Friday, 24 July 2015

News from New Writing North newsletter

Here is the latest News from New Writing North newsletter:

July 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
There is a Green Hill: afternoon tea with Michael Chaplin
On 24 July we are hosting a special afternoon tea event in Alnwick to celebrate Michael Chaplin's book There is a Green Hill: Walking around Northumbria, Walking around my Father. Michael will be joined by former MP Chris Mullin and Professor Keith Shaw from Northumbria University, who helped inform the book. There is a Green Hill looks at the changing nature of life in the North East and whether the North East identity, which Michael's father, Sid Chaplin, once wrote about, still remains.
Friday, 24 July, 3.30-4.30pm, The White Swan, Alnwick.
Tickets cost £20, including deluxe afternoon tea (a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, a selection of homemade cakes and unlimited tea and coffee). To book, please follow this link through to EventBrite:
Young Writers’ City launches at Walbottle Campus
Over the past fortnight, students at Walbottle Campus, Newcastle, have watched mysterious signs appearing on their school walls alongside the usual motivational artwork. "It’s not my time you're wasting" reads one sign; "Did you hear what she said?" asks another.
The signs have drawn confusion, laughter and even suspicion from students at the school. "Is this art, then?" one pupil asked English teacher Phil McDonald. All became clear this Tuesday as a poetry installation was unveiled in the school’s sixth form social area.
A group of young writers in Years 10-13 at Walbottle Campus worked with poet Bob Beagrie and graphic designer Mark Warner to create the artwork, which is the culmination of our first project in a programme called Young Writers' City, which exists to engage young people in Newcastle in creative activity. The project is taking place in Walbottle, Walker and the West End of Newcastle over the next three years.
Have a look at our Facebook page for photos of 'It is an ordinary day' at Walbottle Campus.
Cuckoo Young Writers summer schools
Know a young person aged 12-19 who loves to write?
We are running six summer schools in the North East this August in Cramlington, Bishop Auckland, Amble, and three areas of Newcastle—Walker, Walbottle and the West End. From songwriting to film-making, there’s something for everyone. It’s going to brilliant fun, no experience is required and what’s more, it’s all absolutely FREE.
Find out more and sign up at the link:
We have been delighted with the reception of Kathryn Williams’ album Hypoxia, which started life as a Durham Book Festival commission in 2013, marking the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Kathryn is going to be performing the album in full at the Manchester Literature Festival on 17 October, before discussing the work with Observer writer Rachel Cooke. Buy tickets at:
A few months back, we invited you to test the Beta version of MacGuffin, the new digital platform for poetry and short stories, made by our friends the Manchester publishers Comma Press. You’ll be pleased to know MacGuffin is now live, with some new features. Go to to sign up.
Competitions & Prizes
Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015
Mslexia Women's Novel Competition 2015 is for novels of at least 50,000 words written for adults—and young adults—in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists. This year's judges are Marina Lewycka (novelist); Juliet Mushens (literary agent) and Di Speirs (Books Editor at BBC Radio & Music). First prize in the competition is £5,000, plus the winner and four other finalists will receive free professional feedback from The Literary Consultancy and be invited to meet literary agents and editors at a special networking event in London. Entry costs £25 per novel.
The winner will be announced in the Mar/Apr/May 2016 issue of Mslexia. Deadline: 21 September 2015. For more information, and to enter see
RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction
The Royal Society of Literature and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation offer three annual awards—one of £10,000 and two of £5,000—to authors engaged on their first major commissioned works of non-fiction. They are now accepting submissions for the RSL Jerwood Awards 2015. UK and Irish citizens and those who have been a resident in the UK for the past three years are all eligible.
Applications must be submitted by Monday, 7 September 2015. See for more information.
The Portico Prize for Literature
The Portico Prize for Literature is now open for submissions of published fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Entries must be based largely or wholly in the North of England and published between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2015. Two prizes of £10,000 will be awarded by judges in each of the fiction and non-fiction categories.
Submissions should be made by publishers by 31 July 2015. For full details, see
StepAway Magazine—open for submissions
StepAway Magazine is an online English literary journal based in the North East of England. It was founded by the British writer, researcher and literary reviewer, Darren Richard Carlaw, and publishes poetry and flash fiction about walking in an urban environment. StepAway Magazine takes its name from a flâneur poem by Frank O’Hara entitled 'A Step Away from Them' from the collection Lunch Poems.
The journal recently won a Walking Visionaries Award, which will be presented at the Walk 21 conference in Vienna this October. 208 submitters from 47 countries shared their ideas and StepAway Magazine won a prize in the Walking and the Arts category.
StepAway Magazine has a rolling submission policy and they are looking to showcase the work of more North East writers. Submission guidelines can be found at
