THAT'S it - the final chapter has now been read at the 2016 Essex Book Festival, and it's already looking ahead to 2017.

Thousands enjoyed the success of this year which took place across the county over the course of a month through March. It was kicked off in style by Chelmsford born and bred Grayson Perry who delivered a sold-out talk called Typical Essex Man in a Dress, at the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

More than 150 creatives from the world of literature art, politics, poetry, journalism, dance, TV and film, took part in dozens of events across 35 diverse venues - from lecture halls, art galleries and hotels, to libraries, prisons and bookshops, to Tudor Palaces.

The Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend hosted a hugely popular Golden Age of Crime Weekend marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Essex’s very own doyenne of detective fiction, Margery Allingham.

There were a range of creative writing and other workshops on offer across the county, including Erin Kelly's Killer Women Crime Writing Workshop, plus the University of Essex's Write It New Creative Writing Workshops. Meanwhile, six prisoners at HMP Chelmsford Prison participated in a series of creative workshops: their stories read out at a public event in The Forum in Southend as part of the Writing on the Inside project.

The festival is committed to involving more children and young people in its' activities, and was delighted that more than 2000 Essex school children participated in this year's event from Canvey to Witham, enjoying events involving Julian Clary, Michael Rosen and Children's Laureate Chris Riddell.

Festival director Ros Green says: "We started the festival on an absolute high with Grayson Perry at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. This was always going to be a hard act to follow. However, follow it we did, particularly with our Golden Age of Crime Weekend in Southend, which involved everything and everyone from our fabulous line up of UK and international crime writers to our Classic Film Screenings and our Mother's Day Criminally Good Afternoon Tea Party."

She added: "We plan to do more of the same in 2017. Watch this space."

For details on how to get involved in the Essex Book Festival 2017, visit