During this time we are also adopting an optional remote working policy for staff. We are exploring ways in which some of our programmes can temporarily be adapted to take place in a digital or remote space.
Please be assured we are working closely with partners to get a clearer position on longer term programme and activities and we will stay in regular touch as events unfold.
In the meantime, we fully support the position ACE has taken to best support the sector during these challenging and unprecedented times, which can be found here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news-and-announcements/coronavirus-information
We are reviewing the situation on a daily basis and will be in touch soon with further updates.
If you have any questions please do get in touch.
Wishing you all the very best.
We look forward to seeing you in the future, under safer and more certain circumstances.
Essex Writers House
Essex Writers House returns for the third year, with a month of events and opportunities as part of Essex Book Festival 2020. Metal is delighted to announce the continuation of the exciting partnership with Essex Book Festival, enabling us to transform Chalkwell Hall once again for the month of March.
Essex Book Festivals theme for 2020 is Brave New World, inspired by the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s departure for the New World in 1620, which originally set sail from Harwich. It also marks Essex Book Festival’s role as a creative hub for the county-wide celebration: Essex 2020: A Year of Science and Creativity. www.essex2020.com
Essex Writers House at Chalkwell Hall will include a range of events for anyone interested in writing – from those who are who are just starting out, to established authors.
This month is an opportunity to meet new people, share ideas and get inspired.
If you have any ideas please do get in touch.
At the weekend the ground floor of the Grade II listed Chalkwell Hall will become a Weekend Writers’ Café (open Saturdays & Sundays 11.30 – 15.30) where people can eat, read, swap books, have a coffee and write in the inspiring grounds of Chalkwell Park.
From Voltaire to Hemingway and Sue Townsend to JK Rowling writers have a long tradition of people watching, writing and observing life from cafés and bars. Come and enjoy a cuppa in our Pop-Up Writers Cafe, with Book Swap / Book Shop. There will be a Writers Quiet Room available for anyone to use during café opening hours if you want to work on your novel or just do your homework come and take a seat.
There will be an open mic opportunity at 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays in our Writers Cafe for people to read and perform short works, plus a Writers Quiet Room available for anyone to use during café opening hours.
Two FREE hot desks will be available each day, with inspiring Thames Estuary views, access to a kitchen and park on your doorstep.We have named these desks after two great writers who spent time writing in Essex and being inspired by the Essex landscapes – John Edgell Rickword and Margery Allingham.
The Writers Desks are available from 11am – 9pm. If you’re a weekend writer, check out the 2pm Weekend Read.
(1898 – 1982) War Poet & Journalist who was born in Colchester, Essex. He served in the British Army in WWI and became a war poet whose work exposed the horrors of life in the trenches. As a teenager he was converted to socialism by reading the works of William Morris, Jack London, Frank Norris, George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. Rickword was a member of the Labour Party for many years. However, in 1934, he decided to join the Communist Party of Great Britain. His two closest friends, Ernest Wishart and Douglas Garman, also joined. Along with Randall Swingler and Jack Lindsay he was considered as one of the most important intellectuals in the party.
(1904 – 1966) Crime Writer – one of the great crime writers from the ‘Golden Age of Detective Fiction’. She grew up near Colchester and later lived at D’Arcy House in the Essex village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, near Maldon. Famed for the creation of the gentleman sleuth Albert Campion. Campion was introduced in her first breakthrough novel The Crime at Black Dudley published in 1929 and went on to become the central figure in a series of successful novels.
Choose to stay from 2 – 8 MARCH OR 16 – 20 MARCH
Please note – you do not have to stay for the entire week if successful in applying.
This opportunity is for any Essex writer who would enjoy time and space to work on their writing.With free accessible onsite accommodation in the inspiring surroundings of Chalkwell Hall, at the centre of Chalkwell Park, Southend, SS0 8NB.
Residents can also take advantage of the Essex Writers House programme of talks and events, taking place throughout March.
We invite four writers to stay for one week.
– All levels of experience are welcome to apply.
– Writers must be aged 18 or over (graduates welcome).
– Writers must be based in Essex.
