In partnership with Essex Book Festival, we are bringing you a range of inspiring online and uplifting outdoor events and opportunities to raise the spirits and reconnect through writing and words. Events for anyone interested in writing – from those who are just starting out, to established authors. Anchored to Metal’s HQ, the grade II listed Chalkwell Hall in Chalkwell Park – Essex Writers’ House is an opportunity to meet new people, share ideas, get inspired and explore the power of creative writing on the road to recovery.
Enjoy a cuppa at Metal’s pop-up Cafe Valise on the veranda of the grade II listed Chalkwell Hall and be inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Chalkwell Park whilst you write your novel, do your homework or share your ideas. From Voltaire to Hemingway and Sue Townsend to JK Rowling writers have a long tradition of writing and observing life from cafés and bars.
Metal’s writers’ Hot Desks are back by popular demand and with additional slots and social distancing protocols. Two FREE hot desks will be available from Weds – Sat, with inspiring Thames Estuary views, access to a kitchen and park on your doorstep. We have named these desks after two great Essex writers who were inspired by the Essex landscapes – Beth Chatto and H.H Abbot.
The Writers Desks are available from 10.30am – 5.30pm.
If you’re a weekend writer, check out the 2pm Weekend Read.
(BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!)
Please note – we are restricting bookings to a maximum of two days per writer, to ensure that the opportunity is afforded to as many writers as possible!
There will be an opportunity at 2pm on Saturdays from our veranda at Cafe Valise for people to read, share and perform short works. Open to anyone who wants to try something out in an informal setting.
Have you missed the great outdoors?! Then join us for a free guided tour of site-specific digital artworks using our Netpark apps. 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. Let technology bring you closer to nature.
All tours are free, family friendly and last up to an hour.
Discover more at www.Netpark.zone
Essex Writers’ House in partnership with English PEN as part of their centenary celebrations are delighted to announce a one month remote residency for a writer based in Essex.
The Essex Writers House residency is an open opportunity for writers’ working in any genre and at any stage of their career. It’s offered as a chance to take time out to explore ideas and develop work with the support of the team at Metal and English PEN. As part of the residency we would like you to create one new piece of writing which can be shared with audiences.
The selection process is favourable to writers looking to develop their work, with a specific idea or project to explore. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from Essex writers with an interest in freedom of expression, protest, rebellion, solidarity and radical ideas, from diverse backgrounds, with unique personal perspectives to offer.
What is the offer?
This month-long remote residency allows you to continue to work from your own home but access the staff support, networks and resources available from Metal. It will involve weekly remote meetings with the Metal and English PEN teams.
There is an opportunity to share your work on the Instagram Live at the end of the residency and make a contribution to a Young Writers LAB in August. The residency has a fee of £2000 payable in two parts.
Selection will be by a team from Metal and English PEN
The estuary coastline as a continuous walk was originally described by writer and avid walker, Tom King, in his book Thames Estuary Trail: A walk round the end of the world in 2001. The book celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Estuary 2021 will publish the second edition of the book with a new introduction and additional chapters that extend and update the walk to create 107 miles of estuary landscape and adventures to discover. Along the trail, the festival is presenting over 50 artworks and events, inviting audiences to explore new perspectives on well-known estuary landmarks and some of the lesser known estuary environments.
For more information on dates and times, be sure to visit www.estuaryfestival.com
Sutton Manor is one of the oldest houses in Southend. It sits, just out of reach behind a perimeter fence for the MOD and little is known about this architectural gem. Estuary 2021 in partnership with Essex Book Festival, has commissioned four contemporary writers, Amina Atiq, Season Butler, Alison Moore and Martha Pailing to create new work in response to this intriguing estuary site and history.
The resulting works in poetry and prose, bring the house to life with metaphor and implied meaning. Accompanied by text that shares the known facts written by historian Judith Williams (Shoeburyness: A History, 2006; Voices of Shoeburyness, 2010).
A FREE limited edition, printed booklet will be available during the festival from www.estuaryfestival.com with a small fee to cover postage and packing.
