Friday, December 8, 2017

Festivals and Workshops: Essex Book Festival

Welcome to Elaine Roberts with another in her interesting series about literary festivals and workshops.
This month I have interviewed Rosalind Green from the Essex Book Festival. Welcome to the RNA blog Rosalind.

Can you tell us something about your festival, how it came about and how long its been running?

Essex Book Festival has been running for 20 years. Initially Essex Libraries ran it, now it is an independent charity based in the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Essex in Colchester.

Syd Moore speaking at Colchester Castle

Who are your main speakers this year?

Oh, that’s a secret! We don’t announce our line up until early January. However, I can say that we have a strong emphasis on fantasy and fiction for 2018.

As our blog is for writers can you tell me how your festival would benefit our members?

Supporting new and emerging writers is one of our key aims. And, as such, we host a number of creative writing workshops across the county. Next year we are delighted, amongst others, to be running a Writing for Radio Workshop led by leading Radio 4 dramatist Robin Brooks and our first Sci-fi Writing Workshop in Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker led by Matthew De Abaitu. Plus a Beginner’s Crime Writing Workshop led by Nicola Upsom. Tickets go on sale in January – our advice is to get in quick.

Essex Book Festival

Is there anything to enter (maybe a writing competition), if so could details be provided?

We are in the process of planning next year’s writing competition. Information will be posted on our website in due course.

How about staying over for the whole event. Where can people stay?

Essex Book Festival takes place in 45 venues across Essex across one month so it is difficult to be specific about places to say. One thing we would recommend is booking into the Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend-on-Sea for our annual Golden Age of Crime Weekend, one of our festival favourites and the location of Nicola Upsom’s writing workshop.

Liz Trenow at Essex Book Festival

What does it cost to attend?

£7 / £5 concessions (under 27 yrs old)

Do workshops/talks fill up quickly?

Very quickly!

How much time does it take to organise the festival?

We work on the Festival all year round.

Dates for 2018: 28th February- 31st March

Link to website:

Email for queries:

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me and I wish the festival every success.

Elaine is a member of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and is currently working on a family saga. She has sold short stories worldwide and enjoys attending RNA events such as the London Chapter and our annual conference. Elaine is a great fan of writing retreats either week long by the sea with friends or one-day retreats with fellow writers in her hometown of Dartford. Elaine runs a writing blog along with writer, Francesca Capaldi Burgess called WriteMindWritePlace.

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