Wednesday, 1 October 2014

New Writing North Listening Post newsletter

Here is the latest New Writing North Listening Post newsletter, including book launches, Festivals and author talks, that I thought my followers would be interested in seeing:

September 2014
The Listening Post
Durham Book Festival
Venues across Durham: Monday 6-Monday 20 October
After months of preparation, the North East’s biggest literary festival is finally here. We are truly excited about this year’s programme, which offers everything from poetry to politics. While some events have sold out, there are tickets left for some of our headliners, including Sheila Hancock, Jung Chang and Stuart Maconie. Other highlights include John Carey, Terry Eagleton, David Kynaston, Rachel Cooke, Laura Bates, Kirsty Wark, Natalie Haynes, Linda Grant and many, many more. We do hope you will join us for what promises to be an entertaining and thought-provoking fortnight. Book online at
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
Ilkley Literature Festival
Venues across Ilkley: Saturday 27 September-Sunday 19 October
There is an excellent programme at Ilkley Literature Festival, where 2014 Northern Writers’ Award winner Kim Moore is poet in residence. You’ll also find Read Regional 2013 author Stephen May and Northern Writers’ Award 2013 winner Ian Duhig, alongside names including Margaret Atwood, Will Self, John Hegley and Michael Rosen. For the full programme see
Beverley Literature Festival
Various venues in Beverley: Wednesday 1-Saturday 11 October
There are several festival events which have caught our eye, not least Crime: Fiction v Reality, which features crime writers Mari Hannah and Anya Lipska, crime reporter turned novelist David Mark and former Detective Inspector Mo Dowdy (4 October, 4.30pm). The festival also offers creative writing masterclasses with Helen Cross and Antony Dunn (4 & 5 October, 9.30am-4pm) and romantic novelists Rhoda Baxter and Jane Lovering (4 October, 9.30am-12pm). For full listings and booking information, see
Manchester Literature Festival
Venues across Manchester: Monday 6-Saturday 25 October
There is much to enjoy at Manchester Literature Festival, including our own theatre production for under 7s, The Worst Princess, which will be showing on 16 October at Beswick and City libraries. Elsewhere, you’ll find Sarah Waters, Simon Armitage, Martin Amis, Nick Laird and Evie Wyld amongst the literary talent. For the full programme see
National Poetry Day event: An evening with The Celia Bryce Band and The Marsden Writers
South Shields Central Library: Thursday 2 October, 7pm
Read Regional 2014 author and singer-songwriter Celia Bryce brings together the Marsden Writers and The Celia Bryce Band for an evening of poetry and song to celebrate National Poetry Day. Tickets: £1.
Medley of Poets for National Poetry Day
Lit & Phil, Newcastle: Thursday 2 October, 7pm
Red Squirrel Press invites you to them in a National Poetry Day celebration with five popular poets: Kathleen Kenny, Tom Kelly, Ellen Phethean, Fiona Ritchie Walker and Colin Will. The event is free and refreshments will be available. For further information contact Sheila Wakefield at
Caroline Bergvall: Drift
Sage Gateshead, Saturday 4 October, 8pm
Internationally renowned performer Caroline Bergvall teams up with experimental Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach and Swiss visual artist Thomas Köppel for Drift, a journey through time and space where languages mix and live percussion meets live voice. Inspired by the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer, Drift is produced in the UK by Penned in the Margins with Sound and Music. Book online at
Woodsmoke in the Air: Poems for an Autumn Afternoon
Caldbeck Methodist Church: Sunday 5 October, 1.30pm
Join Mary Robinson and Helen Fletcher at part of the Caldbeck Festival. Mary Robinson's recent work includes a collection The Art of Gardening (Flambard, 2012) and a pamphlet Uist Waulking Song (Westward Books, 2012). She is working on a poetry/photography collaboration to be exhibited in March 2015. Helen Fletcher's poetry has been published in several magazines. She is working on her first collection. Tickets at the door: £5 (including light refreshments). For further information email Mary Robinson at
Tea and Murder! An afternoon with Valerie Laws
Haltwhistle Library: Friday 10 October, 3pm
Share afternoon tea with Valerie Laws as she talks about crime writing and reads from her latest novel, The Operator, follow-up to the award-winning The Rotting Spot. Tea and homemade cakes will be served and Valerie’s books will be for sale. Tickets: £2.50, book in advance at the library. Tel 01434 321863.
Joint launch: Poetry by Josephine Scott and Ian Davidson
Lit & Phil: Monday 13 October, 7pm
Join Red Squirrel Press for a joint launch party, celebrating Josephine Scott's second full collection, Rituals, and Ian Davidson's new pamphlet, The Tyne and Wear Poems. The event is free and refreshments will be available. For further information please contact Sheila Wakefield at
Collector of Tears
Customs House, South Shields: Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16 October, 8pm
Newcastle-based playwright Sean Burn has a new play on tour this autumn. Collector of Tears follows a woman who – unable to age until she has cried – instead collects tears from across 400 years of radical English history. Following the dates in South Shields, the play will tour to Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Central Library, on 17 October and Arts Centre Washington on 30 October. For full listings see
Mudfog Press: 20 Years of Publishing
Baker Street Kitchen Café, Albert Rd, Middlesbrough: Sunday 19 October, 4pm Central Library, Middlesbrough: Saturday 25 October, 3pm
Join Mudfrog Press to celebrate 20 years as an independent publisher in Tees Valley. As part of T-junction Poetry Festival the press will launch a new pamphlet, by Adrienne Silcock, Taking Responsibility for the Moon, and will be joined for readings from Mel McElvoy, Mike Pratt, Natalie Scott and Khadim Hussein. Listen to readings from a wide range of Mudfog-published writers across the decades, plus opening of exhibition of book designs. Free entry. For further information on both events contact Pauline Plummer at
TakeOff Festival
Venues across the North East: Monday 20-Sunday 26 October
TakeOff Festival makes a welcome return with a packed schedule of theatre for children and young people. The festival is visiting more venues than ever before right across the North East. You’ll find theatre, dance, puppetry and play from leading companies producing for young audiences, including Horse + Bamboo, Theatre Hullabaloo, Fevered Sleep and Young Vic. For full listings, visit
Harrogate History Festival
Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate: Thursday 23-Sunday 26 October
Hosted in association with the Historical Writers Association, the 2014 Harrogate History Festival will feature some of the giants of the genre, with special guests including Peter Snow, Bernard Cornwell, Elizabeth Chadwick, James Naughtie interviewed by Robert Wilton, Charlotte Higgins with Richard Hobbs, Alison Weir with Sarah Gristwood, Sarah Dunant in conversation with SJ Parris and many more. See
Diverse Voices launch weekend
Seven Stories: Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 October
Join Seven Stories for the launch of their Diverse Voices season with a weekend of music, storytelling and art. The Diverse Voices exhibition commends the 50 British children’s books published between 1950 and the present day that best represent cultural diversity. The exhibition also features work by our Cuckoo Young Writers, who worked with Degna Stone to write poetry responding to themes explored on the list. Free event, centre admission applies. See
Deadline for November’s Listening Post
The next edition of The Listening Post, covering November’s literature events, will go out in late October. If you have events that you would like to submit for inclusion for this you will need to send information by 20 October 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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© New Writing North 2014

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