Wednesday, 13 May 2015

News from New Writing North

Here is the latest News from new Writing North newsletter, including workshops, jobs, competitions and opportunities, for my followers to peruse:

 May 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Gordon Burn Prize 2015 longlist
This week we were thrilled to announce the longlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2015. Whittled down from 136 entries, the 13-strong longlist represents some of the freshest, most fearless writing from the UK and US published in the last 12 months and sees books by Martin Amis and Hilary Mantel alongside Ben Lerner’s 10.04, Sarah Thornton’s 33 Artists in 3 Acts and In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies.
The winner of the £5,000 prize will be announced at Durham Book Festival on 9 October 2015. See the full longlist at
Verb New Voices writers selected
We’re delighted to announce that four writers from the North of England have been selected for Verb New Voices 2015. Andy Craven-Griffiths from Leeds; Kamal Kaan from Bradford; Chanje Kunda from Manchester; and Carmen Thompson from Saltburn have all been given the opportunity to develop new work for BBC Radio 3’s The Verb.
The Verb New Voices scheme, now in its third year, is a joint initiative between the BBC, Arts Council England, New Writing North, The Writing Squad, Arvon and Freedom Studios, which supports the winning writers to create an innovative new piece of work for broadcast on the Radio 3 show and to help develop their art for multimedia environments. We were so impressed with the applications for this scheme and are pleased to support four talented writers with this development opportunity. Read about the four projects at
A family theatre production that is out of this world
We are over the moon to have secured the rights to adapt Simon Bartram’s picture book Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob) for our family theatre production, which will tour the North of England this autumn. Following our call-out in March, we have appointed Newcastle-based playwright Zoe Cooper to write the script. Zoe has previously had her work performed at Newcastle’s Live Theatre and Soho Theatre, London, and has plays currently in development at Live, Old Vic and Ovalhouse theatres.
Fans of the book will know that Bob is an orderly, helpful and delightfully uninquisitive caretaker-cum-tour-guide on the moon. Bob knows practically everything there is to know about the lunar landscape, and if there is one thing Bob is sure about, it is that there’s no such thing as aliens. Then again, who could be making all that mess? Watch this space for more updates on the production.
The Man on the Moon theatre tour is funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic touring programme.
Four weeks to go until Newcastle Writing Conference 2015
The speakers are booked, the lunch menu has been chosen, and tickets are selling fast for the second biennial Newcastle Writing Conference, which takes place on Saturday 6 June. Alongside keynote speaker Meg Rosoff, whose own writing career began when she was in her forties, we have invited leading publishing industry experts including literary agents Jo Unwin and Mark Stanton, editor Francesca Main, publicity manager Ben Willis, crowdfunding publisher from Unbound Rachael Kerr, self-publishing experts and many more. We hope you can join us for what promises to be an informative and inspiring day. Full details and tickets are available at
Freelance opportunity for a copy editor
New Writing North wishes to appoint a freelance provider of copy editing, book production and print buying services. The contractee will work on print and web publications for our Durham Book Festival programme. They will work on the 36-page Durham Book Festival brochure and several items of associated web and print marketing materials, which will be produced in June/July 2015. Following their appointment, the contractee may be offered further work later in the year. The contract will be offered on an hourly/daily rate. We require a provider who can respond quickly to requests for services and turn work around efficiently. If you have the experience and skills to provide these services please contact us with a covering letter that details your experience in these areas and noting your daily fee. Please send this to Laura Fraine at by Friday 22 May.
Cuckoo Review needs an intern
New Writing North is looking for an intern to work on our arts journalism magazine, Cuckoo Review. Cuckoo Review is written by 15-23 year-olds and we cover music, theatre, films, art and books (and other things too). We have partnerships with publishers, record companies and arts and cultural venues across the country. The Cuckoo Review internship is a chance to gain hands-on experience of working within an arts organisation, and an opportunity to develop your editing and proof-reading skills.
The internship will be one day a week for three months (beginning June 2015) and you will receive a bursary of £50 per day for this work.
We are looking for an intern aged 18-23 who has an interest in journalism or publishing. The position will be based in New Writing North’s Newcastle office. For a full description of the role, please download the job description here.
To apply, please email a covering letter explaining why you want to be a Cuckoo intern (no more than two pages) and a CV to Amy Mitchell at
The deadline for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 27 May and informal interviews will be held on Wednesday 3 June from 2pm-4pm. The internship will begin with a handover/training day on Tuesday 16 June. Applicants must be available for these dates.
We’ve had lots of good news from northern writers this week! We are rooting for Carys Davies, whose book The Redemption of Galen Pike (which earnt her a Northern Writers’ Awards in 2013) has been shortlisted for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year. You can catch Carys at a Society of Authors event with fellow NWA winner Benjamin Myers in Darlington on 16 May. And for Beda Higgins, whose second collection of short stories, Little Crackers, has been longlisted for the Edgehill Prize and the Frank O’Connor Prize. As we reported in our Listening Post, Beda has three events in the North this month.
Hooray for Gabrielle Kent, whose debut children’s novel, Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle, is published by Scholastic on 5 June. The book is being launched at Stockton Central Library from 6.30pm. For more information, see
Finally, we are most enjoying Angela Readman’s first collection of short stories, Don’t Try This at Home, which was published by And Other Stories earlier this week, and made it into the Independent’s Top 10 Books for Spring. Find out more at
Poets in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival
