Sunday, 26 April 2015

News from New Writing North newsletter

Here is the latest News from New Writing North newsletter, including jobs and competitions:

    April 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
New Writing North looking to recruit digital manager
New Writing North is looking for a Digital and Data Manager with a high level of skills and experience to support the company in growing our online engagement. This new post within the organisation will ensure the smooth running of all of New Writing North’s digital platforms, manage and report on audience data, lead on digital marketing initiatives, manage our websites, and support other staff with marketing, projects and office management. The Digital and Data Manager will work across the organisation and with senior staff and external stakeholders, developers, designers and project partners. The post is offered at a salary of £22,000 per annum pro-rata for three days per week. The full job description, terms and conditions and instructions on how to apply are here.
Newcastle Writing Conference 2015
Tickets are selling well for the Newcastle Writing Conference, which will take place on Saturday 6 June in Newcastle upon Tyne. Some of the break-out sessions are almost fully booked, so order soon to ensure you get your first choice of session.
The break-out sessions are with writers and industry experts at the highest level, and include the opportunity to meet a literary agent (Jo Unwin or Mark Stanton); learn blogging skills from books blogger Simon Savidge (Savidge Reads); develop your social media presence with digital publicity manager at Transworld Ben Willis; and learn about non-traditional routes to publishing including crowd-funding and self-publishing. Other sessions offer workshops in pitching and editing your work.
The break-out sessions are kept small to ensure each delegate can make the most of the day and speak to session leaders as well as their peers. For full programme details and to book, visit
Writers selected for Verb New Voices
Following our call for submissions earlier in the year, four writers from the North of England have now been selected to take part in Verb New Voices. Each will write an original piece of work, which they will perform on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb.
The writers are to be announced at the recording of a special programme on Thursday 30 April. The recording will take place at Media City, Salford, and will be part of a wider programme showcasing new talent, with guests including novelist Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season and The Mime Order, and up-and-coming performance poet Isaiah Hull. If you are under 25 and would like to be in the audience, please email to put your name on the guest list.
Creative Future workshops
The Creative Future Literary Awards is a national literary competition that celebrates talented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. Prizes are awarded in both poetry and short fiction, and include both cash and professional development activities. This year’s theme is ‘Impossible Things’. For more information about how to apply visit
New Writing North is working with Creative Future to offer two workshops on 12 May at Newcastle City Library. Intro to Creative Writing takes place from 11.30am-1.30pm, and Editing and Preparing Your Work for Submission at 2.30pm-4.30pm. Workshops are FREE, but you must identify as a marginalised writer to attend (this is a funding requirement). To find out more and to sign up for a workshop visit, ring Creative Future on 01273 234780 or email Bursaries are also available to cover travel costs if this would be a barrier for you to attend.
News from the arts sector
Spread the Word survey
A survey by Spread the Word, the writer development agency for London, has found that black and minority ethnic writers are under-represented across the board in publishing – from the number of BME editors and publishers working in the sector, to those published writers represented by literary agents, to authors speaking at literary festivals. For more information, see
Rendezvous writers announced
Live Theatre has announced the writers who will be taking part in Rendezvous, an event which celebrates the work of novelist, poet and playwright Julia Darling, and runs Thursday 28 May-Saturday 6 June. The evening will feature four new short plays by Laura Lindow (Sawdust & Stardust and Your Aunt Fanny), Deborah Bruce (director of Geoff Dead: Disco For Sale), Nina Berry (10 Minutes To…) and Holly Reed Macrae, who will be making her Live Theatre debut, mentored by writer Karin Young (Emmerdale). For more information and to book, see
Congratulations to Cumbria author Mike Craven, who was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2013 for his first crime novel, Born in a Burial Gown. The book is due out with Caffeine Nights on 11 June, with a launch at the inaugural Carlisle Crime Writing Festival on 13 June.
Northern Writers' Award winner, and Smith/Doorstop poet, Christy Ducker publishes her collection Skipper this May. Jackie Kay describes it as ‘deft and tough’, while D. Nurkse says, ‘Skipper is important work by a powerful poet’. Christy will be reading from Skipper on 7 May at 1pm, along with Cynthia Fuller, at Newcastle University, Armstrong Building, Room 3.38.
Freelance artists required for arts in health project
‘Room for You – Arts in Health’ is a charitable company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a core service based in the three main hospitals providing cancer treatment in the North East: the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle; City Hospital, Sunderland and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead.
