Friday, 28 February 2014

Pageturners Festival 2014

Pageturners logo

Join us for the children's and young people's book festival for Calderdale & Kirklees, March 7-15 2014

The first festival in Calderdale and Kirklees to celebrate children’s books will launch on Friday 7 March with a World Book Day Quiz, followed by the official launch at the Central Library, Halifax on Saturday 8 March and leading on to a week full of events in schools, libraries and town halls and culminating in a spectacular finale at the University of Huddersfield on 15 March to which all families are welcome!.

The day will be packed full of fun and entertainment including storytelling, street theatre and workshops from a range of artists including:

• Annabel Pitcher, local author of Ketchup Clouds,
• Paul Dowswell, author of Auslander
• Susanna Meese, storyteller,
• Crafty Praxis, craft sessions.

Look out for more information about the festival at school, your local Library and Information Centre and in the press.

Tickets for the Grand Finale at the University of Huddersfield are available online*, at your local Library and Information Centre or by contacting ticket hotline on 01484 223200

The tickets will be:
£10 Family day tickets a family is max 2 adults and 3 children 16 and under
£3 individual day tickets.

* When you get to the page, click "Events and tickets" in the left hand column. On the next page, click the "more" button in the central area of the page and select "Kirklees Library Event", then scroll down to get to the Pageturners festival link

“Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful ”

Roald Dahl

For further details click on the link:

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Ideas Tap Writer in residence (deadline 3 March)

If you are an IdeasTap member, there are still a few days to go to enter this IdeasTap competition:

The Invertigo Theatre gang is giving one IdeasTap member the chance to become it's writer-in-residence. The winner of this brief gets the chance to develop their play over a three-month period. Additional benefits include: a rehearsed reading of the play at an Off-West End venue and a £350 bursary.


The Invertigo Theatre artistic team
Successful applicants will show an imaginative response to the brief in their synopsis, and their previous work can be in any style, but of a high standard.

The judges would also encourage writers to be creative in their research concepts and try to embrace oral as well as written narratives. 


03/03/14 05:00 PM
The chaps at Invertigo Theatre are looking for a writer in residence to work with on a special project under their recently launched ShedCreative initiative. Invertigo champions lesser known new writing and is looking for an IdeasTap member keen to collaborate with a creative ensemble. 
The winning writer will receive:
  • The opportunity to develop a play over a period of three months from March to May 2014
  • A rehearsed reading of the play at a respected Off West End venue
  • The possibility of being programmed in the Invertigo 2014 calendar
  • A £350 bursary award
  • Dramaturgical support from the artistic directors of Invertigo
To apply, you’ll need to submit an original script idea of no more than 150 words on the topic of identity and its role in British society today. The play must include: 
  • Two characters only - one from Wales, one from England
  • The characters must be aged 16 to 25
Writers should be creative in their research concepts and try to embrace oral as well as written narratives.

Once all the applications have been received, selected candidates will be invited to interview on Wednesday 5 March 2014. Invertigo will then select three further candidates from the shortlist, who will be given six days to write a 10-page script, to be performed on Saturday 15 March at the Pleasance Theatre in front of industry professionals and Invertigo’s artistic team. The winner will be chosen and notified within the next few days.
About Invertigo
Invertigo Theatre Company represents the lesser known, from new writing to European plays. Set up by four Guildhall graduates, in their first year they have commissioned 15 new plays for two ensemble productions, had a sell-out four-star run at the Finborough Theatre, been Resident Company at HighTide 2013 and were recent winners of The Charlie Hartil Special Reserve, culminating in a highly successful Edinburgh run and a sell-out run at the Arcola Theatre. They are currently working on the project Miscellany, a co-production with IdeasTap at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.


This brief will close at 5pm on Monday 3 March 2014 and is open to IdeasTap members aged 16 and over. If you have any technical queries, please visit the help centre. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstances, including technical issues – so make sure you don’t leave your application to the last minute.

How to apply

To apply, click the Follow this brief button, then click Apply now and follow the instructions on the page.

Please upload supporting material to your IdeasTap portfolio – the judges will look at this when evaluating your application.

And make sure that you have a photo on your profile. As with all IdeasTap briefs, you have to have a profile photo or image to be eligible. It doesn't have to be a headshot, and you won't be judged on the quality of the image.

