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Essex Book Festival 2018

19 February 2018

Book worms, culture vultures and people who like a laugh are in for a treat as the Essex Book Festival descends on the county’s libraries next month.

Established by Essex County Council in 1999, the Essex Book Festival has gone from strength to strength and is now run by a charitable trust kindly based within the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Essex in Colchester, one of the festival's key partners. 

This year’s month-long festival throughout March will be launched by Essex’s own singer, songwriter and activist Billy Bragg, with more than 100 events for people of all ages descending on libraries, theatres, hotels and lecture halls.

The box office is open so book early to avoid disappointment as some events will sell out quickly, such as the Bard of Essex’s opening event at Anglia Ruskin University on 28 February.

There are 21 events at 18 libraries, ranging from talks by Sally Magnusson, bestselling author and broadcaster, and Jane Harris, award-winning author of Sugar Money set in 18th century Caribbean, to popular crime author Elly Griffiths, and a fun event studying the ever popular radio soap opera The Archers.

The Essex Book Festival brochure is available on the festival website or from libraries countywide.

Bookings can be made online, in person at the Mercury Theatre Box Office in Colchester or by phone or you can buy tickets for library events in person at the individual library.

However, some events have different box offices and booking lines, so please check the festival website for details. 

Cllr Susan Barker, the Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, said: “We are extremely proud to have played such a key role in the book festival’s success, which is why Essex Libraries are hosting 21 events this year.

“From children’s storytelling and discussions with debut and best-selling authors, to the exciting Essex Authors Day at Chelmsford Library, there is something for everyone.” 

Festival Director Ros Green added: “2018 is limbering up to be an exciting year for the Essex Book Festival with an exciting range of events taking place in over 40 venues across the county. 

“There are three new venues: Chalkwell Hall, our Pop Up Writer's House in Southend, Jaywick Martello Tower, and the fascinating Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker where we have a number of delectable author events, workshops, panel discussions, performances and film screenings on offer. Essex Book Festival is for everyone, so come along and join in the fun.”

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