Sunday, 13 September 2015

News from New Writing North newsletter

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

11 September 2015
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
The very first event at this year’s Durham Book Festival is our school’s day on Tuesday, 6 October, where schools from across the North East will be coming to Durham Johnston Comprehensive School to hear from award-winning children’s authors.
Unfortunately Kate Saunders is no longer able to attend the festival, but in her place we are delighted to present the illustrious Linda Newbery, whose books about the First World War include The Shell House, Tilly’s Promise, and Some Other War. Linda has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for several books, and in 2006 won the Costa Children’s Book Award. We are thrilled to be able to welcome her to Durham Book Festival.
Linda will be joined on the day by picture book authors Pip Jones (Squishy McFluff) and Simon Bartram (Man on the Moon). Tickets for Durham Book Festival for Schools cost just £3.50 per child, with accompanying teachers attending free of charge. If you'd like to book, please follow this link.
This week we snuck in to watch rehearsals of our children’s theatre production, Man on the Moon, adapted from Simon Bartram’s picture book by Zoe Cooper and directed by Ruth Johnson. We’re thrilled with what they have created so far and can’t wait to see the finished production, which opens on 26 September and tours community venues across the North. You can find all the tour dates at and take a look at the tour Facebook page for some sneak previews and beautiful harmonies.
Become a Reviewer in Residence at Northern Stage
After our first successful season of reviewing at Northern Stage earlier this year, we are opening up the programme again to young reviewers’ aged 15-23 who have an interest in gaining some in-depth theatre knowledge.
It’s a chance to hone your feature writing and critiquing skills through masterclasses and workshops with top professionals and to get up-close-and-personal with local theatre companies as an embedded reviewer. Reviewers in Residence will also get the opportunity to attend exclusive events at Northern Stage and have access to the whole Autumn programme. Reviews and features will be published on Cuckoo Review, and will have a chance to be published in the 2015 print edition of Cuckoo Press.
A full programme will be published soon, but the first meeting will be on 30 September 2015 from 5.30pm, when the group will meet with Northern Stage’s Artistic Director Lorne Campbell and attend a performance of Curious Monkey’s Beats North. Please email by Friday, 18 September to register your interest.
The first issue of Cuckoo Chronicle, Cuckoo Young Writers’ online literary magazine for young writers aged 15-21, is open for submissions. And they need your writing!
Rising from the ashes of Cuckoo Quarterly, Cuckoo Chronicle will showcase the best new poetry, short prose, flash fiction and creative non-fiction (so anything that’s not a review!) by young writers. We’re interested in original, innovative work by exciting young writers. You’ll also be in with a chance of winning the £50 Cuckoo Prize for the best submission. For full details of what we are looking for, and for how to submit, follow this link. The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2015.
Cuckoo Chronicle will be published twice a year, in April and November, and all submissions will go to our Editorial Committee of young writers, who select and assist in the editing of the work. For more info, email
We are now recruiting for our Creative Writing for Teachers group for the new school year 2015-16. The group meets twice termly from 4.30-6.30pm at The Lit & Phil in central Newcastle.
The sessions are led by professional and experienced writers to support you to develop your own skills as a writer, share ideas and reflect with like minded peers on your creative writing teaching, all in a relaxed and informal environment. By taking part in writing workshops as participants, you can gain knowledge, confidence and tools to take back with you into the classroom—no writing experience is necessary. This year sessions will include flash fiction and short stories, children’s fiction, script writing and poetry.
The sessions run on Thursdays 4.30-6.30pm. There are six sessions over the academic year, beginning on Thursday 1 October. The course costs £75 per teacher for the year.
If you would like to come along or find out more, please email or call Amy Mitchell on 0191 2048852. For more details, see the article on our website.
Congratulations to Tara Guha, the winner of the 2014 Luke Bitmead Bursary, whose debut novel Untouchable Things is out now with Legend Press.
Join poet Jake Campbell for the launch of his new pamphlet, The Coast Will Wait Behind You, published by Arts Editions North, which takes place on Wednesday, 30th September, 6.30-8.30pm, at The Customs House, South Shields.
Competitions & Prizes
Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015
Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015 is for novels of at least 50,000 words in any genre for adults (and young adults) by unpublished women novelists. The first prize is £5,000, while the winner and four other finalists will receive manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy and an invitation to a special networking event with literary agents.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, 21 September. More details can be found at
Bare Fiction Prize 2015
Following their inaugural competition in 2014, Bare Fiction Magazine is once again looking for writers of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. First, second and third prize winners will be published in the Spring 2016 issue of the magazine, with cash prizes of up to £500 also available.
