Saturday, 11 April 2015

News from News Writing North

Here is the latest News from New Writing North newsletter, including a last call for playwright proposals, details of workshops, competitions, opportunities and jobs, that I thought my followers would like to see:

April 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Last call for a playwright proposals – closes Sunday 12 April
Last month we reported our good news that we have secured three years of funding from Arts Council England, which will allow us to tour one production adapted from a picture book each year, aimed at children under 7 and their families. We are still accepting applications for a playwright to work on the 2015 production, but the deadline is this weekend.
The writer should be based in the North of England and have experience in creating work for children. They must have had at least one play professionally produced and must be available to participate in development sessions with the cast in Newcastle between May and July 2015, and deliver the script by the end of August 2015. They will be expected to attend rehearsals and meetings in Newcastle. The production will tour in October 2015. We will pay ITC rates for the commission.
To apply, please email Anna Disley a covering letter stating your interest and experience in creating work for children, a writing CV, an example of a script you have written, and a two-page treatment of a picture book of your choice, adapted for the stage. Applications should be submitted by midnight Sunday 12 April to
New faces for Cuckoo Young Writers
On 25 April a new term of Cuckoo Young Writers sessions begins, and not only is there a new group starting up in Amble, but there will be a whole new set of writers and group leaders leading the sessions. If you (or a young person in your life) has ever wondered about getting involved, now may just be the time!
In Newcastle, poet John Challis and group leader Matt Wesolowski will be taking on poetry and performance, and delving into the poetry archive for inspiration. Join in from Saturday 25 April, 11am-1pm, Northern Stage, Newcastle
In Sunderland, songwriter and ex-Futurehead Barry Hyde and group leader Lizzie Nixon will be getting election-ready, and exploring protest songs and writing. Join in from Saturday 25 April, 11am-1pm, Pop Recs, Fawcett Street, Sunderland
In Cramlington, writer and artist Stevie Ronnie and group leader Hannah Morpeth will be exploring poetry, people and place. Join in from Saturday 25 April, 11am-1pm, Cramlington Library
And in Amble, playwright Carina Rodney and group leader Emily Wiseman will be developing characters, plots and themes to create excellent stories. Join in from Saturday 25 April, 10am-12pm, at Amble Library
All sessions are FREE to attend for all 12-19 year-olds. If you’d like any more information, email or phone 0191 204 8851.
Read Regional 2016: open call for books
We are still accepting submissions of books by authors based in the North of England to be considered for Read Regional 2016. The campaign is run in partnership with 19 local authorities and will see 10-15 authors visiting libraries, festivals and book groups across the North East and Yorkshire in spring 2016. Libraries buy the Read Regional titles in bulk and a comprehensive marketing campaign supports the project. Books must be published between November 2014 and December 2015 (we are unable to accept self-published titles). Authors may be based anywhere in northern England. Deadline for submissions is Monday 4 May. For more information, see
Julia Darling on 4Extra
Don't miss the rare opportunity to hear the late and much loved Julia Darling’s Appointments on BBC 4Extra next week. The funny and moving story about a woman's response to being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour is on every day next week at 2.30pm with an omnibus edition on Sunday. 4Extra is also broadcasting The Waiting Room, an intimate web diary with poetry and songs about Julia's last three years, on Monday 13 April at 11.15am.
We’re thrilled for Chloe Daykin, one of our Northern Writers’ Awards 2014 winners, who has just signed a two-book deal with Faber Children’s Books for Fish Boy, the children’s novel for which she won the award. Chloe met her agent Ben Illis at our networking event for NWA winners last summer. “It’s an absolute dream come true,” said Chloe. “I am so excited, I’m bouncing round the garden!”
Hooray for Newcastle University creative writing student Olivia Gwyne, who has been shortlisted for the Home-Start Bridgwater Short Story Prize. The winner will be announced by judge Tracy Chevalier at the Bridgwater Arts Centre, Somerset, on 25 April.
Congratulations to Judy Walker, who has won the annual Red Squirrel Short Story competition. As her prize, Judy’s pamphlet will be published by Red Squirrel in 2016.
Fiona Veitch Smith says her head is spinning after she has signed three book contracts in the space of two months. Lion Fiction will be publishing The Jazz Files, the first in the Poppy Denny Investigates mystery series set in 1920s London, in September 2015. Then SPCK Publishing have bought the rights to her self-published children’s picture book series, the Young David books, and commissioned her for a new seven-book series. Great news, Fiona!
Writer opportunity at NTC Touring Theatre Company
NTC has received funding to produce A Wife or the Gallows and Other Telling Tales, a new, northern Canterbury Tales for family audiences, which will tour nationally in autumn 2015. The company is now looking for an emerging North-based writer to join the writing team for this project.