Hosted by curator Gareth Evans, this online event brings together Amina Atiq, Season Butler, Alison Moore and Martha Pailing to read from their work, discuss their approaches to the commission and share their impressions of the distant and removed Sutton Manor. It will be hosted from our Live Programme page on www.estuaryfestival.com
Fens, Forests and Fields : In conversation with Ken Worpole
Fens, Forests and Fields is an astonishing new book about a landscape in Essex that time forgot: the Land of the Fanns. In this talk, one of its authors, Ken Worpole, will discuss what he discovered on his journeys through ‘the Fanns’, exploring the ebb and flow between London and Essex that has created this liminal landscape. In such a complex border country there are still to be discovered secret gardens and enchanted forests to amaze and delight.
With words and photographs Ken will conjure up a hidden landscape which has much to offer those wanting to walk and cycle during lockdown – and into a different future.
Join Ken Worpole on a gentle cycle across ‘the Fanns’, exploring hidden gems and local
stories that uncover the history of this unique landscape.
Starting and finishing in Rainham, a maximum of 12 miles.
(LIMITED AVAILABILITY DUE TO COVID REGULATIONS)
Inspired by the Estuary 2021 project, The Water Replies, which saw beautiful journals created by people living along both sides of the estuary during 2020, this workshop will take you on a journey exploring the art of journaling through creative wellbeing exercises and fast-paced poetry.
Led by art psychotherapist and Netpark Wellbeing facilitator Emma Mills and spoken word artist Simone Yasmin, this workshop is open to complete beginners and seasoned journalers, offering a fun, relaxed and supportive online session. With time for journal sharing and chatting too!
Join local writer Daniel Kramb for a walk by the beach and a swim (for those who fancy it), followed by a poetry writing session in Chalkwell Park. ‘Little Estuaries’ are Haiku-like, but not quite; short estuary-shaped pieces of six lines each, rooted in the landscape and inspired by the coming and the going of the sea – but taking the writer wherever they want to go with it. Fancy making some your own?
Daniel Kramb is the author of the novels Central, From Here and Dark Times; and the poetry booklet Timid Takes. Look at Us is a play collaboration with JJ Bola. He lives in Westcliff-on-Sea.www.danielkramb.com
(LIMITED AVAILABILITY DUE TO COVID REGULATIONS)
More info coming soon!
“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library” – Albert Einstein
Do you love libraries? Do you feel they are an important community resource? Has the library been important in your life? Join this celeration and show your appreciation for the amazing people that run our libraries. Hear some amazing stories & anecdotes from our library teams and listen to people including Essex writers read love letters of gratitude to them.
Featured writers include:
Charles McDonagh-White is a writer and poet based in Southend. His work has featured in print, online and in film. He completed a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester and is currently working on his first novel.
Situated Practice: a one day creative writing course relating to place and our sense of space, hosted by celebrated Novelist Lee Rourke. The workshop will focus on writing techniques to help evoke an unmistakable sense of place, paying attention to people, atmosphere, soundscape and landscape.
Lee Rourke is the author of the short story collection EVERYDAY, the novels THE CANAL (winner of the Guardian‘s Not The Booker Prize), VULGAR THINGS (‘poignant and unsettling’ – Eimear McBride), and most recently GLITCH (‘a wise and tender novel’ – The Guardian), as well as the poetry collections VANTABLACK and VARROA DESTRUCTOR. He also contributed to the acclaimed KNOW YOUR PLACE essay anthology – a ground-breaking collection of essays about being Working-Class. He has also taught Creative Writing at Middlesex University and the University of East London. His debut novel The Canal is to be made into a film by StoryHouse Productions. He lives in Leigh-0n-Sea.
This course may revert to an in person workshop if conditions allow.
Would you benefit from some expert help in developing a piece of writing? Would you like some dedicated time with two professional writers? These surgeries, with Create 98’s resident screenwriter and award winning novelist Richard Kurti and historical fiction novelist Sam Lierens aka Lizzie Page, will be invaluable for anyone working on a specific writing project.
