Saturday, 28 November 2015

New Writing North newsletter

Here is the latest New Writing North newsletter, including opportunities, jobs and competitions, for my followers to peruse:

November 2015
News from New Writing North

New Writing North news
Verb New Voices on BBC Radio 3
Did you catch the first of our Verb New Voices broadcasts on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb last Friday? If you missed Carmen Marcus’ brilliant performance (along with Pat Barker, Jacob Polley and James Yorkston), you can listen again on BBC iPlayer. This evening, Friday 20 November, Chanje Kunda will be on The Verb from 10pm, with Kamal Kaan appearing on 18 December. We hope you enjoy this exciting new writing by northern writers.
Tell us what you thought @NewWritingNorth #VerbNewVoices

Join Sunderland Young [Song] Writers
In January, Cuckoo Young Writers will be launching their first Cuckoo Young [Song] Writers group in Sunderland. Working with songwriters Martin Longstaff (The Lake Poets) and Natasha Haws, the group will meet weekly on a Saturday, 11am-1pm, at Pop Recs Ltd.
Before the group starts in January, Cuckoo is running a free day-long songwriting workshop with Martin on 12 December 2015, 11am-4pm at Pop Recs. It’s a chance for young people aged 12-19 to get started on some tunes, meet some other young writers and eat some chocolate Santas!
The group is for young songwriters aged 12-19 of all abilities, from musicians who want to find out more about writing lyrics or writers who wants to set their words to music. You don’t have to be able to play an instrument to come along, you just need to be keen to explore songwriting, music and lyrics.
If you’d like to sign up for the songwriting day on the 12 December or if you are interested in attending the Cuckoo Young [Song] Writers group, please email or phone 0191 2048851.
Words for Wellbeing at Washington Mind
In the New Year, New Writing North is launching a new kind of Cuckoo Young Writers group for
15-19 year olds, in partnership with Washington Mind, Tyne and Wear.
Led by acclaimed poet and novelist Carolyn Jess-Cooke and group leader Hannah Morpeth, the group will be a chance for young people to write away their worries and frustrations, develop their imaginative writing and enhance their wellbeing by getting things out of their head and onto the page.
At the group, the emphasis won’t be on grammar or spelling. The groups will provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment for young people to write stories or poems, or write about what makes them feel anxious or angry.
Sessions will take place weekly on a Saturday from 9 January 2016, 11am-1pm, at the café in Washington Mind. For more details, email or phone 0191 204 8851.

Call out for writer/visual artist: Young Writers’ City
New Writing North is currently developing a project with West End Women and Girls Centre in Newcastle. We are looking for a female writer and visual artist or graphic designer for approximately 8 x 2 hour sessions between January and March 2016.
The project will focus on creating a written and visual poster campaign promoting awareness and prevention of domestic and sexual violence and issues surrounding consent. To express interest or find out more please email by 30 November.

Arts Award
New Writing North is proud to be an Arts Award Supporter organisation. This means that we run activities that young people, schools and groups can use towards their Arts Award. For example:
• Workshops and master-classes
• Tickets to arts and cultural events which they can review via Cuckoo Review
• Opportunities to find out more about writers and cultural opportunities in their area
• A chance to lead arts project and develop leadership skills
• The opportunity to publish and share their writing with others (fiction, poetry and non-fiction) via Cuckoo Chronicle
• Get advice from professional writers, journalists and musicians at
• Find out about careers in the arts
We welcome participation in our projects from young people, and for over 18’s there are work experience and volunteering opportunities, including working on the Durham Book Festival.
For find out more about how we can support you with Arts Award please check out our webpage, email or call 0191 2048850.

We were thrilled to see that Northern Writers’ Awards winner Andrew McMillan’s first full-length collection Physical has been shortlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award (only the second time a poetry collection has made the shortlist) and the Costa Poetry Award. Physical is out now with Joanthan Cape. The Costa Awards also include Andrew Michael Hurley, whose novel The Loney made the Costa First Novel Award shortlist, and Neil Rollinson, whose collection Talking Dead (Jonathan Cape) is on the Costa Poetry Award shortlist.
Fantastic to see Northern publishers dominating the shortlist of the TS Eliot Prize: three Bloodaxe poets made the list: Tracey Herd (Not in This World); Selima Hill (Jutland); and Rebecca Perry (Beauty/Beauty), as well as Tim Liardet (The World Before Snow) and Les Murray (Waiting for the Past), both published by Carcanet. North East poet Sean O’Brien also features for his collection The Beautiful Librarians (Picador).
Linda France and Angela Readman are shortlisted for the Poetry and Fiction Prizes, respectively, at the 2015 Manchester Writing Competition. The winners of this year’s prizes will be revealed at a ceremony in Manchester on Friday 27th November. Visit Manchester Writing School’s website to reserve your free place.
Author Jackie Copleton will be talking about her debut novel, A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding, at Newcastle City Library on Wednesday 25 November (Level 2 Studio, 1-2pm), as part of Books on Tyne Festival. She'll be discussing the challenges of writing historical fiction, as well as the vital role Newcastle has played in her journey to publication. Tickets cost £2.
Community writing project in Amble
An Arts Council-funded project, ‘Local Stories’, is launching at James Calvert Spence College, led by Writer in Residence, Carina Rodney. The second of two drop-in sessions takes place at their Acklington Road Campus on Thursday 26 November (10-12) and anybody is welcome to come along and share their stories about the local area. If you are interested, email

