Essex Book Festival launched

PUBLISHED: 09:55 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:09 30 May 2010

Joan Bakewell will be discussing her novel at Felsted School on March 6 as part of the Essex Book Festival (submitted)

Joan Bakewell will be discussing her novel at Felsted School on March 6 as part of the Essex Book Festival (submitted)

THE Essex Book Festival will celebrate its tenth birthday in 2009, and a host of writers are getting ready to appear at local venues. The fun kicks off on March 6 when Joan Bakewell, one of Britain s most influential journalists, will be at Grignon Hall, Fe

THE Essex Book Festival will celebrate its tenth birthday in 2009, and a host of writers are getting ready to appear at local venues.

The fun kicks off on March 6 when Joan Bakewell, one of Britain's most influential journalists, will be at Grignon Hall, Felsted School.

She will be discussing her first novel, All the Nice Girls, a sweeping story of love and loss, in which wartime events of 1942 reverberate to the next generation.

The event begins at 7.30pm, tickets cost £10/£8.

Next up on March 10, Essex journalists, writers and biographers Francis Wheen and Simon Heffer will be in conversation about writing biography and the challenges in brining subject matter to life.

The pair will be visiting Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre, Parsonage Downs, Great Dunmow at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6.50/£4.50.

Finally, on March 26, Angie Butcher will be at Dourdan Pavilion, Recreation Ground, The Causeway, Great Dunmow, who will be talking about how to recognise the symptoms of depression and how to cope with it. The event starts at 2pm, tickets are £4/£3.

The festival, which promises to be bigger and better this year, is managed by Essex County Council Libraries and can boast Germaine Greer, Francis Wheen, Barbara Erskine and Sylvia Kent as patrons.

Big names taking part this year include author Louis de Bernieres, Lovejoy author Jonathan Gash and politician and journalist Roy Hattersley and popular historian Alison Weir.

Cllr David Finch, Essex County Council cabinet member for adults, health and community wellbeing, said: "The Essex Book Festival has surpassed itself yet again. The line up for 2009 is spectacular, as befits the tenth anniversary year, and the marvellous reputation of the event has meant, once again, we will be graced by a number of very well-known and inspiring writers.

"But it is not just the big names we attract that make this festival unique. It is the involvement with local writing and book groups across the county and the way the content spans such a wide and diverse area. This really is a treat for book lovers, whatever their interests, and I have no doubt that tickets will once again sell out fast."

Tickets for all events can be bought from the box office from Monday (January 5) by calling 01206 573948, or by visiting www.essexbookfestival.org.uk.

For general enquiries about the festival, email answers.direct@essex.gov.uk or call 0845 603 7628.

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