MA in Writing Poetry open for applications
The Poetry School are thrilled to announce that the application process for their MA in Writing Poetry, in collaboration with Newcastle University, is now live on the Newcastle University website.
The two year course starts in September 2015, and you can study in one of two centres: the Poetry School’s Lambeth Walk classrooms in London, or at Newcastle University itself. Both groups of students will come together for an annual joint Summer School, alternating between London and Newcastle.
This new MA is unique in that it is firmly rooted in the publishing, performing and promoting poetry world. You will be working with established poets Roddy Lumsden (London), Clare Pollard (London), W N Herbert (Newcastle) and Sean O’Brien (Newcastle).
The price for the MA is £2,750 per year. Full details of the programme and the application process are now available on the Newcastle University website.
For enquiries please email John Canfield at for study in London, or Melanie Birch at for study in Newcastle.
Writers’ retreat—Lockhaugh Studio
Lockhaugh Studio, based in Rowlands Gill, is being offered for let. In a quiet rural setting, 15 minutes from Newcastle City Centre, the studio is situated in the Eastern wing of a recently converted stable block overlooking Gibside Monument in Rowlands Gill, Tyne & Wear.
The studio has storage space, a shower room and underfloor heating. The walls are painted white with natural light supplied by skylights and side windows and the floor is finished in concrete grey. Rental starts at £50 per week, plus bills. To enquire, contact Deborah at or for more information and pictures of the studio, see
Introduction to Screenwriting Course
Using clips, discussion, and writing exercises award-winning writer-director, Gavin Williams, will take you through the first steps for constructing a film screenplay. Topics will include narrative structure, characterisation, and tips on writing genre films, such as action, comedy and science fiction. The course is intended for aspiring writers and film lovers alike, but all experience levels are welcome.
Gavin Williams has been commissioned by Yorkshire TV, Channel 5, Carlton, Penguin, Corgi and Lego, and his latest short film, Sleepworking, which was funded by Northern Film and Media, has won eight awards and played at forty-seven international film festivals. He has also taught at Northumbria University.
The course takes place at The Lit and Phil, Newcastle on Tuesdays 6-8pm from Tuesday, 18 August. Cost: £50 for 5 weeks. To sign up—or for more information—please contact Gavin Williams on
Blackpool Council are recruiting for a maternity cover arts and health development officer (3 days p/w) responsible for initiating, planning and managing the delivery of the Arts for Health programme. The programme is targeted at people with mild to moderate mental health problems and aims to improve wellbeing by offering high quality creative workshops. The effective management and supervision of freelance sessional artists is crucial to the smooth running of the programme and the participant's experience of Arts for Health. See Blackpool Council jobs for more information. Closing date: Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Square Chapel is looking for a development manager to develop and formalise a strong giving offer for Square Chapel. This role includes reviewing and improving existing schemes including Friends, Patrons, Regular Giving, Legacies, Sponsorship and Philanthropy. In order to achieve these goals the post holder will need to establish strong relationships with current and potential funders and be able to bring in considerable funds to support Square Chapel’s capital development plans and project over the coming years. For further information and to download an application pack, see Square Chapel's website. The deadline for applications is 9am, Wednesday, 22 July 2015.
Workshops and networking
Writing for Wellbeing workshops
Upcoming workshops across Yorkshire, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear
Write your way to a more positive outlook on life! Laura Napran will lead you through guided writing activities to foster personal growth, increased mindfulness, and emotional wellbeing. Whether seeking a new perspective on difficult issues, or looking to unleash your creative spirit, research has shown that writing is good for you! More information available on
Artswork training courses
Courses offered in project management, evaluating youth arts projects and mentoring
Designed for people working in the arts and cultural sector, these courses provide a way of developing your skills. Starting in October and running until November, train in 'Youth Arts project management' in Manchester, 'Evaluating Youth Arts projects' in Gateshead and 'Mentoring: the next creative generation' in Manchester. For more information, click the corresponding links.
Healing Words: the Poetry in Therapy
SCPTI, 1 Westbourne Grove, Scarborough: Saturday, 7 November, 2015, 10am-5pm
This one-day, experiential workshop with Kate Evans will explore how poetry could be a tool for greater self-reflection, insight and healing within therapeutic environments. No prior knowledge of poetry—either reading or writing it—is required, only an openness and a willingness to experiment with words. For more information or to book, contact SCPTI at or 01723 376246.
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 27 July. The next edition of The Listening Post covering September's events will be published in late August so if there are any events that you would like to submit for inclusion you will need to send information to by 20 August.
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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