It gives us great pleasure to share what’s on the menu at this year’s Essex Book Festival, which is taking place in forty venues across the County, thanks to our many friends, partners and funders.

The Festival opens with Essex icon and artist Grayson Perry who will be appearing at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. Since ‘Home’ is one of our main themes in March, this is a very fitting entrée to launch us on our way.

Other Festival highlights include appearances by Louis de Bernières, one of the UK’s most cherished authors, politician and ex-Minister Vince Cable, Orange Prize Winner Helen Dunmore, and historian, novelist and provocateur A N Wilson.

Meanwhile, crime fiction lovers are in for a treat with our Golden Age of Crime Weekend in Southend-on-Sea. We have a packed programme with everything from panel and individual author events, to detective workshops for families, a Golden Age Classics Movie Night, plus our 1940s-flavoured Criminally Good Afternoon Tea to celebrate Mother’s Day in style.

With over 100 writers and artists descending on Essex for the month, it’s impossible to mention everything that’s going on.

It’s over to you to sharpen your pencils for our Birth of the Book Writers’ Day, to dust down your dance shoes for our inaugural Building a Boat Ceilidh, and finally, to find out what life is really like living on the margins with our writer-in-residence Damian Le Bas.

Be prepared. March is about to get busy!


Ros Green
Festival Director