This brief will close at 5pm on Monday 3 March 2014 and is open to IdeasTap members aged 16 and over. If you have any technical queries, please visit the help centre. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstances, including technical issues – so make sure you don’t leave your application to the last minute.

Also, there is a call out for creative work on the theme of love:

You can’t buy it. It’s all you need. But where is it? And can you feel it tonight?
We’re talking, of course, about LOVE. From Shakespeare’s sonnets to the bromantic oeuvre of Seth Rogan and our five-day festival, IdeasTap Takeover – no other human emotion has inspired so much great art.

So with this season’s Editor’s Brief, we want you to bring some warmth to our stony hearts. Submit your creative work on the theme of word “love” – whether that’s writing, visual art/photography, audio or video. Have as much fun as you want with the theme – we’re looking for originality, talent and creativity.

As always, our quarterly Editor’s Brief is open to all ages and disciplines, and there are three categories for you to apply to.

There will be a first (£250), second (£100) and third (£50) prize in EACH of the following categories:

1. Audio and video (no longer than two minutes)
2. Writing (no longer than 1,000 words)
3. Visual art/photographs (no more than two)

All first-prize winners will become part of our alumni. Please note that you can only apply with one entry to one category.
This brief closes on Friday 7 March at 5pm and is open to IdeasTap members based in the UK. If you have any technical queries, please visit the help centre. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstances, including technical issues – so make sure you don’t leave your application to the last minute.
Image by Oscar E, on a Creative Commons license.

How to apply

To apply, click the Follow this brief button, then click Apply now and follow the instructions on the page.

Please upload your submission to your IdeasTap portfolio.

And make sure that you have a photo on your profile. As with all IdeasTap briefs, you have to have a profile photo or image to be eligible. It doesn't have to be a headshot, and you won't be judged on the quality of the image.

This brief closes on Friday 7 March at 5pm and is open to IdeasTap members based in the UK. If you have any technical queries, please visit the help centre. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstances, including technical issues – so make sure you don’t leave your application to the last minute.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Creative England Newsletter

I thought my followers may be interested in seeing the latest Creative England Newsletter:

Creative England newsletter: February 2014
Click here if you can’t read this email



Compass points film businesses in right direction

The new business development programme for executives, producers and entrepreneurs to help them build, manage and lead successful film companies.
Read more.

Starter For 10

Creative businesses in the South West have the chance to secure a £10,000 grant and a package of business support for the most innovative ideas.
Read more.

iFeatures launch and 8 Minutes Idle

iFeatures has launched its latest hunt for the newest British filmmaking talent as original iFeatures film 8 Minutes Idle hits cinemas and on demand.
Read more.

Creative business mentoring

Creative England and Nesta have joined forces to strengthen mentoring in the creative industry, one of the UK’s most valuable growth sectors.
Read more.

Herts gains legal powers to close roads for filming

Hertfordshire County Council has become the second authority outside London to gain legal powers to make it easier to film on the public highway.
Read more
Upcoming Events

GamesLab West Midlands social event

Birmingham, February 27

Creative England has partnered with LAUNCH to deliver the first GamesLab Social meet-up, an evening dedicated to showcasing the new investment and support programme for the games industry. Read more.

Crew Night

Brighton, March 13

Creative England's crew and facilities networking events are opportunities to meet Creative England's Production Services and Film teams and connect with fellow filmmakers from your region. Read more.

Rethink Media Conference

Birmingham, March 25

A one-day festival of talks, activities and big debates on the state of the UK's media industries. Read more.
Other links we like
Follow us
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Facebook Page
Visit our Linked In Page


Funders and Partners
European Union Investing In Your Future, BFI, Awarding Funds From The National Lottery
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Marketing Officer job with Ilkley Literature Festival, deadline 28 February 2014

Today I sent off my first 5k words, synopsis and mini biography entry into the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition (deadline 28 February) first class recorded delivery so fingers crossed.

I thought my followers may be interested to learn that Ilkley Literature Festival are looking for a Marketing Officer and the deadline for application for this post is also 28 February:

Marketing Officer
Short term, part time contract for 12 months

Ilkley is the North’s largest (and liveliest!) literature festival, staging over 250 events during an exciting 17 day festival across 20 venues each October, along with a  Poetry in the City weekend in the centre of Bradford in June and year round projects and development work with children and young people.

