Sunday, 7 June 2015

News from New Writing North

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

 June 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Newcastle Writing Conference 2015
As you read this, we are finalising the very last details for Newcastle Writing Conference 2015, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday 6 June). The conference theme – Do It Yourself – leads on from the survey we undertook of 259 writers in the North of England earlier in the year, from which we learned that so many writers are looking for help navigating the opportunities available to them online and offline. Tomorrow we’ll be doing our best to inspire you to seize those opportunities. If you can’t make it to the conference, do follow our chat on Twitter using #NclWritingConf.
Julia Darling Travel Fellowship
Last weekend we were delighted to announce Chloe Daykin as the winner of the inaugural Julia Darling Travel Fellowship. Chloe impressed the judges with her proposal to travel to Norway, where she intends to take the journey across fjords and Norwegian wilderness upon which she will send the protagonist in her new children’s book. The prize was announced at Rendezvous 2, a celebration of the work and life of Julia Darling at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.
We hope the Julia Darling Travel Fellowship will run again next year, and we are crowd-funding for it on JustGiving. To donate, please text JULI01 plus the amount (eg JULI01 £10) to 70070.
We were thrilled to see Read Regional poet Helen Tookey (Missel-Child, Carcanet) and past Northern Writers’ Awards winner Toby Martinez de las Rivas (Terror, Faber and Faber) on the shortlist for the 2015 Seamus Heaney Prize for best first collection. The winner will be announced during the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry School in the week commencing 22 June.
Writer Alison Carr and director Rosie Kellagher have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the final funds needed to get their play The Soaking of Vera Shrimp to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Winner of the 2013 Live Theatre/Empty Space Bursary Award, this one-woman play will be performed at The Pleasance, 5-31 August, at 12.45pm. The campaign runs until 9 June and any donations would be hugely appreciated. For more information see
Huge congratulations to Lisa Anne Craig, whose story Flour Baby is one of three selected to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines. Lisa will be invited to attend the recording in June, and it will be broadcast in August 2015.
Finally, our friends over at Mslexia and North East poet Linda France have published two Mslexia Minis, which can be printed out or downloaded to an e-reader for just £3 per guide. Poetic Forms is a guide to the 15 most popular and enduring poetic forms; First Principles is an 11-part primer in contemporary poetry. Both guides feature specially-commissioned examples from some of our leading women poets including Ruth Padel, Mimi Khalvati and Carol Ann Duffy. Both e-books are available now at
Get Seen 2015
Sustained Theatre Artists Yorkshire (STAY) have announced details of a showcase event, Get Seen, on 20 July at West Yorkshire Playhouse, which will give up and coming performers/artists the opportunity to perform a 10 minute snapshot of their work in front of casting agents and influential industry figures, as part of the wider Open Season at West Yorkshire Playhouse. There are 8-10 slots available for artists/groups to apply for via an application form which can be found on the website. The deadline for applications is Friday 19 June at 5pm. Those who are successful with their written applications will be invited to audition on Thursday 25 June and the chosen performers will be notified the following day and offered access to a rehearsal space from 1-19 July.
STAY is an organisation created to celebrate cultural diversity, therefore they strongly encourage minority artists to apply for the opportunity. For more details, see
Hit the North
Hit The North is a They Eat Culture project, consisting of a programme of cross-arts work developed in and around Preston’s train station, investigating notions of northerness, regional identity and place, at a post-election moment.
They Eat Culture has an open call out for a group of commissions and interventions to work alongside its residencies and engaged communities inhabiting the station over the period of this project. They are looking for practitioners in any medium/genre, including visual arts, film and photography/digital arts, data-work, sonic arts, illustration, graphics, design, architecture and built environment, live art, performance, and writing. They are also interested in people who might contribute a critical response to the programme. Deadline for proposals is 31 July. For more information see To register your interest, email and they will send back a fuller brief.
Butcher’s Dog open for submissions
Poetry magazine Butcher’s Dog is currently open for submissions. This issue is being edited by Luke Allan, Degna Stone and guest editor Wendy Heath. ‘There is no set theme, we just want you to send us your best work,’ they say. Send no more than three unpublished poems to them by 31 July. For full submission guidelines, see
National Poetry Competition