Should you have any questions, please contact
or call 01702 470 700
Metal have hosted artists of all disciplines in residence at Chalkwell Hall for the last ten years.
During March, the Essex Writers House will play host to writers-in residence, by working in partnership with English Pen www.englishpen.org/about
We look forward to welcoming writers from the UK and overseas.
Metal are delighted to announce that writer Amina Atiq will be in residence at Chalkwell Hall as part of the Essex Writers’ House in March.
Amina Atiq is a Yemeni- Scouse writer, a performance artist, facilitator and activist.
She will be working on a pamphlet to raise awareness and celebrate Yemeni women writers. Inspired by women’s poetry collection, ‘Scars Upon My heart’ written by women during the First World War, this personally driven project seeks to empower Yemeni women impacted by war.
“throughout history, male war poets are celebrated for their heroism, sacrifice and their voices are heard in the trenches, but the female voice is ignored”
To find out about our other residency schemes which run across the year, in all 3 Metal sites, visit our Time and Space Residency page here.
Would you like some dedicated one to one time with professional writers? Would you benefit from some expert help in developing a piece of writing?
These surgeries with Create 98’s resident screenwriter Richard Kurti, poet/editor Jen Feroze and novelist Sam Lierens, will be invaluable for anyone working on a specific writing project. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your work with an experienced professional and progress your writing.
Send us your creative writing for honest feedback, honing and editing, ideas of how to improve the work and push it forwards:
Once submitted you will be allocated your ‘surgeon’ who will arrange a one-hour, in-depth critiquing session in March at Metal, Chalkwell Hall.
NB. We can help with non-fiction, stage play and experimental but please be aware, they’re not our specialties.
Costs are £54 – £27 for critiquing the work & £27 for the one to one session.
Please complete this form and attach your document by 28 February 2020 – spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Join us for a free guided tour of site-specific digital artworks with a different app to explore each Saturday in March. You will be guided on our family friendly tour using our i-pads through the beautiful Chalkwell Park experiencing it in a whole new way.
All tours are free and family friendly.
Tours will start at 12.00 for up to an hour every Saturday in March
Come along to the first of our five FREE journaling workshops, this one led by visual artist Heidi Wigmore.
Pick up a journal, find inspiration, try new creative techniques, fill some pages and meet fellow ‘journalers’.
We invite anyone living along the Thames Estuary to keep a creative journal about life by the water. How you fill your journal is completely up to you! This opportunity is open to people of all ages and from all walks of life. All journals will be exhibited in a month-long exhibition, as part of the Estuary 2020 festival programme.
Book your free space now!
Tickets: FREE but booking essential – Book here.
Join us at Metal’s regular creative networking event Future Park, for an Essex Writers House special.
Hear from guest speaker Sadie Davidson, sharing her journey through poetry, with live performances and sharings on her latest project, The Write Track and enjoy a take-over of the 3 Minute Wonders, curated by The Pavilion Writers group, who meet regularly in Essex. We look forward to quick-fire sharings from some of Southend’s very own wordsmiths.
Finally, enjoy a quick-fire book quiz presented by the Bookshop Experience – with literary prizes to be won!
Tickets: FREE but booking essential – Book here.
We invite teachers from all subject areas to the first of our free CPD sessions which focus on contemporary poetry inspired by the Thames Estuary. These workshops designed and led by internationally-acclaimed poets Caroline Bird and Selina Nwulu will explore how poetry can be taught and utilised as a compelling resource within the curriculum and for wellbeing.
Tickets: FREE but booking essential – Book here.
Join us for an evening of fun, casual, but competitive poetry in which selected participants will have three minutes to deliver their poem on the theme of ‘Brave’.
Take part or join the audience to decide who wins. All proceeds will go towards ‘The Write Track’ – a creative writing and mentoring programme for disadvantaged and at – risk teens.’
The deadline is 5 March!
Join us at Essex Writers House for a daytime creative writing course with the support of celebrated author Lee Rourke.
