Saturday, 16 November 2013

New Writing North newsletter

Well, we are officially half-way through NaNoWriMo and I am at just over 29k words.  The first two years that I did NaNo the best I managed was 35k words and gave in in the third week due to work commitments.  I start back full-time on Monday for a fortnight, so fingers crossed I can still manage to fit some writing in along with my other commitments.  How are my fellow NaNoWriMoers doing?

Here is the latest New Writing North newsletter for my followers to peruse:

8 November 2013
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Cuckoo Young Writers Awards joins Northern Writers’ Awards line-up
When the Northern Writers’ Awards opens for submissions this year, there will be two new awards strands: the Cuckoo Young Writers Award and the Matthew Hale Award. Open to young writers aged 18 or under, these two awards are part of the ground-breaking work New Writing North does through the Cuckoo Young Writers programme.
Entirely crowd-funded through generous donations from supporters of the Northern Writers’ Awards, the Cuckoo Awards are intended to support both promising and aspiring young writers. Young people can either enter the Cuckoo Young Writers Awards on their own, or be nominated for the Matthew Hale Awards by family members or teachers if, for whatever reason, they have a passion for books and writing that they don’t have the opportunity to pursue.
Both awards offer a prize worth £500, consisting of a bespoke package of support for the young person, designed by New Writing North. This package could consist of theatre tickets, a pass to a literary festival, books or one-on-one mentoring from a published author. Author and journalist Elizabeth Day (Scissors Paper Stone and Home Fires) will be the inaugural judge of the Cuckoo Young Writers Awards. To find out more about entering, see
Discover Another England with Michael Smith and Maxy Neil Bianco
If you missed them at the Durham Book Festival, there is a second chance to view a selection of Michael Smith and Neil Bianco’s short films about the North. Commissioned by Durham Book Festival, Another England is a cycle of four films exploring different aspects of life in a northern town on the edges of English society. New Writing North is delighted to present the first two films in the sequence – with the prodigal son returning in Old Town and Granada exploring a community about to be broken apart by urban redevelopment.
The second two films will be uploaded on 13 November, so check back then. See them at
Still looking for Verb New Voices
Entries for Verb New Voices are already arriving in the New Writing North offices from all across the North. However, we’re still looking for more new, interesting voices with something to say and we thought that a few techie tips might help the more hesitant take the plunge.
To enter Verb New Voices you don’t need a professional quality video of your performance. If you have a webcam or a smartphone with a camera, that is all you need. You can edit and upload your videos straight from there and then just mail us the link with your submission.
For Android users We Video should handle all your basic video editing needs. It’s free to download and allows you to make simple videos. iPhone users can use Splice, which is also free, and provides the basic tools to trim, crop and edit videos. There is also an Android version of Splice, but it costs £1.92.
Ben Markovits recalls Durham Ashes experience
In August 2013 the Investec Ashes came to Durham, and author Ben Markovits was there to witness it all as Durham Cricket Club’s writer in residence. An expatriate American with a love of Romantic poetry and with a short career as a professional basketball player behind him, Markovits might have seemed an odd choice to serve as chronicler of this most quintessentially English of sports. In his Durham Book Festival-commissioned essay on his experience, however, Markovits turns his experience at the Ashes into a meditation on sports psychology, the British psyche, and being an outsider. Read the essay at the London Review of Books website at
It's been a good month for Celia Bryce, one of our Read Regional 2014 authors and Tyneside born and bred, whose novel Anthem for Jackson Dawes has been nominated for an Carnegie Award.
Look out for Faeries, Elves and Goblins: The Old Stories by Rosalind Kerven, which has just been published by Anova Books, the publishing partner of the National Trust.
In the North
Gordon Hodgeon: Old Workings and a new collection
Poet Gordon Hodgeon has made a significant contribution to the literary arts in the North during his career. He collaborated with Northern Arts for many years on their literature panel and was chair of New Writing North for a period and was one of the small collective of Teesside poets that launched Mudfog Press. Now Mudfog are launching Gordon’s latest collection, Old Workings, at 4pm on Friday 13 December in Preston Hall, Eaglescliffe, Stockton on Tees. But this is not just a launch, more a celebration of over 50 years of writing and Mudfog hope you can join them to celebrate Gordon’s work and his special place in the North East’s literary history.
The TS Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme 2013
Ever wonder how literary competitions actually work? The Poetry Society is giving a few lucky 14-19 year-olds the chance to find out, by shadowing the judges of the prestigious TS Eliot Prize as they deliberate on the 2013 shortlist. Students can read the work of the shortlisted poets and decide on their own choice of winner. Deadline: 1 December. For more information, see
International Radio Playwriting Competition 2013
BBC Radio Drama has launched the BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition, in partnership with the British Council. This year a third prize has been added to the existing awards – in addition to awards for writers with English as either their first or second language, the Georgi Markov Prize is for the most promising script. Deadline: 31 January. Find out more at
Seven Stories: Learning and participation director
Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, is looking for a learning and participation director. They want an entrepreneurial education professional to deliver their learning and participation services and ensure that excellent practice continues to be at the heart of their work. Deadline: 21 November. Full details are at
The Art House, Wakefield: Marketing and communications manager
With the acquisition of funding to convert Wakefield’s Drury Lane Library into a hub for a professional development programme for artists, projects and creative industries, The Art House is looking for a marketing and communications manager. The post is an excellent opportunity to help develop an exciting and high profile resource for creative practitioners in the region. Deadline: 18 November. For more information, see
The Listening Post
An Evening with Susan Lewis
Gateshead Central Library: Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm
Meet bestselling author and memoirist Susan Lewis, whose novels include Don’t Let Me Go and No Child Of Mine. Come along and find out more about her work and the Italian secrets at the heart of her latest novel The Truth About You. Tickets: £3. To book, call 0191 433 8420 or book online at
Deadline for the next newsletter
If you have news that you would like to submit for inclusion in the newsletter please contact The deadline for receipt of information for the next newsletter is 18 November. The next edition of The Listening Post, covering December’s literature events, will go out in late November. If you have events that you would like to submit for inclusion for this you will need to send information by 20 November to
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this newsletter is correct at the time of going to press, things do change, frequently at the last minute and very often without our knowledge.

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