We are looking for a ‘do-er’ across all aspects of the marketing mix: a hands on self-starter to join our  busy, friendly team in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

This opportunity comes at a time of enormous change in marketing possibilities, and we will be working with experienced specialist consultants and the new Marketing Officer to create a marketing and communications strategy for the next three years, use our new CRM system effectively and originate exciting, affordable, interactive content for our social media and web pages.

This post is for 12 months in the first instance but depending on funding and any restructuring which may occur, the Festival may be able to offer the post holder future opportunities.
£18,000 pro rata ie £9,000 for the equivalent of 2.5 days a week allocated as needed across the year- with more time April – end October and fewer days November- March.

Responsible to:                    The Festival Director
Responsible for:                   Publicity or marketing volunteers

Purpose of role:           

To deliver the Festival’s marketing strategy, creating new initiative and developing marketing opportunities

To take charge of the Festival’s customer database, maintaining and developing it and using its CRM potential to the full

To be responsible for all publicity distribution and mailings
To create and check copy for one-off flyers, newsletters and local press releases

To oversee and input to the Festival’s twiitter, facebook and web campaigns

To work with the graphic designer on some elements of Festival publicity.

Please download the full job description and how to apply here.

The deadline for receiving applications is 9am on Friday 28 February 2014.

Interviews will be held in Ilkley, w/c 10 March 2014.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Lego Movie review

The Lego Movie (2014) Poster

Just got back from seeing this movie with my son, friend S, her son and daughter at the Leeds/Bradford Odeon.

IMDB says: An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Moneyball) voices Emmet Brickowski the 'special' destined to find the piece of resistance, the only thing that can stop Lord Business, voiced by Will Ferrell (Megamind, Anchorman), from unleashing the 'kragle' on the Lego world.  Vitruvius, voiced by Morgan Freeman (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Now You See Me), tells of the prophecy and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks of Scrubs, The Hunger Games), his former student, searches for it.  Captured by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson of Taken, Love Actually) after he finds the piece, she helps Emmet escape his clutches.  Aided by Batman (Will Arnett of The Millers, Arrested Development), Unikitty (Alison Brie of Community, The Five-Year Engagement), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation, 21 Jump Street) and a mix of other eclectic characters such as Wonderwoman (Cobie Smulders, Avengers Assemble, How I Met Your Mother), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street, 21 Jump Street) and Shaquille O'Neal, they work together to try and stop the horror of Taco Tuesday.

There were a few funnies for the adults, such as the micro managers, Cloud Cuckoo Land, the cat poster and of course, the piece of resistance, but this film felt aimed squarely at the kids.  As such it works, but the ending was predictable and a little out there for me.  I love Lego and if this film helps more children unleash their creativity, then I am all for it and I am positive the adults will have had lots of fun playing with Lego whilst making this movie.

All three kids loved the movie and I am sure I will be hearing 'Everything is awesome' being sung for quite some time.

Tagline:  The story of a nobody who saved everybody.                                 8/10


Sunday, 23 February 2014

English PEN Prison Anthology launch 24 February 2014

If any of my followers live near London, I thought you may be interested in the following information from English PEN:

Running to Stand Still: stories from the inside

Monday 24 February
Free Word Centre, Farringdon

Join Jackie Kay, judge of English PEN’s third prison writing competition, for the launch of an anthology of the winning entries: a mix of prose, poems, memoir and book reviews from 70 different prisons across the UK. There will be performances of the prize-winning entries, copies of the anthology and a panel discussion about identity and the redemptive power of stories to change lives with writer Jake Arnott, criminologist Helen Nichols and economist Vicky Pryce.

£5 Buy tickets
Free for English PEN members. Email to reserve your place.

Helen Nichols is investigating contemporary imprisonment and education in the prison environment as part of a PhD with the University of Hull. Her focus includes research into adult male prisoners and their experiences of education looking at themes including prisoner biography and models of education.  From March 2014 she will be Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Jackie Kay is an award-winning poet, novelist and writer of short stories who writes for both adults and children. Her memoir about seeking out her birth parents Red Dust Road was selected for World Book Night 2013 and was described by the Independent as a 'fantastic, probing and heart-warming read'.

