Essex Book Festival gets the go ahead for 2021

Essex Book Festival 2021: Local author Tom King will take part

Essex author Tom King will take part in Essex Book Festival 2021 - Credit: courtesy Essex Book Festival

Essex Book Festival 2021 has got the go ahead for this summer, running from June 6 until August 29 as a hybrid festival with both in-person and digital events

The programme, themed Words Matter, will feature some 200 speakers taking part in 100 events at 40 venues across Essex, from Jaywick Martello Tower to Talliston House & Gardens and Canvey Heights.

The digital launch event is not to be missed. We Need To Talk About Essex Girls will see three feisty and fearless women from Essex, Sarah Perry, Syd Moore and Sadie Hasler, will dismantle stereotypes and reshape expectations in a candid and comic discussion.

Essex Book Festival 2021 will also see the inaugural digital twinning with Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne, as well as conversations with ex-Director of GCHQ David Omand, who will be recounting the lessons learnt from a career in espionage; author and bassist of Suede Mat Osman talking about his new novel The Ruins; and Alison Weir discussing the history at the heart of her book, Katherine Parr, The Sixth Wife, taking place at Layer Marney Tower, one of Henry VIII’s favourite Tudor palaces.

There will also be eight intriguing artist-led walks, taking the festival to the great outdoors with hosts including Tom King, James Canton and Gillian Darley.

Called In My Steps: Radical Walks in Essex, the series will explore the likes of Canvey Island, Marks Hall Estate, St Peter on the Wall Church and The Witches Trail from Mistley to Manningtree, all interwoven with the history and politics of the county.

Plus, there will be the first ever Essex Book Camp. Hosted at Cressing Temple Barns - the erstwhile stronghold of the mysterious Knights Templar - the book camp will close the festival over August bank holiday weekend with family writing workshops, storytelling, dance, circus, live music and drop-in family yoga sessions.

'We are so excited about this year's extended hybrid Essex Book Festival,' said Ros Green, Festival Director. 'Not just because it's actually happening - a huge hurrah to that - but because of all the great new things in the mix.

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'Whether that's the inspired digital twinning between our Southend-based Pop Up Essex Writers House and kindred spirit Melbourne-based Emerging Writers Festival... or a walk on the wild side with our new series of In My Steps: Radical Walks in Essex.'

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