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Essex Book Festival Writing Opportunities!

22nd January 2018
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

As part of an exciting new partnership with Essex Book Festival, Metal is transforming Chalkwell Hall into a pop-up Essex Writers House for the whole month of March 2018 to host a wide range of literary events and activities.  Our aim is to provide development opportunities for writers working in all genres, whilst engaging with audiences of all ages.


The month will include talks and practical seminars by invited authors, poets, non-fiction writers, playwrights and screen writers.  There will be ‘open mic’ opportunities for new writers to read and perform short works.  Six guest writers-in-residence will stay across the month to develop new work and there will be a number of ‘hot desks’ with stunning Estuary views that can be booked by writers to work at (first come, first served – 2 days max).


The ground floor of the Grade II listed Hall will become a Writers Café, where people can eat, read, swap books, have a coffee and write in the inspiring grounds of Chalkwell Park. In the evenings the café will become a bar and play host to our programme of readings, events, Book Club gatherings – and even a literary pub quiz.


As part of the month, Metal will be hosting a week long, residential Culture LAB for Essex-based writers, working in any genre (fiction / non-fiction / poetry / playwright / screenwriter / graphic novels etc) which will take place from Monday 19 – Friday 23 March 2018.  The LAB is designed to provide a peer-to-peer environment for intensive development of participants writing practice.  This amazing opportunity includes talks and workshops with acclaimed international writers, Paavo Matsin (Estonia) and Agnieszka Studinska (Poland); one-to-one advice and tutorials; support from the Metal creative team; time and space to write and develop specific aspects of a current project – or create a new piece of writing; discussion and exchange of ideas and practice; the opportunity to meet the Essex Book Festival team and create links for the future; as well as a public reading.


Colette Bailey, artistic director of Metal, said, “It was brilliant to be invited by Essex Book Festival to come up with an exciting way of partnering with the well-established and popular literary event.  We are really excited to meet and work with writers working in a wide range of genres and styles from right across Essex”

Ros Green of the Essex Book Festival said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Metal on such an ambitious and innovative project as part of this year’s Essex Book Festival. With 100+ events taking place in forty venues across the county, it is fantastic to have such a dynamic base for writers and readers throughout the Festival month.” 

For Criteria & How To Apply for Culture LAB: Essex Writers: Deadline – Friday 16  February 2018.