We have started our 25th Anniversary with an absolute bang!

Not only did the inspirational Caroline Lucas MP join our introductory panel conversation at our 3rd Manifesto for Essex Youth Summit, which took place at Firstsite in Colchester as part of EA Sustain Festival, and which was attended by young people from across the county, we have launched a further two projects for 2024.

First up, is our Spoken Word Power Schools Project, which is taking place in six schools in Chelmsford. Spoken Word Power is a national project led by London-based Eastside Educational Trust that aims to build confidence for young people through poetry and performance.

Having worked with schools in Tendring and Canvey Island in 2022 and 2023 respectively, there is absolutely no doubt in our minds of the efficacy and value of this project. More information can be found at eastside.org.uk/spoken-word-power.

Next up, is our new Writing & Talking Saturday Club, which again is part of a national initiative based at Somerset House. Working in partnership with our host venue Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford campus), we are delighted to announce that fifteen lucky Year 9 and 10s will have the opportunity to take part in a series of fifteen free workshops.

Participants will explore a variety of writing forms from poetry, zine-making and blogging, through to creating their own podcast, visiting a local museum, and attending a Masterclass at The Royal Opera House in Convent Garden.

This includes taking part in the Grand Finale in July – a national exhibition at Somerset House, where they and fellow Saturday Clubbers from across the UK will be exhibiting work created during the workshops.

If you know someone who might like to be one of Saturday Clubbers, here’s the link. Remember we only have places for fifteen young people…

25th Edition

Work is well underway for This Land, the 25th Edition of Essex Book Festival.

We will be launching this year’s festival at the University of Essex on 1st June. With Sarah Perry talking about her new novel Enlightenment (already hailed as her best work to date), a Radical Essex Procession, led by 500 flag-bearers, onto campus; a variety of talks, performances, exhibitions and workshops, in the mix, it is going to be a very special day.

If you would like to be a volunteer/flag bearer on the day, let us know via hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk, and we’ll get you signed up at this end.