We are absolutely delighted to be launching the programme for this year’s 25th Edition of Essex Book Festival. With over 250 amazing writers and artists in the mix, we urge everyone to log onto our website and find out what’s happening when the programme goes ‘live’ this Thursday!!

The theme for this year is This Land. A nod to our wonderful county, its fascinating history and natural heritage, and most importantly, the people who inhabit it.

One event not to be missed is Festival Patron and University of Essex Chancellor Sarah Perry. Sarah will be talking to Festival Chair Peter Donaldson at University of Essex about her new book Enlightenment on 1st June. This event follows on from a day of activities on Campus to launch the festival.

Other activities on the day include our community Radical Essex Procession in partnership with internationally acclaimed arts organisation Kinetika. Following on from our Radical Walks in Essex and last year’s Radical Pilgrimage led by artist Lora Aziz, the Radical Procession will commence at St Leonard-at-the-Hythe Church, one of the iconic sites of the Siege of Colchester in 1648, and will conclude at University of Essex, which was founded in 1964 as a radical university, with its first vice-chancellor, Albert Sloman, committed to providing an environment that encouraged radical thought and taking students who would challenge prevailing orthodoxies.

To make it all the more special we are teaming up with internationally acclaimed arts organisation Kinetika, who will be bringing their 500 Beach of Dreams hand-painted natural dyed pennants to literally raise the flag on our 25th Edition. Anyone wanting to join in the fun and be one of our flagbearers for the day, please click here to sign up.

Other Festival Delights

With John Crace, Helen Lederer and Lionel Shriver all taking part in author events at Anglia Ruskin University; Mark Cocker and Joanna Glen in the line-up for our Restless Brilliance Day at Hylands House on 16th June (Father’s Day), we have an exciting range of events taking place in Chelmsford this June. Make sure you get in quick.

Our library events include A.K. Blakemore talking about her fabulous new novel The Glutton at Maldon Library, Vaseem Khan who will be delivering this year’s Dorothy L Sayers Lecture at Witham Library, Matt Cain in conversation with Festival Director Ros Green about his new book One Love, and Alan Johnson discussing his new crime novel Death on The Thames at Chelmsford Library, amongst others. Again, tickets are limited for these events.

We can’t recommend enough our Listen Up! Day, which will be taking place at Colchester Samaritans on 8th June. Not only are we welcoming back The Human Library to the festival, once again in partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project, we have two other fascinating authors participating on the day: Hafsa Zayyan, a contributor to the amazing anthology edited by Joanna Canon, Will You Read This, Please?, and London-based German Nigerian writer, speaker and performer Olumide Popoola, whose novel Like Water Like Sea is an immersive novel of self-discovery, resilience, and the unifying power of love.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Full programme to be announced and tickets go on sale at essexbookfestival.org.uk at 10am Thursday 4th April.