Essex Book Festival 2023 arrives in June

  • Date

    Thu 25 May 23

Essex Book Festival cover showing an illustration of people reading

Discover amazing writers, brilliant ideas and startling books at Essex Book Festival 2023 in June. The month long celebration is packed full of events with many involving writers with links to the University of Essex.

Professor Jules Pretty will be chairing events with Hannah Rudd at Harwich Museum on Saturday 3 June; Henry Dimbleby at Hylands House in Chelmsford on Sunday 18 June; and Madeleine Bunting at Frinton Library on Wednesday 14 June.

Professor Pretty is Chair of the Essex Climate Action Group and Chair of the Essex Renewal Commission and the events will touch on issues relevant to both these roles. Hannah and Henry's events will touch on the impact of climate change, while Madeleine's is focussed on the decline of the English seaside and deprivation in coastal communities.

Professor Pretty is also part of the Hope Tales 3 event at Firstsite on Saturday 24 June with Andrew Simms and Nicky Saunter, an afternoon of collaborative performance, readings, music and poetry to generate hope in times of crisis.

Author, poet and songwriter Professor Adrian May’s latest book, Boot Sale Harvest, describes a year of going to boot sales with a wide and witty range of musings and purchases. He will be taking people on a stroll round Colchester Car Boot Sale on Sunday 4 June.

While on Sunday June 18, Dr James Canton is talking about his latest book Grounded at Hylands House in Chelmsford.

Then as the Festival reaches its climax Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting is talking to Professor Pam Cox about his book One Boy, Two Bills and a Fry Up at the Lakeside Theatre on our Colchester Campus on Friday 30 June.

Former Royal Literary Fellow in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies Kate Worsley will be talking about Foxash, which is a Times Book of the Month and is set around Manningtree at Manningtree Library on Tuesday 27 June.

There are so many events to choose from. See the full listings on the Essex Book Festival website.

Other Festival highlights you might be interested in include Samuel Fisher hosting a writing workshop with fellow author Justin Hopper at Wivenhoe Library on Thursday 29 June. Samuel wrote 2022 novel Wivenhoe, set in - of course - Wivenhoe.

Ticket offer

Essex Book Festival have 10 pairs of free tickets available for University staff and students. for the following events:

  • Wes Streeting, Lakeside Theatre, Colchester Campus - Friday 30 Jun
  • James Canton, Hylands House in Chelmsford - Sunday June 18

Please email using a valid university email address, The tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.