Essex Book Festival goes out with a bang

ESSEX County Council s Essex Book Festival has wrapped up for its 11th year following a succession of best-selling authors, sell-out events and thought-provoking debates. Over 5000 people attended 60 events taking place in venues across Essex.

ESSEX County Council's Essex Book Festival has wrapped up for its 11th year following a succession of best-selling authors, sell-out events and thought-provoking debates.

Over 5000 people attended 60 events taking place in venues across Essex.

This year's festival provided a diverse programme of themes and genres which ranged from Alastair Campbell on mental health, to Germaine Greer, Sarfraz Manzoor and Colin Riordan Vice Chancellor of University of Essex discussing identity, migration and diversity as part of a wider Explore Culture: One World cultural programme.

Participating best-selling authors included Margaret Drabble, Rose Tremain, Penelope Lively, Alexander McCall Smith, Mike Gayle, Joanne Harris, Barbara Erskine, Sadie and Melissa Jones, and Reggie Perrin creator David Nobbs.


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The festival also saw top names including BBC news presenter George Alagiah, journalist Francis Wheen, and poets Andrew Motion and Martin Newell take to the stage in the county.

This year, Essex's reading groups also championed events with Dutch writers Tommy Weiringa and Otto de Kat, as well as supporting new writers.

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Cabinet Member for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, county councilor Jeremy Lucas, said: "The Essex Book Festival has once again raised the bar to provide an excellent and extensive line-up, providing the unique opportunity for residents to enjoy a best-selling author or speaker right on their doorstep.

"The festival is truly one of a kind. It's not just the big names we attract that make it unique, it celebrates Essex-based and global authors, introduces new genres such as comic books and graphic novels, sparks debate and provides a forum for inspirational speakers, all in a variety of locations to reach even the county's most rural locations.

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