Sunday, 14 September 2014

New Writing North newsletter

I thought my followers would be interested in seeing the latest New Writing North newsletter, including jobs, events and workshops:

News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Last spots in the Cuckoo Young Writers summer workshops going fast
Young people looking to join the Cuckoo Young Writers summer programme need to act quickly as spaces on the workshops are filling up fast. Throughout August, poets, playwrights, film-makers, songwriters and wordsmiths of all types will be running workshops in Newcastle, Sunderland and Northumberland. Participants will get to jam with The Lake Poets’ Martin Longstaff in Sunderland, write and produce their own short film with help from John Challis and Alan Fentiman in Newcastle, get dark with flash fiction thanks to Amy Mackelden in Cramlington, and lots of other literary events. Find out more at
TEDx talks go live
Look out for our series of TEDx talks by young writers from Tyneside, which have been published online via the TEDxYouth@TyneBridge website. The project, which took place last year, was co-ordinated by New Writing North and Juice Festival as eight young writers took to the stage, delivering talks which tackled vital subjects for young people in the 21st century with topics covering everything from sexism, gender roles and homophobia to how to survive and thrive post-university.
You can see the films at
An Evening With Julian Cope
Unity Theatre, Liverpool: Monday 15 September, 7pm
Julian Cope will be in conversation with Lee Brackstone of Faber Social, discussing his illustrious and eccentric life story from teacher training to rock stardom, as well as his first novel, 131. Tickets: £6. For more details, see
Owen Jones: The Establishment
Waterstone’s Manchester Deansgate: Tuesday 16 September, 7pm
Join Guardian columnist and commentator Owen Jones to hear about his latest book, The Establishment. After the success of his last book, Chavs, this in-store talk is sure to offer plenty of topical insight. Tickets: £4. For more details, see
An Evening With Lee Child: Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
Waterstones Manchester Deansgate: Wednesday 17 September, 7pm
Waterstones Leeds: Thursday 18 September, 7pm
Lee Child discusses and signs copies of Personal, the 19th Jack Reacher novel, which takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris. For further details and for tickets, call 0161 837 3000 (Manchester) or 0113 244 4588 (Leeds).
Lee Child will also be signing copies of Personal at Waterstones Trafford Centre on Thursday 18 September, 10am-11am, and Waterstones Sheffield Orchard Square on Thursday 18 September, 1pm-2pm.
The Worst Princess
Touring County Durham and beyond: 29 September-31 October
Our brand new children’s show for the under 7s, The Worst Princess, opens this September in Gateshead, before embarking on a month-long tour to 40 community venues in County Durham, South East Northumberland and beyond, including dates in Sheffield and Manchester.
Adapted by Carina Rodney from the picture book written by Anna Kemp and illustrated by Newcastle-based Sara Ogilvie, the production features original live music, an amazing picture book-inspired set, and North East actors alongside musicians from Sage Gateshead. The show promises to be a wild and fun-filled adventure into a world of princesses, princes and dragons, where characters defy expectations and learn to be themselves. Some dates have already sold out! for details, see
Royal Society of Literature season programme
The Royal Society of Literature’s autumn/winter programme has been released and includes Hilary Mantel in conversation with Harriet Walter on 11 September, AL Kennedy on 11 November, and Lionel Shriver in conversation with Fiammetta Rocco 9 December. There are also masterclasses with Jim Crace (27 September) and William Fiennes (29 November). Book online at
Spaces available for Berwick film reviewing masterclass
Cuckoo Young Writers have teamed up with Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival to offer a film reviewing masterclass on Sunday 21 September, 11am-12.30pm. Gateshead-based writer Michael Pattison will lead the session Everyone’s a Critic: How to break into film criticism, which is a great starting point for budding reviewers. From top tips on what makes a good critic through to how to actually make a living from it, Michael will share his thoughts and answer your questions. The masterclass will be attended by a number of Cuckoo Review writers supported by New Writing North but is open to anyone over the age of 15 interested in film reviewing. Places are limited. To book contact

