Essex Book Festival – Manifesto for Essex

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One of the highlights of the Essex cultural calendar, 2020 marked the beginning of something very special for Essex Book Festival.


Earlier this year Essex Book Festival launched its Young Essex Manifesto For Essex, which forms part of Essex 2020: Year of Science and Creativity.

What is the Manifesto?

Put simply, the #ManifestoForEssex is a creative platform for young people living in Essex and beyond to express their thoughts and ideas about tackling Climate Change. There are plans to use the Manifesto as a catalyst to launch a Youth Climate Change Summit in 2021 in partnership with Chelmsford City Council. We can’t say how excited we are about that but we can say that we’re brimming with pride about what’s already in the Manifesto ‘bag’ despite the very many challenges of 2020!

To date, the Manifesto has involved everything from the creation of a special #ManifestoForEssex Zine led by Southend-based artist and founder of Grrrl Zine Fair Lu Williams, through to our Tree-Mend-Us Family Day in the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford led by Chelmsford Ideas Hub, which celebrated the importance of trees via storytelling, a community tree tapestry, films and workshops.

We commissioned Chelmsford Community Radio‘s young reporters to conduct a series of interviews with Chelmsford businesses, organisations and local community groups about their ‘green’ practices. We love these. Plus, we collaborated with the wonderful Essex Steamettes, an inspirational group of girls who use creative coding, engineering, digital art to raise awareness and solve problems, on a series of Scratch stories based on the theme of rising waters, something extremely pertinent to the Essex Coast.

Finally, we ‘set out our stall’ with our very special #ManifestoForEssex exhibition, featuring Earth Poems, protest banners and Eco-bunting in over 20 shop/cafe windows along Chelmsford High Street as part of Heritage Open Days.

None of this would have been possible without our wonderful partners, particularly Chelmsford City Council and Essex 2020, and we can’t wait to get cracking on our plans for 2021.

For more information go to

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Escaping Climate Change video University of Essex

Wet Sounds video Riverside Leisure Centre, Chelmsford


Eco-cast Episode 1

The Takeover team from Chelmsford Community Radio bring you Episode 1 of their Eco-Cast podcast featuring interviews with BB’s Coffee and Muffins, Waterstones and Chelmsford City Cathedral. Also features Earth Poems read by Essex Steamettes.
Listen to Eco-Cast Episode 1

Eco-cast Episode 2

From the young people of Chelmsford Community Radio. Featuring interviews with Refill, Foyles, Lush, The Woodland Womb Project. Plus more Earth Poems, this time read by students from the Chelmsford Drama Centre.
Listen to Eco-Cast Episode 2


Manifesto for Essex digital zine

Essex Book Festival Manifesto for Essex

Essex Steamettes Scratch stories – environmental / flooding projects