Costs per submission are all under £10 (with discounts for subscribers) and deadline for entries is Saturday, 31 October. To find out how to enter, visit
Bursary for a two year MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck University
The Kit de Waal Scholarship is looking to support a talented writer, who would not otherwise be able to afford the course. The scheme will target candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as people who experience socio-economic disadvantage or cultural barriers.
The bursary will be launched on 24 October at an event in London; for more information, contact
Hexham based arts organisation Little Big Butterfly are looking for a youth and community filmmaker to work on its hard-to-reach group projects. If you are an experienced filmmaker with skills in engaging young people and community groups with challenging behaviour, please send your CV and examples of your work to Closing date for entries is Wednesday, 30 September. Work is paid and part time (£20k-25k pro rata).
Nova International is seeking an artistic director for its Great North Run Culture programme. The successful candidate will be expected to deliver a cultural programme that celebrates sport and art through artistic commissioning; with an annual budget of £200+k. Salary is dependent on experience and the closing date is Friday, 18 September. For full details, see
The Poetry School in London is seeking an inspiring and business-minded director, to join the organisation. They will work with a staff team of six, over 100 freelance poets, and several key partners and funders, to take the charity to the next stage of its development. Salary is in the region of £45k depending on experience. Closing date is Monday, 14 September. For full details, see
Mid Pennine Arts is looking to recruit a project manager with a strong track record of developing and delivering high quality, project-based work in a multi-platform arts environment. The closing date is Friday, 18 September, with a full time salary of £20k to £23k (pro rata) for a commitment of around 2.5 to 3 days per week. For full details, see
The National Media Museum in Bradford seeking a head of learning and participation to direct daily operation and long term development, and maximise public engagement and participation. The closing dates in Sunday, 20 September. Permanent position with a salary of £38k pa. To apply, visit
Doncaster performance venue Cast is looking for both a marketing and communications officer (£18k per annum; 37 hours per week) and an office administrator (£14k per annum; 37 hours per week). Entry for both roles closes Friday, 18 September. For more information, see
Workshops and networking
The Tyneside Writers’ Circle
A new writing group is being set up in NewcastleGateshead, and organisers are looking for members who would like to share information and experiences. Writers will share and receive critiques with one another, both online and at regular meetings. If you’re interested in taking part, email Ernie at
Hull Local Authors and Publishers Book Fair
The free event, at Hull Central Library, Albion Street from 11am – 3pm on Saturday, 12 September, offers a unique opportunity to meet up with local authors and societies and buy their books and publications.
The Listening Post
Free as a Bard
Free as a Bard, the popular poetry and music evening, returns to Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay on Sunday 11 October. Poets Pippa Little and Peter Mortimer will perform alongside local singer songwriter J.D. O'Neill. In addition there'll be free fruit, a literary raffle and a bespoke floral sculpture on display.
Tickets cost £5 and the show starts 7.30pm. For booking information, see
Take Back Your Freedom – the Life and Times of Winifred Holtby
Everything activist, journalist, lecturer and novelist Winifred Holtby achieved in her tragically short life will be celebrated in this dynamic and thought-provoking show presented by The Hull to Scarborough Line (aka Sue Wilsea and Felix Hodcroft), at Kardomah94 in Hull on Thursday, 1 October. Tickets at £6/5 are available from Kardomah; call 01482 317941.
The People’s Republic of Poetry
This 20-date national poetry tour launches at Harrogate Theatre on Thursday, September 24. A cross between a poetic super-group and 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ the show is fast paced and promises to never be the same twice. There will be a free pre-show workshop at every venue and participants will be offered the opportunity to perform as part of the show, including a date at Durham Book Festival on Saturday, 10 October and at Washington Arts Centre on Thursday, 8 October. For tour dates and further information, see
Poetry by Josephine Scott
Josephine Scott, who was born in Cullercoats but spent her childhood in Australia, presents an evening of performance at Cullercoats Library on Tuesday, 22 September at 7.30pm. Her work paints in delicate, yet searingly honest detail, our need for places of safety and warmth. Tickets cost £3; to book your place please call Cullercoats Library on 0191 643 2073.
Hexham Book Festival Residency: Meet the author
Hexham Book Festival has commissioned ten authors to write about Northumberland as part of their 10th anniversary programme. Evie Wyld is appearing at Blyth Library on Monday, 28 September (6pm; call 01670 361352 for tickets). She has published two novels to date and in 2013 was included on Granta Magazine's once a decade Best of Young British Novelists list.
Melissa Harrison, whose book Clay was chosen by Ali Smith as her book of the year, is at Rothbury Library on Monday, 19 October (6pm; call 01670 361352 for tickets). This is a brilliant opportunity to meet two of the authors taking part and learn more about their work.
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 21 September.
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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