Jake Arnott is a bestselling author whose books include The Devil’s Paintbrush and The Long Firm. His latest book The House of Rumour is published by Sceptre.  In 2011 he judged PEN’s first Prison Writing competition, whose winners were published in the pamphlet The Book that Saved my Life.

Vicky Pryce's posts have included Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting; Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economics Service. Her books include Greekonomics on the Eurozone crisis and Prisonomics based on her own experience having spent time in Holloway and East Sutton Park. Royalties from the book go to Working Chance, a charity involved in finding quality jobs for women offenders and ex-offenders.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

New Writing North newsletter

I thought my followers may be interested in seeing the latest New Writing North newsletter:

February 2014
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Whodunnit? Find out at Crime Story
New Writing North and Northumbria University are pleased to announce Crime Story, our exciting weekend of discussion and workshops for fans and writers of crime fiction. The weekend will focus on a fictional murder that we’ve commissioned from best-selling crime novelist Ann Cleeves, which she shared at a special event last night (13 February). In it a woman finds her foster-son dead in a locked room, a blood-splattered picture of an enigmatic woman on the wall and the dubious landlord nowhere to be found. The killer? Well, that’s up to the Crime Story participants.
Crime Story will take place on 31 May-1 June and a host of top crime writers, criminologists, lawyers, police and forensics experts will walk attendees through the investigation, trial and punishment of the crime. There will be opportunities to participate in the digital autopsy of a computer, find out about ‘life inside’ from Guardian columnist Erwin James or listen to novelist Louise Welsh talking to Observer crime fiction critic Peter Guttridge. To find out more about Crime Story, and to book your place, go to The first five people to book will receive a free copy of Ann Cleeves' new novel, Harbour Street.
Young apprentice opportunity at NWN
New Writing North is seeking a creative apprentice to work 30 hours per week in our offices in central Newcastle. Due to funding criteria we can only accept applications from young people aged 16-18 who fall within one of more of the following categories:
• Looked after young person/young person leaving care
• Not in education, employment or training
• Has special educational needs and/or disabilities

