Essex Writers House 2018

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As part of the March 2018 Essex Book Festival, Metal transformed Chalkwell Hall into a Pop-Up Essex Writers House for the whole month.

We embarked on the project to create a space and a set of events that were for writers, by writers and celebrating writers, working in all genres.

Conceived as curated programme but also partly as a campaign for better support and more visibility for the writers and literary life of Essex – events across the month included:-

  • 29 days
  • 40 events
  • 1000+ audiences
  • 150 participants – taking part in writing courses, book clubs and workshops
  • 153 writers & artists – reading their work, taking part in programme and accessing opportunities
  • 2 International writers-in-residence
  • 4 UK writers-in-residence
  • 12 writers taking part in an intensive, week-long LAB
  • A lively writers café and bar for events and conversation
  • Writing Hot Desks with stunning Thames Estuary views
  • A daily 1pm Open Mic read


Such was the energy in the house, with writers loving the atmosphere and opportunities to talk, collaborate and share info we are continuing to pursue the idea of finding a home for a permanent Essex Writers House.

See here and here for just two examples of blogs written and shared by writers during the month – and see our film and images below for more information.

You can have your say online too – by filling in our What Writers Want Questionnaire. Just follow the link.

For details about the full programme of the Pop Up Essex Writers House which ran from 1st to 29th March 2018 and all the artists involved, please follow the link.

Watch this space for progress and sign up to receive our e-newsletters (from our home page), if you would like to be kept in touch the Essex Writers House and other Metal activities and events.




Sumana reading Book Club Discussion 1 Big Book Club Get Together 2 Agneszskia Studinska Reading 1pm read Kirsten Downer 1pm read Angela Smith 2 1pm read - Lillith Freeman 1pm read - james and peter

Culture LAB Essex Writers Culture LAB Essex Writers 1

Slam Poetry 3

Margaret Bateson-Hill 2

Alex Milway 2 Alex Milway 1

daryl book launch 4

daryl book launch


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