The production will comprise of six tale-telling misadventures with comic, sad, bawdy stories in the vein of The Canterbury Tales, drawing upon the working roots of the region, including fishing, mining, farming and ship building. Writers may be complete beginners or have had one professional production of their work. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a two-day workshop in Alnwick, Northumberland, in May 2015, before a successful writer is selected. The chosen writer will have their work professionally produced, and will receive a fee of £1,000. For full application details, see
Call for proposals for NAWE conference: 13-15 November 2015, Durham
The NAWE conference invites writers to share their various approaches to writing and to the teaching of writing at all levels. NAWE would like to stress the inclusive nature of the conference to newer members; it is not just aimed at people working in a university setting but is a gathering of a wide range of writers, educators and those interested in creative writing and education. Proposals should consist of a brief (100 word) outline, exactly as you would wish the session to be described in the programme, plus biographical information on all presenters (50 words each). Please also specify exactly what technical equipment you require. Sessions are generally 75 minutes, but plans to share sessions are encouraged. Short presentations may be grouped according to focus by the conference organisers. All presenters need to register as delegates but benefit from a significant discount. You can book for the conference at Email proposals to by 4 May.
The Portico Prizes
The Portico Library in Manchester has announced the call out for the 2015 Portico Prizes for fiction (including poetry) and non-fiction. The prizes of £10,000 each will be awarded to books published between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2015, that are of a good literary standard, of general interest, and set wholly or mainly in the North of England.
Previous winners of the Portico Prize, which this year celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, include Anthony Burgess (Any Old Iron), Sarah Hall (The Beautiful Indifference), Jean Sprackland (Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach), and Jenny Uglow (Elizabeth Gaskell, A Habit of Stories). Deadline: 31 July. To apply, see
Active Northumberland is recruiting for a project coordinator for the Northern Poetry Library. The successful applicant will have an excellent understanding of managing literacy/arts projects, working with libraries and managing partnerships, and a successful track record of managing similar projects. It is expected that the successful application will make their own office arrangements, however some work will be carried out within the libraries and on site. This is a freelance contract with a £12,000 fee (60 days at £200) plus expenses (max of £1,000) and it is fixed term from 1 July 2015 to 28 February 2017.
For further information or an informal chat about this post, please contact Wendy Scott, Design & Arts Development Manager, on 01670 624754. Applications should be emailed to by 5pm, 18 May 2015. Please put ‘NPL Project Co-ordinator Application’ in the subject box. Interviews to be held 29 May 2015.
Eden Arts in Penrith, Cumbria, is seeking a project officer who will work across a wide variety of projects. This new post will assist the head of projects and director to deliver key projects such as Picnic & Remote Cinema, The Winter Droving, C-Art and mass participation programmes. The role will have administrative as well as project management responsibilities. Deadline: Monday 13 April, 5pm. Salary: £18k, full time. For an application pack, see
Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax is recruiting for a marketing officer. Marketing experience is essential, ideally in an arts environment. The appointee will be responsible for the marketing and promotion of Square Chapel’s programme of events, as well as its website and online ticketing systems, under the direction of the marketing manager. Deadline: Tuesday 14 April, 9am. Salary: £18k, full time. For an application pack, see
Creative writing workshops at Hexham Book Festival
Aspiring writers in the North East could make a day of it at Hexham Book Festival on Saturday 25 April when two workshops will guide them through writing fiction and how to get published.
Bea Davenport’s Writing Fiction workshop at 10.30am will cover characterisation, plotting, narrative distance and point of view, sensory writing and showing not telling. Bea is the author of suspense novels In Too Deep and This Little Piggy (Legend Press) and children’s novel The Serpent House (Curious Fox).
In Creative Writing & How To Get Published at 1pm, Sarah Leipciger, debut author of the much anticipated The Mountain Can Wait, will talk about how to improving your creative writing skills with Tinder Press commissioning editor Mary-Anne Harrington. They will also share tips on how to get your novel noticed in the competitive world of publishing.
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 20 April. The next edition of The Listening Post covering May's events will be published in late April so if there are any events that you would like to submit for inclusion you will need to send information to Laura by 20 April.
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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