Writing to evoke an unmistakable sense of place, paying attention to people, atmosphere, soundscape and landscape. With the celebrated author Lee Rourke, short-story collection Everyday, the novels The Canal (winner of the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2010), Vulgar Things, and the poetry collections Varroa Destructor and Vantablack. His latest novel Glitch is published by Dead Ink Books. His debut novel The Canal is being adapted to film by Storyhouse Productions, summer 2020.
This Must Be The Place are the team behind Sundown Arts, an arts organisation famed for showcasing spoken word. Previous artists featured at Sundown included John Hegley, Kate Tempest, Josie Long, Ed Harcourt, Frank Sidebottom, Jim Bob, Luke Wright, Pictish Trail, Isy Suttie, Sofie Hagen, the list goes on! They were also known for their popular spoken word open mic nights. In 2018 Sundown morphed into This Must Be The Place.
This Must Be The Place promises to give the same diversity and creative ethos; concentrating on the “passion behind the ideas”.
This Must Be The Place are excited to work with Essex Writers’ House in 2020, a chance to celebrate local writers coming together. It’s the perfect time to welcome back the team’s well-loved spoken word open mic event.
Whether you’re a known performer or you’d just like to have a go at sharing your writing with us, ALL are welcome, our audiences are warm and friendly and encouraging!
Sign up on the night with either Jo or Ray, we’ll then call your name at random, 10 mins max on the floor (so everyone gets a chance to read).
Our Little Busy Book Club is just like any other book club, except that it’s for children aged 3 – 4 years old (and their grown- ups). We read and share books and we explore the stories and characters in fun ways. There is a book to explore and lots of games and activities to play and do. This session is free, and the book will be on sale at a subsidised price of £6 for anyone who would like continue at home.
Come and join us for some picture book fun!
John Edgell Rickword is probably the most influential literary figure you have never heard of. Join us for a fascinating talk about the life and times of this radical Essex writer, a hidden gem of the county’s literary heritage. Born in Colchester in 1898, Rickword thrived on early socialist writers such as William Morris and Jack London before being thrown into the maelstrom of the First World War, serving on the Western Front.
His trench poetry dealt with the inhumanity of war and the love of his fellow soldiers in equal measure. This intriguing character went on to political activism against colonialism and imperialism and to become an influential critic of modernist poetry and writing.
He was a publisher in many spheres and made a major contributions in the culture wars against the growing threat of fascism.
Speaker: Local journalist and writer Brian Denny, author of The Definitive Strike – The Great 1919 Railway Strike
This event is supported by publishers Lawrence & Wishart.
Join the team of professional writers behind TSL who will be hosting a storytelling workshop supporting you to tell true stories from your life, inspired by the theme: “Lost and Found”. You will be invited to perform these tales later that day at TSL evening event. There is no audition process or strict set of criteria – you just have to have a story to tell, inspired by the theme.
Everyone is welcome to the workshop day and there will be tea, coffee and a well-deserved lunch.
True Stories Live is a lively, moving and unpredictable event where people tell true stories from their lives in front of a warm, supportive audience.
@_True_Stories @TrueStoriesLive @this.must.be @metalsouthend
Please note: Spaces for this workshop are limited.
True Stories Live is a lively, moving and unpredictable event where people tell true stories from their lives in front of a warm, supportive audience. There is no audition process or strict set of criteria – you just have to have a story to tell, inspired by the theme.
True Stories Live, based in Norwich, is coming to Metal Southend – invited by This Must Be The Place (the team behind Sundown Arts) to work together exclusively for Essex Writers’ House.
During the day, the team of professional writers behind TSL will be hosting a storytelling workshop and the attendees from this are invited to perform their tales later that evening at TSL: Lost and Found – with a few surprise guests!
If sharing your story isn’t for you, come down and join instead our fast-growing audience. In these uncertain times we believe more than ever in the power of community and empathy to galvanise and inspire.
This is going to be an exciting, unique night that Essex Writers’ House is proud to introduce and be part of. We’d love you to come and join us, support us and don’t miss out on this brilliant, one-off event!
“I CAME FOR THE FIRST TIME TO
TRUE STORIES LAST WEEK AND IT BLEW MY MIND!” – BERTHA
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