sophie-hannah-by-phillipa-gedge 11-frances-fyfield 25-jenni-murray 25-christopher-priest 16-sarah-perry-1-credit-jamie-drew iestynedwards

Get ready for January, when we will be announcing our terrific programme for Essex Book Festival 2017. With over 80 events exploding across Essex, we’re confident that there’s something on the festival ‘menu’ to tickle everybody’s fancy this March.

Whether that’s indulging in a weekend of ‘Golden Age’ sleuthing in Southend with some of the UK’s leading crime writers, including Sophie Hannah and Francis Fyfield. Or savouring the delights on offer at our Science, Radio and Invention Day in Chelmsford. With Jenni Murray (Woman’s Hour), Christopher Priest (The Prestige), The League of Essextraordinary Gentlemen (Essex’s Steampunk Group), not to mention The Post-Apocalyptic Book Club on board, this promises to be a very memorable day.

Other treats in store include our PLACE weekend in Colchester: a celebration of all things home, heritage and belonging. Aside from hosting our first Essex Book Club Symposium featuring festival writer-in-residence Sarah Perry as one of our writers, we’re thrilled to be welcoming a wide variety of writers, artists, and performers to join us at Firstsite and beyond.

We are hosting our Meet the Neighbours Polish Day in Harlow Central Library as part of the London Book and Screen Week national programme of events. Prepare for a fabulous day of UK/Polish author events, live performances, children’s workshops, and storytelling sessions, plus lashings of traditional Polish cheese cake on offer at our Pop-Up Polish cafe.

Then there’s our very first end-of-festival party: The Final Fling. A night of dancing and merriment in Colchester Arts Centre compered by the irrepressible champion of the burlesque, Iestyn Ewards aka Madame Galina, who will be launching his new book My Tutu Went Awol, and equally irrepressible The Hosepipe band who will taking us through a different set of steps!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll be announcing the full programme in January, so watch this space for updates!