Ilkley Literature Festival is seeking a 2015 poet in residence and apprentice poet in residence. The post of poet in residence is an opportunity for a mid-career poet based in the Northern region, who has already published/is about to publish a collection, to develop their career and to be part of an exciting and dynamic festival. They are also offering an apprentice in residence opportunity for a young, talented, emerging poet who will be able to shadow the poet in residence, attend festival events, meet other poets and stage their own event during the festival. Deadline for applications: 9am, Friday 22 May. Read the brief at
Bear Hunting and other ways to walk
An afternoon stroll, a pilgrimage, a protest walk, a mass trespass, a way to explore, a form of exercise, putting one foot in front of the other, hiking, rambling – there are so many ways to walk and yet so many of us do so little of it. Walking is an everyday activity with extraordinary resonances; it has inspired a rich tradition of writers, artists, performers and activists. We are inviting expressions of interest from artists and creative practitioners who are interested in devising public walks as part of Bear Hunting and other ways to walk, a new arts, nature, walking and heritage festival in Kirklees. They seek expressions of interest from visual artists, musicians, writers, theatre practitioners, dancers, composers and others who believe they can inspire people to explore Kirklees’ footpaths. Deadline for expressions of interest: Tuesday 12 May. For more information on the commissions visit
Wakefield Lit Fest 2015 writer and artist collaborative commission
As part of this year’s 4th annual Wakefield Lit Fest (18-27 September 2015), Beam and Trinity Walk are seeking to appoint an artist and writer to work together to create a new bespoke arts commission that responds to the Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, engaging a wide variety of people (including customers, staff, businesses and local community groups) and with a particular focus on children and families. Artists and writers are encouraged to apply as an existing partnership – but are also welcome to apply as individuals. Deadline for expressions of interest: 12 noon, Monday 18 May. For the brief see
Luke Bitmead Bursary
Run by Legend Press, the Luke Bitmead Bursary is an annual award set up to support and encourage the work of fledgling novel writers. The top prize is a publishing contract with Legend Press and a £2,500 cash bursary. Submissions must be adult fiction, and only completed novels will be considered. Entry costs £10 and submissions are open now until Saturday 1 August. Full guidelines can be found at
V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize
The V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize 2015 for short stories is now open for submissions. The annual prize of £1,000 goes to the best unpublished short story of 2,000-4,000 words. The winning story will be published in Prospect online and the RSL Review. This year’s judges are Philip Hensher, Adam Mars-Jones and Rose Tremain. The closing date for entries is 22 June 2015. Enter online at
New Writing North is recruiting for a digital and data manager based in our Newcastle office. 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. £22,000 pro-rata for three days per week. Deadline: Monday 18 May. For more information, see
The Wordsworth Trust, in Grasmere, has a vacancy for an events officer. The post-holder will take responsibility for the evaluation, administration and delivery of the events programme throughout the year. With the curator, the post-holder will also develop the Wordsworth Trust’s short course programme, aimed at universities around the world. Full-time, £17,690, fixed term until March 2018. Deadline for applications: Wednesday 13 May. For an application pack, contact Melissa Mitchell at or call 01539 435 544.
The Reader Organisation has a vacancy for a project worker based in Liverpool. Key responsibilities include delivering group reading sessions and working one-to-one with young people, developing a school-wide culture of reading with partner schools and developing and maintaining key stakeholder relationships, as relevant to your project and area of work. Full time, £15-16k. This post has a rolling deadline. For full details, see
Commonword in Manchester has a vacancy for a fundraising intern to assist with fundraising through research, writing bids and raising Commonword’s profile. The role has been created as part of the Creative Employment Programme and the applicant must be aged between 18 and 24 years old, registered unemployed and live in Manchester. £6.50 per hour, 30 hours per week for six months. Deadline: 21 May. For full details see
Beam, in Wakefield, is seeking an experienced freelance project manager for Wakefield Lit Fest 2015, due to take place in September 2015. The appointed person will manage the effective development and delivery of the Wakefield Lit Fest 2015 programme including author talks, events, workshops, outreach projects and exhibitions. There is a fixed fee of £7,500 for a minimum of 50 days work between 25 May and 9 October. Deadline: 12 noon, Wednesday 13 May. To apply see
The Listening Post
The Poetry Business Yorkshire Prize Reading
Bank Street Arts, Sheffield: Friday 22 May, 8pm-9.30pm
Winners of the Yorkshire Poetry Prize, as part of the Poetry Business Competition, Hannah Stone, John Foggin and Keith Hutson, read alongside poets Christy Ducker and Jonathan Davidson. Tickets £8. For full details, see
Save the Date: EclecticIRON
Cullercoats, North Tyneside: 4-7 June
Following the highly successful IRON AGE Festival in 2013, this year IRON Press are presenting EclecticIRON, A Festival of Words, Music and Oddities. Running at six venues along Cullercoats seafront, the festival includes Tony Harrison, Ann Cleeves and Colette Bryce, as well as musicians, poetry on a bike, two new IRON Press books, a chance to pen your own Cullercoats murder mystery, a new Coast Buskers CD launched at the late night Festival Club – and its very own fringe. For full details see or call 0191 251 6009.
Writersroom at Salford Sitcom Showcase
MediaCity, Salford University: 12 & 13 May
As part of Salford Sitcom Showcase, BBC Writersroom is running a series of workshops and masterclasses on 12 and 13 May. Sessions include Developing characters for sitcom; Writing sketch comedy for CBBC; and Online comedy for the digital generation. Tickets are free, but do not guarantee entry to the event. Seating is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Sign up at
Writers and Teachers Skills Sharing Symposium
University of Bolton: Saturday 4 July, 10.30am-4.15pm
The Poetry Society, the National Association for Writers in Education, First Story and the University of Bolton are running a Skills Sharing Day, aimed at writers who work in schools (any age range) and teachers with an interest in creative writing or who teach the subject. This event is an opportunity to bring educators together, to network with other writers and teachers and to share valuable knowledge and experience. Tickets: £45, including lunch. If you are interested in leading a session, contact Anne Caldwell Book online at
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 18 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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© New Writing North 2015

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