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Essex Book Festival Saturday 11th June 2022

High House Production Park, Purfleet-on-Thames, Essex

Essex Book Festival will be taking place in 35 venues across Essex throughout June. Our venues include a Napoleonic Fort, a Foot Ferry, a Tudor Palace, a bespoke Orangutan Nest, a Banqueting Hall, Corringham and Gray’s Libraries [2 of 18 libraries countywide hosting author events], Harwich Palace Electric Cinema, a slice of Epping Forest, a Baptist Church, a redundant Anglican Church, two of the world’s oldest oak barns, High House Production Park, plus a Pleasure Garden in full bloom, to name but a few…

Participating artists/writers include Justin Webb, co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme; award-winning international comedian Rosie Wilby; Guardian writer John Crace, leading novelists Patrick Gale, Edward Carey, Mark Billingham, Dreda Say Mitchell, Ellie Griffiths and Maggie Gee. Jason Cowley, editor-in-chief of New Statesman, award- winning mythographer, novelist and historian Marina Warner, and ‘national treasure’ international artist Maggi Hambling … To find out more go to www.essexbookfestival.org.uk


Essex Book Festival is hosting a very special 1-day event – it’s first Criminally Good Day at High House Production Park – on Saturday 11th June in partnership with multiple local organisations, including Kinetika, The Backstage Centre, Thurrock Council, High House Purfleet-on-Thames Community Group, amongst others.

With fantastic storytelling, fascinating author events & writing workshops for all ages; free family arts & crafts; a Jubilee flag procession led by Kinetika; Midnight Robber, the giant skeleton puppet, on the loose; the chance to Help Solve the World’s Worst Crime: Climate Change in our new Earthlings Tent; live podcasting with crime-writers Holly Seddon & Fiona Cummins; plus a Great Big Book Giveaway organised by High House Purfleet-on-Thames Community Group and Thurrock Libraries, we know that it’s going to a Criminally Good Day for everyone who comes along.

Why not make a day of it? Pack a picnic and a blanket, and stake your place in The Orchard. With many events free, and the added bonus of free car-parking, what’s not to like!



We are thrilled to be welcoming a fabulous range of new and established crime-writers to Thurrock.
Our ‘takeover’ of the barns includes events with the following authors:

11am [12pm]Fiona Cummins and Holly Seddon In Conversation

Thriller writer Holly Seddon will be talking to Fiona Cummins about writing dangerously dark fiction that still has heart, plotting twists that will make readers gasp, and finding fresh ways to kill people … in a strictly literary sense. Tickets £10/£8 www.essexbookfestival.org.uk

1.30pm [2.30pm] JA Corrigan and Sarah Linley – The Bad Sister and The Wedding Murders

Hear from two exciting new crime fiction writers as they discuss their gripping new novels. From the best-selling author of The Nurse, comes a tense emotional psychological thriller with an unforgettable ending. J A Corrigan’s The Bad Sister is a compelling page-turned abot the secrets families keep that you won’t be able to put down. While Sarah Linley’s second novel, The Wedding Murders, is perfect escapist reading. Tickets £10/£8 www.essexbookfestival.org.uk

3.30pm [4.30pm] Dreda Say Mitchell – Say Her Name

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning and best-selling author. She has collaborated with Ryan Carter, co-author of Say Her Name, on her last 5 books. At the heart of their latest chilling thriller are the cases of missing Black women that are frequently left without investigation and which are ignored by the media. Tickets £10/£8 www.essexbookfestival.org.uk

We have 3 excellent writing workshops for adults, and a further 3 storytelling and writing workshops for children of all ages taking place in the barns.

These include best-selling Essex author Syd Moore explaining How to Build a Baddie, and children’s author Emily Kenny sharing insights into Heroes and Villains – how you create a hero who keeps readers on the edge of their seats. More information about these and the other workshops can be found here: www.essexbookfestival.org.uk

Adult workshops are £20/£15 per person, children’s workshops are FREE


The Orchard will be fit to burst with a whole host of free activities. This includes our Storytelling Armchair and its rolling programme of storytellers.

You will also find our Earthlings Tent tucked away in The Orchard which will be decked out by local children. In here, award-winning children’s author Ray Star, and environmentalist artist & composer Lily Hunter Green will be running a series of free drop-in fun eco-activities for all ages.

We will also be recycling our old festival brochures into seedlings pots in our Earthlings Tent in our quest to plant one thousand sunflower seeds over the course of the festival to show solidarity with Ukraine, and wild bumble bees who pollinate sunflowers and are under threat due to Climate Change. Plus turning plastic water bottles and bags into giant jelly fish – please bring fresh supplies if you can!

With Midnight Robber on the loose, Kinetika’s Jubilee procession, followed by the opportunity to have a look inside Kinetika’s inspirational flag-making studio; The Great Big Book Giveaway offering a fabulous range of free books, and more things adding to the mix all the time, the message is simple, come along and join in the fun.

In the words of Festival Director Ros Green:

“When someone asked me to sum up this year’s festival in one word, I found myself instantly saying “fun”. Normally I’d struggle to be so succinct but when we starting planning for 2022, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted. It’s been a difficult last two years. We all need some laughter and sunshine, some excellent storytelling and exciting new conversations. And most important, to support each other through this challenging time.”

Essex Book Festival is an independent charity based in The Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Essex. It is supported by Arts Council England, Thurrock Council, Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council and University of Essex.

For more information regarding the festival programme, and/or to organise interviews, access images etc, please email ros@essexbookfestival.org.uk

Please find the Digital Programme here: www.essexbookfestival.org.uk