Thursday, 31 July 2014

New Writing North newsletter

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

 July 2014
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Arts Council funding confirmed
New Writing North is pleased to announce that the Arts Council England has confirmed we will retain our funding at current levels for the next three years. Thanks to the amazing writers we work with, partners who support us, and, of course, readers and audiences for helping us accomplish this.
Durham Book Festival Launch announcement
Join New Writing North and best-selling author Richard Benson in the beautiful surroundings of Durham Castle for the launch of the 2014 Durham Book Festival. Richard will be at the launch to talk about his new book The Valley. Described by The Guardian as ‘a masterpiece of empathy and good writing’ the book explores the lives of a Yorkshire mining family over four generations. This year’s festival line-up includes world-class authors, poets and thinkers, as well as a host of exciting new commissions. Guests at the launch party will be the very first people to discover what the 2014 programme will contain. A limited number of public tickets are available for £15 on Eventbrite.
Creative Writing for Teachers – now recruiting
If you’re a primary or secondary school teacher looking for an original CPD opportunity you may want to consider joining our Creative Writing for Teachers group. The group meets twice termly at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle for workshops with professional writers such as Ann Coburn and Gillian Allnutt.

The course costs £75 per teacher per year and is suitable for teachers looking for an opportunity to develop their own writing, but also for practical ideas that can be used in the classroom to encourage creative writing. For more information or to sign up contact
Durham Book Festival Schools Day
Durham Book Festival is pleased to announce our Durham Book Festival schools’ day will take place on 6 and 7 October 2014 and is now open now for early booking. Join authors Meg Rosoff, Mick Manning and Brita Granstr√∂m, Helen Stephens, and Daljit Nagra for two days of special events at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School.

There is also a special Twilight Session with poet Daljit Nagra, who will lead a poetry writing workshop for teachers. To find out more go to
Northern Writers Awards summer party
We had a lovely night with a group of Northern Writers Awards winners who got to pitch their work to top agents and publishers at our summer party in London last Thursday. New Fiction Bursary winner Dale Hannah signed with agent Ben Illis on the night, and many writers have had requests for manuscripts from publishers, so watch this space for more news.
Join the Moth Publishing crime family
Got an idea for the perfect crime? Then get writing and enter the Northern Crime Competition. With our last crop of authors doing well, we’re looking for some new accomplices. There is still two months before the innovative literary competition closes on the 29 August. Find out more at Moth Publishing:
In the news
2014 Read Regional poet Tara Bergin has won the fourth Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry with her collection This is Yarrow. As part of the prize, Tara will be going to the Glucksman Ireland House at New York University to read at the third annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry.
Congratulations to Ben Myers. 2014 continues to be favourable towards the Durham-born author, as he scoops another award. This time it was the Tom-Gallon Trust Award for his short story The Folk Song Singer. The Award judges, Elanor Dymott and Aamer Hussain, complimented ‘the tautness of the deceptively simple tale’.
In the North
Artists’ Book Market at BALTIC
This December the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art will play host to a national two day Artists’ Book Market. Submissions are welcome from artists, bookmakers, small press publishers and book binders. The deadline for submission is 1 October. For further details on how to apply and to download submission forms please go to or email the organiser on
Juice Festival – tender for Partner Schools Documentary
Juice Festival is seeking a filmmaker to create a documentary, profiling the festival’s two year relationship with five partner schools across Newcastle and Gateshead. To find out more about tendering for this opportunity download this PDF.
Join us for the Durham Book Festival launch
Join New Writing North and best-selling author Richard Benson, author of acclaimed new book The Valley, in the beautiful surroundings of Durham Castle on 12 August for the launch of the 2014 Durham Book Festival. This year’s festival includes world-class authors, poets and thinkers, as well as a host of exciting new commissions and guests at the launch party will be the very first to discover what’s in the 2014 programme. A limited number of public tickets are available for £15. To book, go to
Room to Write Short Story Competition
The inaugural Room to Write Short Story Competition is open until the 1 August. The winning story will be published in the Northern Echo and broadcast on listenupnorth. To find out more go to the Room to Write website.

Bait helps make Utopia a reality

Participants from Northumberland Church of England Academy celebrated the publication of their own collection of stories this week. A group of Year 8’s interested in dystopian fiction worked for 10 weeks with writers Stevie Ronnie and Lauren Stafford to pen their own stories as part of New Writing North’s work with Bait. The book, The Utopia Accidents, was designed by Stevie and copies presented to participants at a special celebration event at the Academy on Wednesday 16 July.
Bait, which is part of the national Creative People and Places programme funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council, supports loads of exciting events and activities, inspiring more people to create and take part in the arts in South East Northumberland. For more information, visit

Keep in touch, sign up today
With the launch of the programme only a few weeks away, have you signed up for the Durham Book Festival newsletter? Starting just after the launch, we’ll be sending out weekly newsletters about events at the book festival, news about the 2014 commissions, a few of our chief executive’s personal recommendations and more. So if you haven’t already signed up, go to and do it now.

