Welcome to the Essex Book Festival podcast. We have commissioned a number of podcasts by talented people from across Essex – from award-winning storyteller Glenys Newton to the fabulous young reporters at Chelmsford Community Radio.

So sit back, take some time out and listen to some truly inspiring words and stories.

Stories on the Edge

Stories on the Edge is a series of podcasts featuring people from migrant and vulnerable communities sharing their stories. It was curated by award-winning storyteller and social activist Glenys Newton. Glenys has worked both in the social care and cultural sector in Essex and Cambridgeshire, with a special focus in Harlow.

Bringing people’s stories into your hearts and homes. A chance to spend some time walking in the shoes of a fellow human here on planet Earth.


Majid Adin

Majid is an amazing artist and manages to tell stories that reach many hearts and minds through his art. If you don’t believe it then look at this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtVBCG6ThDk

Majid is very good at cooking rice and has a brain the size of the planet. Majid has also done a TedX talk about choosing love.

Refugees, coming here, talking about love and making the world a better place…

Leo Capella

Leo is an Essex boy who can be found walking his dog through the leafy lanes of north Essex. Leo is a human rights and disability rights campaigner and activist and is also in the process of writing a sci-fi trilogy.

Leo does amazing work with the National Autistic Society and has loads of knowledge about loads of things. You would be wise to have Leo on your quiz team.

Leo has been an advisory person for the film adaptation of the book The Reason I Jump: one boy’s voice from the silence of autism

Faraj Alnasser

Faraj is passionate about food and how it brings people together. Faraj can often be found taking food round to his neighbours houses who absolutely love him and it is no wonder.

If you watch this TedX talk by Faraj you will realise why everybody who meets Faraj, falls in love with him.


Glenys Newton

Glenys is an Essex girl currently battling with Covid Kevin and the many demons that this has brought forth.

Glenys is passionate about people’s stories and that the truth be spoken. Glenys is the current Bard of Cambridge so truth speaking is practically the law.

Glenys loves Pippi Longstocking, horses and custard and really doesn’t like coat hangers.


Eco Casts with Chelmsford Community Radio

As part of our Manifesto For Essex we commissioned young Chelmsford Community Radio journalists to conduct a series of interviews with Chelmsford businesses, organisations and local community groups about their ‘green’ practices.

Have a listen to the Eco-Cast and find out what Chelmsford businesses are doing to protect our precious environment. You can also hear readings of some of the Earth Poems which were written as part of our Manifesto For Essex exhibition in Chelmsford supported by Essex 2020.

We hope these Eco-Casts will encourage and inspire you.

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