Essex Book Festival 2024

31st May to 30th June 2024

This year we have been celebrating 25 years of Essex Book Festival and it has been full of joy and surprises. So many highlights to choose from including our launch day at University of Essex with a spectacular community procession of Beach of Dreams silk pennants on to campus; Festival patron, University Chancellor and best-selling author Sarah Perry talking about her highly anticipated new book, Enlightenment; our Listen Up Day at Colchester Samaritans with the Human Library and fascinating author event with Olumide Popoola; creating connections at the very special Essex Writers House with Metal at Chalkwell Hall; loving our local libraries with inspiring authors Bridget Collins, A.K. Blakemore, Louise Doughty, Alan Johnson, Syd Moore and Vaseem Khan; laughing out loud with Helen Lederer; discovering a stunning new venue with Rebecca Smith at Chelmsford Cathedral; appreciating all things ornithology with Mark Cocker, Andrew Millham and Joanna Glen at Hylands House; gaining a new insight into our past at our History Books Day at Layer Marney Tower and enjoying all things crime-writing at our Criminally Good Day in Harwich.

Get a flavour of this year’s festival by taking a look at the photo album.

Essex Book Festival 2023

1st June – 1st July 2023

Over 100 events took place in over 40 venues across Essex. Jam-packed with author talks and conversations, writing workshops and writers’ slam, photography and art exhibitions, poetry and performances, eco-crafts and mud kitchen, plus so much more. Take a look at the photos from events you attended or see what you missed.

Human Library – unJudge Someone

Saturday 1st July 2023, Chelmsford Library

In partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Essex Libraries

Just like in a real library, a visitor to the Human Library can borrow a book from a range of titles. The difference is that books are People, and reading is a Conversation. Books at our Human Library came from all walks of life, and each had a different story to tell. It was a day of connecting with people we wouldn’t normally meet, and celebrating positive differences in our community.

Wonderful, thought-provoking, intensely moving

Visitor to the Human Library

Midsummer Madness 2023

Sunday 25th June 2023, Cressing Temple Barns

What a magical time we had at our Midsummer Madness Family Fun Day at Cressing Temple Barns. From legendary author and performance poet, John Agard and Ensonglopedia’s musical comedy The Puddle at the End of the World to a Mud Kitchen, Forest Skills workshop, Foraging Crafts, creative workshops, eco-crafts and a Comic Art Masterclass plus storytelling galore. Thank you to Nick Ilott for taking photos and capturing the wonder that was Midsummer Madness.

Stand Up for Diversity

Thursday 8th June 2023, Gibberd Gallery Harlow

In partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project

An evening of three-minute mini-talks and soap-box shout-outs to put a spotlight on diversity. For this event Essex Book Festival and Essex Cultural Diversity Project teamed up with Harlow Arts Trust in their 70th anniversary year, to bring people together and champion diversity on the theme of Our Community, Our Environment.

Essex Book Festival 2022