This year’s Essex Book festival to be a real page-turner

The Essex Book Festival participants and organisers launch the 2016 festival at the Mercury Theatre.

The Essex Book Festival participants and organisers launch the 2016 festival at the Mercury Theatre. - Credit: Su Anderson

A stellar line-up of literary figures, ranging from the worlds of art and politics, have been revealed for this year’s Essex Book Festival.

Running through-out March, Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry and former business secretary Vince Cable and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis De Bernieres had already been tipped to appear.

Now the organisers have revealed these stars will also be joined by a whole host of other eminent authors, including Josephine Cox, Helen Dunmore and top historian David Starkey, during the event.

As well as readings by authors, there are also writing workshops, poetry performances and children’s activities. Local historian John Ashdown-Hill will also give a talk on Richard III.

Ros Green, festival director, said: “We are hugely excited to be welcoming so many excellent authors and artists to Essex. And notwithstanding that, to be able to offer such a diverse range of events across the county, extending from more than 55 individual author events – many of who were either born or are based in Essex – to numerous creative writing workshops and storytelling sessions, classic film screenings, art exhibitions, multiple artist and writers residencies, plus a number of live music and spoken word events.

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“Essex Book Festival is for everyone. Running for a whole month and taking place in 35-plus venues in England’s second largest county, it bridges the gap between different communities and reaches the places other like-minded festivals cannot reach.

“Our aim is to entertain, illuminate and inspire, and perhaps most importantly, to be a catalyst for new conversations and friendships county-wide and beyond.”

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There are two specialist weekends during the festival with a Golden Age of Crime in Southend on March 5-6, and Thinking and Writing Home weekend at firstsite, Colchester, on March 19-20.

To view the full programme visit

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