Saturday, 11 May 2013

New Writing North news

Been given the following information via the New Writing North newsletter that I thought may be of interest to my followers:
New Writing North news
Festival of the North East launches programme
The programme for the inaugural Festival of the North East was launched on Monday with a grand tour across the North East on the official FoNE bus. The brainchild of folk musician Kathryn Tickell, FoNE is a month-long celebration of North East creativity and innovation throughout June, to herald the arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels which are returning to Durham from July to September 2013. You can see the full programme (as well as photos of the bus!) at but here are details of the two projects we’re helping to produce as part of the festival:

Dear Angel: Write a letter to the Angel of the North

People of the North East are being asked to write, record, tweet or film how they feel about this region as part of Dear Angel, an engaging new literary artwork created by writer and digital artist Stevie Ronnie. The final artwork will be showcased later this year at the Globe Gallery in Newcastle, on Holy Island, and in Durham as part of both the region-wide Festival of the North East and the Lindisfarne Gospels Cultural Programme. Your letter can be sent by postcard, paper, email, tweet, audio or video. Visit for full details.

A Wondrous Place

In Northern Spirit’s new theatre production A Wondrous Place, four outstanding young writers challenge the ‘It’s grim up North’ clich├ęs and offer four fresh and vibrant perspectives on four amazing contemporary Northern cities: Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester. It’s about celebrating all that’s unique about these north of England cities. It’s about discovering what they share.

Cuckoo Review takes off
This week we launched Cuckoo Review, the new online arts and culture magazine written by young people, where writers aged 15-23 can cut their journalistic teeth and offer their opinions on the latest cultural offerings in the region and beyond. The site is officially launched at the end of this month at Hexham Book Festival, but since 22 April we’ve been updating it daily with reviews, features and interviews. The site includes an interview with Mercury Prize winners Alt-J, as well as reviews of the latest plays, exhibitions and gigs from venues across the region. Read all about it at and follow all our Cuckoo activity on Twitter @CuckooWriters.

Call for submissions: Voicewalks
The Durham Book Festival team at New Writing North is working with the Hearing the Voice project at Durham University on a special series of events which will take place during this year’s festival. (In our 28 March newsletter, we introduced post-doctoral research associate Will Viney, who’s working on the collaboration.) As part of the project, we’d like to invite writers of all levels to contribute to a pamphlet of poetry, prose and non-fiction in English about hearing voices when walking in the city. In addition to a specially-commissioned piece by Iain Sinclair, StepAway magazine will publish a special issue of a collection of walking narratives by both voice-hearers and writers who creatively imagine hearing voices.

Submissions can be as long as a 1,000-word essay or story, or as short as a 17-syllable haiku. Submissions can be named or anonymous, as the writers wish. Deadline: 1 August 2013. For full details and to apply, see
In the North East
Darlington Arts Festival 2013
Various venues across Darlington: throughout May
Darlington Arts Festival is a new initiative by the Darlington for Culture organisation, which came together after Darlington Arts Centre was forced to close due to funding cuts from the council. You can see the full programme, which features events for all the family and all tastes, at

Gaslight on Grey Street
Studio, Theatre Royal, Newcastle: Tuesday 30 April-Saturday 4 May
Set in 1854, actresses Emily and Fanny await the homecoming of Julia St George to the Theatre Royal. Written by Janet Plater and directed by Lee Proud. Post-show talk on Wednesday 1 May. Tickets: £12 / £10 (concs) from
Royal Exchange Theatre Hodgkiss Award
The only scheme of its kind in the North that celebrates the unique collaboration between a director and writer, the Hodgkiss Award offers a theatre-maker of outstanding promise the chance to direct a new piece of work – by a writer of their choice – in a production fully supported by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 2014. Actor Christopher Eccleston and award-winning playwright Rona Munro will be joined by Bush Theatre artistic director Madani Younis and artistic director of the Royal Exchange Theatre Sarah Frankcom on the judging panel. Deadline: 18 May. For details and to apply, see

Alfred Fagon Award
The Alfred Fagon Award was established in 1996 in memory of late Jamaican playwright and actor Alfred Fagon. The £5,000 prize is awarded to the writer who has, in the opinion of the judges, written the best stage play of the year. New as well as established writers are encouraged to enter. Deadline: 9 August. For full details and to submit, see

VS Pritchett Memorial Prize for best unpublished short story 2013
The Royal Society of Literature has opened up to submissions for this annual prize. The winning author will be awarded a prize of £1,000, and the short story will be published in Prospect online and in RSL Review. This year’s judges are award-winning short story writers Adam Foulds, Jackie Kay and Helen Simpson. Deadline: 13 June. For more information and to submit, see
November Club: communications and administration officer
Part-time (18 hrs/2.5 days a week): £22,000 pro rata. From June 2013-May 2014
Performing arts company November Club is seeking an experienced professional on a self-employed basis to lead and develop its communications, audiences and digital presence. The role will be responsible for the development of communications and marketing opportunities for November Club across digital, online and media channels in order to engage and grow audiences in the work of the company. In addition, the role will support the creative producer and work alongside project assistants in an administrative capacity to support the work of the company and its projects. Deadline for applications: 6pm, Tuesday 7 May. For more information, see
Writing groups and workshops
Writing a pantoum with Sky Hawkins
NeST gallery, Barnard Castle: Sunday 12 May, 4pm
Participants will be invited to share their work alongside Sky’s performance from 5pm-6pm. Places cost £5 and can be booked via

TLC conference 2013: Writing in a Digital Age
Free Word Centre, London: 7-8 June
The Literary Consultancy (TLC) has announced the return of its cutting-edge conference for writers working at all levels. In association with the Times Literary Supplement, the line-up features more than 30 speakers, including best-selling author of The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger, The Observer’s Robert McCrum, literary agent Gordon Wise (Curtis Brown), and publisher Andrew Franklin (Profile Books). The theme of this year’s conference is ‘quality in a digital age’ – and how authors can make the latest tools, platforms and opportunities available work for them. Tickets: £359 (2 days)/£234 (1 day). Concession rates available. For more information and to book, see

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