Essex Book Festival in Chalkwell Hall

February 17, 2020 by Noah Holland

Local organisation Metal are turning Chalkwell Hall into an event in order to host a range of events for any aspiring or already-established writers. This festival aims to be an “opportunity to meet new people, share ideas, and get inspired” according to Metal’s website. It is part of the Essex Book Festival, an effort across the county in March consisting of more than 100 events in over 40 venues.


As part of their partnership with Essex Book Festival 2020, Metal are hoping to be running the literature festival from 1st-31st March for the third year in a row.

The Writer’s House includes:

  • Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 to 15:30, the Weekend Writer’s Cafe will allow people to eat and drink while they read, share and write in Chalkwell’s hall and grounds. 

  • At 2pm there will be an opportunity to perform short works in an open-mic reading.

  • “Create 98” surgeries as people can take an hour of their time to have their work critiqued and evaluated by a professional screenwriter, author, or poet.

  • 2 “Writer’s Hot Desks” available from 11am-9pm, with a view to the park and Thames Estuary. The desks are named after two authors who spent much time inspired by Essex - the war poet John Edgell Rickword, and detective novelist Margery Allingham.

The theme of the event will be “Brave New Worlds”, as inspired by the departure of the Mayflower 400 years ago in 1620, with a discussion by author John King on the influence of dystopian literature, and a “True Stories Live Workshop” where individuals are encouraged to tell real stories from their lives relating to the theme.


Andrea Cummingham, the Assistant Regional Director of Metal Southend, states that “Essex Writers’ House is an opportunity for anyone interested in writing to nourish their curiosity in books, hone their writing skills and have the confidence to share ideas”.


If you wish to attend the Essex Writer’s House, or otherwise support Metal, you can visit their website here.


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