A COUNTYWIDE literary spectacular which will run for three months has revealed its extended page-turning summer programme.

The Essex Book Festival, first celebrated in 1999, is an annual bonanza during which hundreds of artists and writers take part in events across county.

This year’s carnival of expression will see engaging activities hosted in person and online which will follow coronavirus guidelines.

Taking place from June until August, the festival will use more than 40 venues, including the Jaywick Martello Tower, Clacton Library and Layer Marney Tower.

It will also see walks hosted on the Witches Trail, which extends from Manningtree to Mistley, and at the Canvey Heights Country Park.


This year’s festival theme is Words Matter, which the event’s special guests will look to embody and explore when they stop-off in the county.

Everyone from LBC radio presenter Iain Dale and award-winning author Monique Roffey to upcoming writer Louise Hare will be taking part in the odyssey.

Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon will also be appearing at Basildon Library, while New York Times bestseller Liz Trenow from Colchester will talk at Billericay Library.

Presenter Christine Penhall will visit Clacton Library to discuss The House That Built Alice and James Canton will head to Colchester Library to discuss The Oak Papers.

Poetry and art events, in addition to informative workshops will also be on offer over the lengthy festival.

The Pop-Up Essex Writers House returns at Chalkwell Hall in Southend as well as the Archive Digital Workshop events at Southend Museum and Thurrock Museum.

The festival will also see Tom King, Syd Moore, Dorian Kelly, James Canton, Hartle O’Hare, Ken Worpole and Gillian Darley lead walks in Colchester and Canvey.


Ros Green, director of the Essex Book Festival Director Ros Green said: “We are so excited about this year’s extended hybrid Essex Book Festival.

“Not just because it’s actually happening - a huge hurrah to that - but because of all the great new things in the mix.

“Whether that is the digital twinning between our Southend-based Pop Up Essex Writers House or a walk or two on the wild side with our new series of In My Steps: Radical Walks in Essex.

“It really is all to play for in 2021, so come and join in the fun.”

The Essex Book Festival is held in association with the University of Essex, Essex County Council and Thurrock Council.

It will take place between June 6 and August 29 and tickets go on sale at 12pm on April 29 on essexbookfestival.org.uk.