The National Poetry Competition 2015 is open for entries. This year’s judges are David Wheatley, Esther Morgan and Sarah Howe and the prizes are £5,000 for the overall winner, £2,000 for the second, £1,000 for the third, with seven commendations of £200. The top three winners will also be published in The Poetry Review, as well as having the possibility of reading at some of the UK’s top literary festivals. Deadline for entries: 31 October. Since its launch in 1978, the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition has marked a milestone in the careers of many of today’s leading poets. Previous winners include Philip Gross, Jo Shapcott, Tony Harrison, and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Enter here.
InkTears Flash Fiction
InkTears Flash Fiction competition is now open for entries. There are six prizes available ranging from £250 to £25. All prize-winners will have their story published to the InkTears readership and their bio published on the InkTears website. Submissions must be 500 words or less in length, any theme. Fees: 1 entry £3; 2 entries £5; 3 entries £6.50; 4 entries £7.50. Closing date: 31 July. Full results will be posted on the InkTears website by 10 November. For full details see
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, based in Newcastle, is looking for people to fill a wide range of roles including: administrative assistant, bookshop co-ordinator, trading assistants, stock control administrator, catering supervisor, story catchers, business development manager, and trustees. See for individual posts and details on how to apply.
Active Northumberland is seeking submissions for a consultant/consultancy company to deliver a new five-year cultural strategy for Northumberland. It is anticipated that the process will involve two main stages: Stage 1 – scoping the existing cultural landscape in the county and developing terms of reference for the development and delivery of the cultural strategy; Stage 2 – the cultural strategy and blueprint for a new County Cultural Partnership. It is envisaged that this piece of work will commence in late June 2015 immediately upon appointment. Phase 1 to be completed by the end of September 2015. Phase 2 must be completed by the end of October 2015. Tender deadline: Friday 12 June. For more information on how to apply visit
The award-winning Yorkshire Festival is looking for an experienced and dynamic artistic director to lead and articulate the artistic vision for Yorkshire Festival 2016. The artistic director will oversee the commissioning and curation of an ambitious programme of new work that delivers that vision successfully and will build a sustainable future for a biennial Yorkshire Festival. If you have a proven track record in creating outstanding events and are ready to build a popular festival of international repute email for further details and how to apply. Closing date Monday 8 June, 9.30am. Interviews in central Leeds on Wednesday 17 June.
The Listening Post
Liz Lochhead
The Old Fire Station, Penrith: Friday 5 June, 7pm
Liz Lochhead’s appearance at The Old Fire Station is a real coup for Penrith. The Scottish National Poet has been described by Carol Ann Duffy as, ‘funny, feisty, female, full of feeling; a fantastic performer of her work and a writer who has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry.’ Tickets: £10. Tickets can be reserved via
JibbaJabba Sunderland
Independent, Sunderland: Tuesday 23 June, 8pm
A fast-paced night of spoken word shenanigans, featuring the best poets, comedians and musicians the North has to offer. With a headline set this month from the wonderful Carmen Thompson, who has just been selected for Radio 3’s the Verb New Voices project.
Poetry at the Portico
Manchester’s Portico Library has a full line-up of poetry events throughout the summer months, including events with Cinnamon Press, and Carcanet. June sees appearances by writers including John Gallas, former winner of the Portico Poetry Prize, John Redmond and Tim Liardet. Read Regional authors Helen Tookey and Tara Bergin will be reading in July. See for more details.
Workshops and networking
Making the Creative Industries Work: the Art of Creative Practice
Ryder Architecture, Cooper’s Studios, Westgate Rd, Newcastle: Monday 8 June, 6pm-8pm
Northumbria University is hosting a performance and conversation for and about creative practitioners. Making the Creative Industries Work will feature a performance by concert pianist Yoshie Kawamura and emerging dance star Natasha Watson to Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives. Following the performance, David Almond will join the conversation so that a musician, a dancer and a creative writer, at different stages of their professional development, will discuss their career paths and the challenges and opportunities they face. The discussion will be facilitated by Janet Archer, chief executive of Creative Scotland. Tickets: £8 from
Society of Authors Summer Social
Chester: Thursday 2 July
Members and non-members are invited to join The Society of Authors’ Summer Social for a river cruise of Chester, afternoon tea at Chester Town Hall, a roundtable discussion and a networking event with literature professionals from the North of England. Book online by Friday 26 June 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 15 June. The next edition of The Listening Post covering July's events will be published in late June so if there are any events that you would like to submit for inclusion you will need to send information to Laura by 20 June.
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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