Event category: Conferences

Essex Book Festival: PLACE Weekend

Join us for a fun and thought-provoking weekend of author events, debates, workshops and storytelling in Colchester.

With Sunday Times’ best-selling author Simon Scarrow pondering on what the Romans would have made of Brexit, Drag Queen Bunny Galore’s spot in our Pop-Up Storytelling Armchair, writer Tim Burrow’s contemplation on ‘The Meaning of ‘Essex”, and author Bridget Collins’ hugely entertaining gothic tale The Binding, this year’s PLACE weekend promises to be a rich blend of fact, fantasy and fabula.

We also have our very first Essex Book Festival Human Library – where BOOKS are PEOPLE, and READING is a CONVERSATION. Come along, choose a book, and enjoy an experience that promises to stimulate and challenge.

For our Young Essex Day on Saturday 23 March, families an have a fabulous day out exploring place, identity, history and heritage through books, reading, writing and storytelling. Our Pop-Up Storytelling Armchair is back; there’ll be bookmaking, writing workshops, origami boatbuilding and Chinese calligraphy as part of The Mothership Project, when children in Essex will be exchanging messages of love and friendship with children in China.

More info: https://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/place-weekend/



Jennifer Lucy Allan & Luke Turner ‘Leaves / Waves’, Essex Book Festival’s PLACE Weekend, Firstsite, Colchester

For the final River Stour Festival talk, Jennifer Allan explores the cultural history of the foghorn, while Luke Turner reads from Out of the Woods, his memoir exploring sexuality and the strange woodland of Epping Forest. This is followed by a reading from Leaves/Waves, a collaborative text that riffs on the sea, the land and the coast in between.

This event is part of Essex Book Festival’s PLACE weekend, taking place at Firstsite in Colchester on Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 March. More info: https://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/jennifer-allan-luke-turner/

Tim Burrows ‘The Meaning of Essex’ talk at Essex Book Festival’s PLACE weekend, Firstsite, Colchester

In the second talk on Sunday 24 March as part of PLACE weekend at the Essex Book Festival, Tim Burrows unpicks the competing narratives about the county everyone thinks they know, from Sabine Baring-Gould’s distaste at the illiterate peasants of Mersea, to the days Margaret Thatcher lived in Manningtree. He asks just how real a historical figure the Essex stereotype is, why it matters, and what makes it endure. More info: https://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/tim-burrows/

Ken Worpole ‘Brightening from the East: Radical Communities on the River Stour’, Talk at Essex Book Festival’s PLACE Weekend

The first of three talks programmed in partnership with the Essex Book Festival. Writer and social historian Ken Worpole focuses on ‘back to the land’ and utopian experiments in North East Essex, including the Adelphi Centre, Frating Hall Farm, the Othona Community and Ardleigh. Part of Radical ESSEX an anthology accompanying a project re-examining the county in reation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture.

This event is part of Essex Book Festival’s PLACE weekend, taking place at Firstsite in Colchester on Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 March. More info: https://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/ken-worpole/


Dedham Vale & Stour Valley Forum

A themed conference event on ‘Outstanding Landscapes and Natural Beauty’, open to all. This annual event is led by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to inform and engage people of the Stour Valley in discussions on issues around ongoing conservation and enhancement of the designated landscape. There will be site visits in the afternoon, after lunch. Further information and booking will be available here nearer the time


Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Forum Conference

The annual Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) conference celebrates the outstanding landscapes of the Stour Valley, highlighting projects undertaken by the AONB and partner organisations, with speakers and presentation on the national and local perspective of the protected landscape.