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival runs 17-21 September. Coinciding with the referendum for an independent Scotland, its theme is ‘Border Crossing’, with a programme exploring border identities and crossing of boundaries around the world. See
BOLD Festival: Cuppas and Couplets
ARC, Stockton: Thursday 18-Friday 19 September, 11am & 2pm
In this free session, poet Simon Mole will conduct a creative writing workshop, as part of BOLD Festival. BOLD provides performances, workshops and events, produced by and for older generations in particular. For more details, visit
Wakefield Lit Fest
Venues around Wakefield: Thursday 18-Tuesday 30 September
Its third outing sees Wakefield Lit Fest shining brighter than ever from its home at The Orangery: there’s a full festival-in-a-day in Ossett, the launch of Simon Armitage’s new selected poems collection, Paper Aeroplane, and authors including Joanne Harris and Roger McGough. For the full programme, see
An Evening With Kathy Reichs
Waterstones Manchester Deansgate: Friday 19 September, 6.30pm
Kathy Reichs will be flying in from the US to give an illustrated talk about forensics and discuss her new Temperance Brennan novel, Bones Never Lie. This is a rare chance to meet Kathy so this event is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets: £6/£4 loyalty cardholders. For more information, call 0161 837 3000.
Richmond Walking & Book Festival
Richmond: 20-28 September
Now in its tenth year, the Richmond Walking and Book Festival combines an eclectic mix of book events with walks in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. The festival celebrates both renowned and emerging literary talent and provides the opportune nine-day-window for a welcome break in the countryside. For more details, see the festival’s website at
Jibba Jabba
The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle: Thursday 25 September, 7.30pm
Hosted by Jenni Pascoe, Jibba Jabba is a popular spoken word cabaret that combines comedy and music in a celebration of words. Audience members are encouraged to participate alongside four feature guests. Tickets: £4. For more details, see
Free as a Bard
Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay: Sunday 28 September, 7.30pm
Enjoy a spot of culture at the coast with poets Ellen Phethean and Kirsten Luckins alongside musician Robby Thinman, plus a literary raffle. Tickets: £5. Previous Free as a Bard evenings have sold out so pre-booking via is advised.
An Evening with Michael Palin
Grand Opera House, York: Sunday 28 September, 7.30pm
To celebrate the publication of his third volume of diaries, Travelling To Work, Michael Palin presents a brand new two-part stage show, looking back at 25 years of exploring the world and nearly 50 years in radio, television, books and films. Tickets available from York Opera House. For details, call 0844 871 3024.
Young poets in Cramlington publish anthology of group poems
A group of young adults with special educational needs launched a collection of their poetry this week at a special event at Cramlington. Working with writers Bob Beagrie and Hannah Morpeth, the group from Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project spent 10 weeks writing group poems and exploring their creativity. Yesterday the group were presented with copies of their book, The Mystery Box (and other Poems), and certificates. The project took place as part of our ongoing work with Bait, the Creative People and Places programme for South East Northumberland.
Apologies if you received any spam emails from a account this week. Some of our email accounts were hacked and some lovely spam was sent on our behalf. We do not have a business proposal for you regarding the estate of the late CEO of Porsche in South Africa. Sorry.
In the North
Emma Thompson: The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit
Waterstones Manchester Deansgate: Monday 29 September, 5pm
The Academy Award-winning actor and screenwriter will be signing copies of her new Peter Rabbit adventure, The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment: access to the queue will be on a strictly first come, first served basis. For more information, call 0161 837 3000.
Peter Bennet & Birtley Aris: Arcana
Lit & Phil, Newcastle: Monday 29 September, 7pm
Join Red Squirrel Press as they celebrate the launch of Arcana, a beautiful new collection by Peter Bennet, illustrated by Birtley Aris. The event is free and wine will be served. For more details, please contact Sheila Wakefield at
People, Place and Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment
The New Welsh Review, in association with WWF Cymru and the CADCentre, has announced the launch of the New Welsh Writing Awards. The awards aim to find the finest non-fiction writing in the new and increasingly popular ‘short’ form, looking for brand new work between 8,000 and 30,000 words on the theme of nature. To find out more see
The International Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism
Literary and theatrical journalists are invited to enter their reviews into the third International Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts journalism. Set up to commemorate Burgess’ long association with The Observer, the competition is looking for original, thought-provoking reviews on arts and cultural subjects. Closing date: 31 October. For more information and to enter, see
The Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards
Galleries, art museums and visual arts venues in England are invited to submit proposals to host the Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards 2014-15. The three successful venues will get an award of 3,500 to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with schools. To find out more and apply go to
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 & Phil 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 new practical ideas for the classroom and an opportunity to develop their own writing. No writing experience necessary. The first session this term takes place on Thursday 2 October, 4.30-6.30pm. For more information or to sign up contact
Join the revolution
The Manchester-based magazine for creative writing, Black & BLUE, is currently seeking submissions on the theme ‘Revolution’. They are looking for revolutionary writing in any form, from poetry to dramatic sketches, not to mention diary entries, fabricated transcripts, memos and love letters. Send your submissions to Deadline: 14 September. See for details.
BBC Script Room
Send your stage play for assessment by readers at the BBC when The Script Room window opens from 15-29 September. They say: ‘We read all scripts as a calling card of a writer’s talent. This is not a free script-reading service, but a means by which the BBC seeks out the best new writing talent, offering writers without a track record, representation, or contacts the opportunity to have their work considered by the BBC.’ Shortlisted writers will go forward to access a range of development opportunities with BBC writersroom. Script Room 8 is specifically for comedy/drama stage plays. There are strict submission guidelines, which you are advised to follow. Deadline: 29 September For more information, see
Story Tyne
North Tyneside Libraries is encouraging people of all ages to enter its free annual short story competition, Story Tyne. This year entries are being invited on the theme of ‘The Great War’. There are four age categories in the competition: adults, young people aged 13-16 years, children aged 9-12 years, and children aged up to 8 years. Entries in the adult category should be no more than 1,500 words, and entries in the children’s categories no more than 750 words. Waterstones vouchers will be awarded to winners and runners-up. Closing date: 27 September. Entry forms are available from North Tyneside libraries or can be downloaded here.
The Listening Post
Bill Bryson: Children’s Cancer Research Week dinner
Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle: Friday 19 September
Author Bill Bryson will be the guest speaker at the launch

