto For Essex is a multi-form creative platform for young people living in Essex and beyond to express their thoughts and ideas about tackling Climate Change. It involves everything from the creation of a special Manifesto For Essex Zine led by Southend-based artist and founder of Grrrl Zine Fair Lu Williams, through to our Tree-Mend-Us Family Day in the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford (Sunday 8th March) led by Chelmsford Ideas Hub, which celebrates the importance of trees via storytelling, a community tree tapestry, films, workshops, and tree identification walks.

A combination of stories, essays, pod casts and short films; Save Our Beautiful Planet Bunting stretching from Chelmsford to Nanjing made in partnership with Essex Children’s University and UK/Chinese Charity The Mother’s Bridge of Love: Culture for Children; Fashion/Remade up-cycled clothing led by Focal Point Gallery; prints, placards, posters and pamphlets created within Colchester’s fabulous Makerspace; plus a collaborative giant jungle painting spearheaded by rainforest artist Jelly Green at Firstsite, our marvellous Manifesto For Essex should ‘hit land’ in time for the British Science Festival, hosted by Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, September 2020.

Festival Director Ros Green says:
“When we began thinking about our contribution to Essex 2020 the first question we asked ourselves was: What is the most pressing issue of the day, and who will be most affected by it? The answer was simple: Climate Change and young people. The Essex Coast is one of the UK’s most vulnerable places in terms of rising sea levels. You only have to look at the projected rise in the sea level in Clacton by 2050 to seriously pause for thought. The second question was: What can a book festival do to raise awareness of and help tackle Climate Change? Again, the answer was simple. Ask a friend. Or two. When we asked our friends and partners how they could add to the Manifesto For Essex, we were literally flooded with ideas. Most of which will be on the menu for March, with some taking place later in the year.”

Get Bunting!

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 more about how you can help to create our snake of bunting.

Key Manifesto events and activities will include:

The Hex Building

Escaping Climate Change Day
12pm-4pm 6th March, Hex Building, University of Essex, Colchester
Free Event. Drop-In.
A special Escaping Climate Change Day open to students and the wider public involving a Climate Change long table discussion, ‘hot spot’ presentations, artist workshops, and vegan ‘tasters’; a Clothes Swish, a Save the Planet pledge board etc. Participants include Festival patron writer and performer AL Kennedy, author and activist Monique Roffey (founder of Writers Rebel), and Arctic Circle artist Beatrice Von Preussen.
Read more about Escaping Climate Change


Tree-Mend-Us Day
11am-4pm, 8th March,
Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Most events are FREE.
Our Tree-Mend-Us Day will be led Chelmsford Ideas Hub in partnership with EBF and Chelmsford Theatres. Expect films, workshops, performances, tree walks, storytelling, sewing, seedling planting, tree bark rubbing, and an ‘Under the Microscope’ digital art workshop.
Read more about Tree-Mend-Us Day

Manifesto For Essex Printing and Illustration workshops

11am–4pm, 14th & 15th March, Firstsite and Makerspace, Colchester
Free. Drop-in activities.
We will be hosting a range of activities as part of our PLACE weekend in Colchester. Plant A Story Workshops led by award-winning storyteller Glenys Newton, a Save Our Beautiful Planet Bunting Workshops led by children’s author and artist Wendy Constance, a community giant jungle painting led by Jelly Green, a Chinese calligraphy workshop led by Colchester Chinese Culture Society to send a message to our friends in Nanjing, printing and illustration workshops led by Tom Armstrong and Lee Thomas, a Zine-Making Workshop led by artist Lu Williams, and more.

Recycle Triangle Cloth

Fashion/Remade Workshop
28th March, Twenty One, Southend-on-Sea
Free. Booking required.
Focal Point Gallery will be hosting a free Fashion/Remade Workshop in Twenty One, Western Esplanade, Southend Seafront where Southend will celebrate all things recycled as part of the Manifesto For Essex by giving young people the opportunity to learn how castaway clothing can be turned into fabulous new fashion items.
Read more about Fashion/Remade

Watch this space. The Manifesto grows by the day …

Take a look at our Events Diary