The company pairs professional artists with qualified counsellors, who facilitate the sessions, and is now looking to expand its artists database. Freelance artists are employed for sessional work over a period of four to six weeks at a rate of £90 per half day. For further information, see If you are interested in joining the database, submit a CV, including whether you have DBS/CRB, a reference, plus examples of your work.
Festival 31 commissions
Festival 31 is a Merseyside-wide grassroots and community focused programme of activity over 31 days, beginning the first day of National Refugee Week (15 June). The festival explores refugee arts and culture and gives a platform to provoke discourse around refugee issues and bring communities together. This year marks the second festival, which is intended to be wide-reaching and diverse. There are opportunities for eight Merseyside artists to create work for the programme, including three refugee artists and two artists from asylum-seeking communities. Proposals are invited around the theme of Journeys to Freedom. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 5 May. For full details see
10-minute plays for Live Theatre
Live Theatre in Newcastle is looking for 10-minute plays that respond to the theme Make a Memory. Out of the submissions received, five plays will be selected for inclusion in the June edition of 10 Minutes to… which takes place on Sunday 7 June at 8pm in the main theatre.
The chosen writers will be matched with five directors at a speed-dating event in May. Writers and directors will then work together to complete the piece, cast it and be ready for an intensive rehearsal weekend on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June with a public off-book performance on the evening of Sunday 7 June. Plays must last no longer than 10 minutes, should have no more than four characters, and must be able to be performed with minimal staging and technical support.
Deadline for submissions: Thursday 30 April, 10am. The speed-dating event will take place in w/c Monday 11 May. Writers will need to be available for this event in order to take part. Email submissions to creative producer Graeme Thompson at
Mslexia poetry and pamphlet competitions
Mslexia, the magazine for women who write, has two competitions currently open. The Women’s Poetry Competition 2015 is for poems of any length and in any style. The judge is Deryn Rees-Jones and first prize will be £2000, plus two optional extras: a mentoring session with the editor of The Poetry Review, and a week’s writing retreat at Cove Park. In addition to second and third prizes, there is also a special prize of £500 for the best poem by a previously unpublished woman poet. Entry fee: £7 for up to 3 poems. All winning poems will be published in the September 2015 issue of Mslexia.
Mslexia Women’s Pamphlet Competition 2015 is for collections of 18-20 poems of 20-24 pages and will be judged by Amy Wack, poetry editor of Seren Books. First prize is publication of the pamphlet by Seren Books, plus £250, 25 complimentary copies of the winning pamphlet, and 10 per cent royalties from subsequent sales. Entry fee: £20 for a collection of 18-20 poems of 20-24 pages. The winner will also have one or more poems from the collection published in the December 2015 issue of Mslexia.
Both competitions close on 15 June. To submit see
The Bluecoat in Liverpool, has a vacancy for an engagement intern to support audience development for its year-round programme, supporting both the marketing and the participatory functions of the organisation. Fee: £6.50 per hour for 30 hours over 30 weeks. Deadline: Monday 27 April. It is also recruiting a part-time participation coordinator, to work a minimum of 22.5 hours at £14k pro-rata. Deadline: Sunday 3 May. For both jobs see
Active Northumberland is recruiting a cultural development officer - arts and creative industries for up to 12 months maternity cover. The role is based in Morpeth, Northumberland, to support arts and culture across Northumberland. Salary: £22k, full-time (part-time considered). Deadline: Friday 8 May. For full details, see
Spread the Word, the writer development agency in London, is recruiting for its director, which is the senior executive role in the organisation and is tasked with leading the organisation artistically and strategically. Five-plus years’ experience at senior level of an arts organisation is required. Salary: £37-39k. Deadline: Monday 27 April, midday. For more information, see
Seaside Stories: Creative writing walk
Cliff Top car park (opposite Seaham Hall Hotel): Sunday 10 May, 2pm-5pm
Chris Robinson will be leading a creative writing walk as part of a series of easy going walks with plenty of stops along the way for writing, designed to appeal to both walkers and writers. Tickets are £4/£10 family ticket. The walk is part of the Durham Countryside Service Guided Walks Programme.
North East writing retreats
Writer Rachel Cochrane is running writers’ retreats in two inspiring North East locations. Rachel provides a venue for the day, with a private room, lunch and refreshments included. People can bring along their writing and find space and time to work on it or start something new. On Tuesday 12 May the retreat takes place in Alnmouth, and on Sunday 31 May, Rachel is hosting a retreat at Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland. Both retreats last for the full day and include lunch. For details and prices, 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 5 May. The next edition of The Listening Post covering June's events will be published in late May so if there are any events that you would like to submit for inclusion you will need to send information to Laura by 20 May.
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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