To find out more see
Northern Crime competition 2014: looking for new northern crime writers
Northern Crime, the innovative literary competition that aims to unearth and publish exciting new crime writing from writers who live and work in the North of England, is back. After a successful debut year – with a launch list of Rebecca Muddiman’s Stolen, Helen Cadbury’s To Catch a Rabbit, Alfie Crowe’s Rant and Michael Donovan’s Behind Closed Doors – Moth Publishing is looking for more fresh new voices, more great stories with strong characters, and fiction that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of the genre. This year, for the first time, we are also looking for short stories to publish in the first Northern Crime anthology.
So take your detective novel off desktop duty and get him back on those literary streets, by submitting to the Northern Crime competition at Deadline for entries is Friday 29 August. Moth Publishing is a partnership between New Writing North and Sunderland-based Business Educational Publishers Limited.
Tyne makes welcome return to North East stages
Originally commissioned as part of Live Theatre’s 40th birthday celebrations, Michael Chaplin’s play, Tyne, dramatises extracts from Michael’s own book Tyne View, published by New Writing North. The play ties the scenes together with stories from some great North East writers, such as Tom Hadaway, Julia Darling, Alan Plater and Sid Chaplin. Using music, story and images it maps the epic history, atmosphere and soul of the river, using stories gathered from the people Michael met walking the tidal length of the river in 2011 when he was writer-in-residence at the Port of Tyne.
Tyne plays at Customs House, South Shields from 26 February-1 March and Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from 4-8 March.
During the run, a limited number of copies of Tyne View will be on sale in the New Writing North shop for just £15 plus £1.50 P&P.
Young writers wanted for Writing Squad
The Writing Squad is looking for writers aged between 16-21 who live, work or study in the North of England to join a free writer development programme. Supported by professional writers, and welcoming writers of any format – from poetry and prose through stage and radio plays, to game scripts and graphic novels – The Writing Squad is looking for talent, not formal qualifications. Former graduates have gone on to careers as poets, journalists, singers, sound artists, TV writers and as an award-winning playwright. To apply visit Deadline for applications: 30 March.
Carys Davies longlisted for Sunday Times EFG Award
Congratulations to Carys Davies, who has been longlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times EFG Award for her short story, On Commercial Hill, from her debut collection of short stories, Some New Ambush. Carys won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2013 to support the development of her second short story collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike and Other Stories, which will be published by Salt Publishing in October. To get a taste of the new stories, see
In the North
Arts Council literature meetings in the North East
Alison Boyle, Arts Council England relationship manager for literature (north) will be working in the North East on Wednesday 26 February and Thursday 27 March. If you would like some advice or to discuss a potential project, please contact her to arrange a time to meet at
Mslexia 2014 Women’s Short Story Competition
This competition is for previously unpublished stories of up to 2,200 words by women writers. This year’s judge is novelist Jane Rogers (The Voyage Home and Island) and she is looking for stories on any subject. The first prize in the competition is £2,000, plus the optional extras of a week’s writing retreat at Chawton House Library and a day with a Virago editor. All winning stories will be published in issue 62 of Mslexia, published in June 2014. Deadline for submissions: 17 March. Entry fee: £10 per story. For more information go to
Writer wanted for folktale project
One of the enduring fascinations of fairy tales is their ability to adapt to changing tastes and social mores without ever losing their essence. Unfortunately, we know precious little about their origins and development. However, Dr Jamie Tehrani at Durham University aims to rectify this situation. He is analysing variants of famous folktales from different cultures and historical periods to reconstruct their most ancient surviving features and is looking for a writer with the imagination and story-telling flair to flesh them out and bring them back to life. Interested parties are encouraged to get in touch at
Free place on Sagra delle Words writing course
Sagra delle Words is offering a writer a free place on Adrift in the Landscape: Place and Writing, a creative writing course in Italy with tutor Sheree Mack. The course will be taking place from 12-19 October. Deadline for applications: 30 April. For more information or to apply, see
Northern Film & Media: Script mentors
Northern Film & Media are searching for two experienced script mentors to give industry guidance to some of the North East’s top script writers. The aim is to help writers develop the strongest possible script and pitch ahead of meetings with financiers. The mentoring will involve Skype sessions and notes. For more information about the post go to
Live@theLux: Coordinator
A new initiative to develop an arts venue within the Café Lux bar in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, is looking for a creative individual with experience of event management, venue programming and a love of bring the arts to new contexts and people. Deadline: 3 March. For more information or to apply see or email
The University of Glasgow: Lecturer in creative writing
The University of Glasgow College of the Arts is seeking a lecturer in creative writing. The successful candidate will undertake publication and research in the field of creative writing, teach at postgraduate and undergraduate level (with particular reference to experimental approaches to genre), contribute to administration, and participate in the development and delivery of school, college and university strategy. Deadline for submissions: 4 March. For more information and to apply, see
Special offers for New Writing North newsletter subscribers
Refugee Boy at Northern Stage
Friday 21 & Saturday 22 March
New Writing North subscribers can get tickets to see Lemn Sissay’s adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s novel for just £10 (normally £24). Book online at and use the code ‘NWNOffer’ or call the box office on 0191 230 5151 and quote ‘NWNOffer’.
Alem is 14, in London with his father on the best holiday he has ever had. Then he awakes to find himself alone in an unfamiliar country. As a violent civil war rages at home, his Ethopian father and Eritrean mother make the decision to leave him in London. For more information, see
How to Be Immortal at Live Theatre
Friday 21 & Saturday 22 February
New Writing North subscribers who book for How to be Immortal by phone or in person can get a ticket for £10 if they quote the code ‘New Writing North’.
Penny Dreadful Productions are bringing How to Be Immortal, Mira Dovreni’s play about ‘live music, dead people, love and DNA’ to Newcastle’s Live Theatre on 21-22 February. There is also a free event at 9.15pm following the performance on Friday night where audiences will get a chance to hear the cast and the director as well as two local experts talking about the issues raised in the play. Tickets still need to be booked but the event is free. For more information, see
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 24 February. The next edition of The Listening Post, covering March’s literature events, will go out in late February. If you have events that you would like to submit for inclusion for this you will need to send information by 20 February 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.