of Children’s Cancer Research Week at Jesmond Dene House. He will be hosting a three-course dinner
in the
grand surroundings of the Great Hall at Jesmond Dene House,
an exclusive venue in the heart of Jesmond Dene, near Newcastle. To book tickets or for further
information, call Sally Cowling on 07845 146414
or email Tickets: £75. For more details, see
Workshops and classes

The Writer’s Prize
Seeking the best ideas across the Radio 3 and 4 networks, BBC Radio has joined forces with BBC Writersroom to hold The Writer’s Prize. The award is the opportunity for a Radio 3 or Radio 4 commission and the prize is open to a range of ideas and approaches from any writer, anywhere in the UK. It could be a 45-75 minute drama for Radio 3 or 4, although the majority of opportunities will be for the Radio 4 afternoon drama slot, which lasts 45 minutes. They say: ‘We are looking for original, surprising multi-character narrative scripts for radio. We are not looking for monologues or adaptations.’ The award will be judged by Jeremy Howe (commissioning editor, BBC Radio 4 Drama), Kate Rowland (BBC creative director, new writing) and award-winning writer Katie Hims. Opens 15 September, closes 29 September. Apply online at
New prize for unpublished children’s authors
The National Literacy Trust has launched a new writing competition for unpublished children’s authors, the New Children’s Author Prize 2015. Submit a 20,000-40,000 word children’s story, targeted at children aged 8 to 12 to be in with a chance of winning a publishing contract with Bloomsbury and a £5k advance. Entries cost £30 and the competition closes on 30 September. Visit for more details and how to enter.
National Poetry Competition
The National Poetry Competition is now open. This year’s judges are Glyn Maxwell, Roddy Lumsden and ZoĆ« Skoulding. The winner of first prize, which last year went to Linda France for her poem Bernard and Cerinthe, will receive £5,000, publication in The Poetry Review and the chance to read at some of the UK’s top literature festivals. Closing date: 31 October. For details, see

Youth spoken word slam
SLAMbassadors UK is the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships, the longest running in the country. Established in 2002 it is committed to finding and nurturing the next generation of spoken word artists. Entries are to be submitted via filmed poem on the theme ‘Identity’, and will be judged by a panel of artists including Kate Tempest. The six final winners will be invited to London to attend a masterclass led by poet Joelle Taylor, before performing a debut professional set at the Royal Festival Hall on 31 October. The competition is open to all 12-18-year-old UK residents and closes midnight 10 October. To enter, see

Reading and writing short stories
Lit & Phil, Newcastle: 22 September-27 October, 6pm-8pm
This short course will look at and discuss examples of contemporary short fiction, using this as a basis to inspire creative writing. The course will be led by Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny, two experienced writers and tutors. It is open to anyone with an interest in the short story form, and is tailored to suit both new and experienced writers. Call 0191 232 0192 to reserve a place. Fee: £40 (£35 concs) payable at first meeting.
Deadline for the next newsletter
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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