Cuckoo Summer School for Cramlington

Cuckoo Young Writers are looking for young people to join them in Cramlington for a Cuckoo summer workshop. If you are aged 14-18 years and love writing, join Carina Rodney, Amy Mackelden and John Challis at Cramlington Library from 18-22 August, 11am-4pm, for a full week of free taster sessions for different types of writing. Try your hand at everything from scriptwriting to recording a poem. All the workshops are led by professional writers and will be suitable for all young people, from beginners to more experienced writers.

For more information and for details of the summer schools in Newcastle and Sunderland, see

To book your place on any of the Cuckoo summer schools email or call 0191 204 8852.

Debbie Taylor launches Herring Girl on the Tyne
Mslexia editor Debbie Taylor will be (literally) launching her novel Herring Girl on 7 August at a party aboard the Fortuna in Newcastle upon Tyne. There will be cold bubbles, fishy smackerels, a (brief) reading – and a return cruise from the Quayside to the mouth of the River Tyne, where the 'historical paranormal crime' novel is set. The boat has disabled access and a pay bar, plus an inside deck in case of inclement weather. Embark at 5.30pm and the three-hour cruise will set off at 6pm sharp. Tickets: £5. For more information, or to invite Debbie to talk to your book group or writing group, contact Click here to pre-order Herring Girl. 

Writer in Residence: Hampshire Arts and Museums Service
A two month residency is available in the Gosport Gallery in Hampshire this autumn. The residency will be launched in association with ‘The Artists Rifles: from Pre-Raphaelites to Passchendaele’. The writer will be expected to engage with local residents, create new writing in response to the exhibition and to support the local writing community. The deadline for applications is 22 August. To find out more or to apply go to their website.
One Day Creative Education: Freelance creative play script writers
One Day is a Creative Education Company, connecting children and learning with creativity and imagination.They are looking for enthusiastic, motivated and passionate freelance creative play script writers (preferably with experience of writing children’s scripts) across the UK to deliver a range of creative and educational scripted one-day drama workshops in schools. Please email your CV and covering letter, along with any example work to or for more information see
Campaign Manager: Youth Training Academy
The Youth Training Academy are looking for a Campaign Manager to run the new Creative North campaign, engaging young people in the Creative and Digital Media Sector in the North of England. The successful candidate will be passionate, driven and have experience working in the sector. The deadline for applications is 31 August. Go to Arts Jobs to find out more.
Inpress Ltd: Interim managing director
Inpress is looking for a dynamic and sales-driven leader for 2.5 days a week from September 2014 on a 12-month fixed contract to further develop its publisher services, working with the staff in the Newcastle office and a team of freelance sales people. Being based in Newcastle is not necessary, but regular visits to the office will be essential. For more information about the role, or to request a job pack, email or see Closing date for applications: Monday 4 August, midday.

Mothers: where do you write?
Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s Writing Motherhood project is going from strength to strength, with the recent fourth event in the tour (with Hollie McNish, Rebecca Goss and Carolyn in conversation with Ruth Stacey) going down a storm at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. For the next blog post Carolyn wants to know about where mothers write. In the bath? On the beach? In a designated office space? At the kitchen table, or in the car during ballet lessons? How important is space for your writing? Send pictures and details to by end of July.
The Listening Post

SI Leeds Literary Prize announces longlist
Congratulations to all the writers longlisted for the 2014 SI Leeds Literary Prize, the award for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian writers. The six shortlisted authors from the list will be announced in early September. For more information about the longlisted writers, see For the past few years, winners have attended the Northern Talent Summer Salon that New Writing North organises for our own Northern Writers’ Awards winners to meet the London publishing industry, so we hope to be getting to know a few of the names on the list next summer. 
Art with WORDS in St Helens
St Helens Council wants to commission an arts organisation with experience of delivering drama/theatre/writing/arts engagement activities with young people in non-traditional arts settings to create WORDS. This project aims to engage with young people who utilise libraries to capture their words, their stories and the narratives they want to tell. These narratives will then be turned into performances and/or open mic nights/events/sharings/podcasts/poetry/writing publications/blogs/websites as decided by the organisation and the young people. To apply for this commission you must be registered on The North West Procurement Portal – The Chest. Once registered you can download the full commission brief here

Write a Novel

Lit and Phil, Newcastle: 10 weekly sessions from Wednesday 24 September, 6pm-8pm
A novel takes time and forethought. This course, run by Kathleen Kenny and Ellen Phethean, is designed to work over a length of time, keeping you on track to plan, plot and finish a first draft of a longer piece of writing. Fee: £60. For more information and to book, call 0191 232 0192.

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