Send us your creative writing for honest feedback, honing and editing, ideas of how to improve the work and how and where to push it forwards:
Please complete this form and attach your document by 15 June 2021
Once submitted we will arrange a one-hour, in-depth critiquing session with your two “surgeons” in the summer over Zoom or, lockdown permitting, at Metal, Chalkwell Hall. NB : We can help with non-fiction, stage play and experimental but please be aware, they’re not our specialties.
A one day writing course.
Don’t know how to get started?
Getting going on that first writing project can be difficult, so Create98 resident screenwriter Richard Kurti and novelist Samantha Lierens are here to take you through the various ways to overcome the blank page. Are you a planner or a dreamer? Are you led by interesting characters or pulled in by a dynamic plot or compelling theme? There are many different approaches to writing, we can help untangle them and find a way-in just right for you.
Ticket Cost: £10 including a signed copy of Vampirates: Demon of the Seas
Ticket available to include all 6 Books in series : £42
The year is 2512. The oceans have risen. A new dawn of piracy has begun.
First published in 2005, the Vampirates books were instant international bestsellers. Now given a new drop of life by UCLan Publishing, with new content, artwork and a fresh sensitivity read, this white-knuckle series is ready for a new generation of young readers.
Filled with romance, action and drama Vampirates starts with twins Grace and Connor who become separated at sea and are rescued by two very different ships. But where Connor finds himself in the hands of pirates eager to train a new recruit, Grace finds herself aboard a ship with a very unusual crew, who are waiting for the sun to set before deciding her fate…
We are so excited to be joined by author Justin Somper for his thoughts on this exhilarating series of books, beloved by everyone who has read them.
“A swaggering tale of excitement and adventure that thrills from the very first sentence.” Cressida Cowell (Children’s Laureate and author of How to Train Your Dragon)
In partnership with English PEN and as part of Essex Writers’ House 2021, 10 young writers are invited to join this week-long writing LAB inspired by protest & freedom of expression.
This remote writing LAB is designed for emerging & early career writers aged 18 – 25 years based in Essex working in any genre. The online LAB is designed to provide a peer-to-peer environment for an intensive period of development of your writing practice.
Exploring how freedom of expression, rebelion, protest and activism impact the work of writers you will have the opportunity to share ideas and hear from established writers to inspire your own work.
The LAB will run online and will include: –
Guest contributions from writers/poets/journalists including:
Writer Marina Warner will be ‘in-conversation’ with artist Sophie Herxheimer exploring her new book ‘Inventory of a Life Mislaid’. A luminous memoir of post-war childhood, adventure, loss, and the banks of the Nile. Inventory of a Life Mislaid follows Marina Warner’s beautiful, penniless young mother Ilia as she leaves southern Italy in 1945 to travel alone to London. Conversation chaired by Ros Green Director of Essex Book Festival.
Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols and fairytales https://www.marinawarner.com/
Sophie Herxheimer is an award winning artist and poet whose papercut vignettes are featured throughout INVENTORY OF A LIFE MISLAID. Her collection Velkom to Inklandt (Short Books 2017) was The Observer’s poetry book of the month. Her next collection is INDEX, 78 collage poems, published as a pack of prophetic playing cards by experimental press, zimZalla.
As part of our partnership with English PEN for Common Currency we will be welcoming Palestinian writer Adania Shibli for the month of August. Adania Shibli has twice been awarded with the Qattan Young Writer’s Award-Palestine in 2001 for her novel Masaas and in 2003 for her novel Kulluna Ba’id bethat al Miqdar aan el-Hub. Her latest novel is Tafsil Thanawi (Minor Detail, Beirut: Al-Adab,). Amongst her non-fiction books are, the art book Dispositions (Ramallah: Qattan), and an edited collection of essays A Journey of Ideas Across: In Dialog with Edward Said, (Berlin: HKW). Alongside her writing, Shibli is engaged in academic research, and since 2013 she has been teaching part-time at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural studies, Birzeit University, Palestine.
This residency is made possible through the support of the British Council and Arts Council England (TBC)
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