TOP international, national and local novelists, poets and writers will all be taking part in the 2012 Essex Book Festival in March.
Once again Thurrock is playing host to several events this year – in libraries, schools and arts venues.
Regular visitors to festival events may notice some exciting changes this year.
After 12 successful years as part of the county council’s library services, the festival has taken a new direction.
With support from the Arts Council England, Essex County Council and the University of Essex, it has become a registered charity overseen by a board of trustees.
Chairman of the new Essex Book Festival board, Seona Ford, said: “Whether you are new to the festival or one of its many loyal friends, we hope everyone will find an event to inform, inspire, or to just sit back and enjoy.”
There are three events in Thurrock this year.
Get a taste of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games when Paralympian Danny Crates visits Gable Hall School in Corringham on Monday, 5 March (7pm) and speaks about his journey to a gold medal. Tickets are available by phoning 01621 890153.
For young families (with children 18 months to four years) join author Seema Barker at Grays Library on Thursday, 22 March from 1.30pm to 2.30pm telling her tale of the mischievous “Tangle Fairy”. The event is free, but booking is essential and tickets are available from Grays Library on 01375 413976.
Finally, join writer, presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli for an entertaining “Chat Masala” at the Thameside Theatre, Grays on Thursday, 22 March (7.45pm). Combining his love of cooking and interviewing guests he cooks a curry which the audience might get the chance to sample. Tickets are available from the Thameside’s box office, 0845 300 5264.
Launched alongside the festival is a new scheme to encourage support and participation in it – the Friends of the Essex Book Festival. There are a number of ways you can support the festival and get involved. To find out more, visit www.essexbookfestival.org.uk
Pick up a copy of the Essex Book Festival brochure at your local library or visit www.essexbookfestival.org.uk for details of all the events across Essex and of how and where to book.