Join the Network of European Literary Activists
New Writing North recently met Katharina Deloglu from CROWD literature project in Germany. The organisation is keen to make contact with writers and literature activists, promoters and publishers from the UK who share their interests. They have a number of interesting EU projects in development including a bus trip of writers and activists that will travel across Europe. As part of their developments they are keen to create a digital map of activists across Europe. You can register at the CROWD website. To show what the CROWD is about they have also started a small online magazine with articles published weekly that present activists from across Europe.

Speak at the Arts Award conference
The Customs House in South Shields is looking for Arts Award advisors to speak at the regional Arts Award conference on Thursday 4 February 2016 (with a fee of £200, including travel and expenses). Interested advisers can apply by email outlining their experience in no more than 200 words to Elizabeth Kane, cultural development assistant: The deadline for application is Friday 27 November at 12pm.
TakeOff Festival guest programmer
Theatre Hullabaloo is now recruiting for the next TakeOff Festival guest programmer. The freelance programmer will work with their creative producer and the festival team to curate a cutting edge festival that appeals to audiences across County Durham. Download the TakeOff Festival programmer recruitment pack to find out more and apply. The deadline for application is Monday 30
Commission: a new piece of work for under 7s
For the second consecutive year ARC and The Civic are seeking to commission the creation of a new piece of work for 3-7 year olds to be presented at in spring half term 2017 (w/c 13 Feb 2017 in Stockton w/c 20 Feb 2017 in Barnsley). The venues are able to offer a £3,500 commission, plus rehearsal and development space. The deadline for expressions of interest is 1pm on Monday 14 December; full information is available online.

Deborah Rogers award
The Deborah Rogers Foundation—set up in memory of the late literary agent and chair of Rogers, Coleridge and White—is launching a new Writers' Award. The £10,000 prize will go to a first-time author who works in fiction, non-fiction or short stories.
Submissions should be made via before the closing date on 31 January 2016.
Historical fiction competition
The Historical Writers’ Association has joined forces with Goldsboro Books to launch their 2016 Debut Crown award, which will be given to the best historical novel by a first-time fiction author published in the UK during the judging period. The trophy, as well as prize money of £1,000, will be presented at the October 2016 Harrogate History Festival.
Nominations and applications should be made before 31 January 2016. Details of how to apply can be found on the Historical Writers' Association's website.

Arts journalism prize
The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism is looking to award £2,000 to a journalist, critic, blogger or unpublished writer interested in examining the contemporary arts. For your opportunity to have your work published in print and online versions of the Observer, enter at the Anthony Burgess website. Submissions close Monday 30 November.

Workshops and networking
The future of culture in the North East: What, Who, When?
How culture is thought about and delivered regionally and nationally is undergoing profound changes. It is a crucial time to understand what these changes are, who is responsible for them and what they will mean. What Next? Newcastle Gateshead has invited key regional and national policy makers to share their perspectives on the future of cultural policy, programmes, structures and resources in the North East at an event at Dance City, Newcastle on 11 December (1pm-4pm, from 12 noon for networking). Speakers include Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister Culture and Digital Innovation; Jane Tarr , Regional Director, Arts Council England North East; James Bird, Head of Arts at Department for Culture, Media and Sport and many others.
This FREE event is for writers and artists and everyone interested in the culture of the region. Booking is essential via

Edinburgh International Book Festival is seeking a creative and motivated marketing officer to help promote their headline programme, in addition to their year-round strand of events produced with partners across Scotland. Salary: circa £21,500 + 5% pension. Job description and application details are at the book festival's website. The deadline for application is Monday 30 November, 12pm.
Award-winning women’s theatre company Open Clasp is looking for a company development manager to join their established team at what promises to be a very exciting time for the company. Minimum 28 hours. The deadline for application is Thursday 3 December. Visit for details.

The Listening Post
Exposing Cover-Ups
An event taking place at The Lit & Phil on Wednesday 11 December (8-9.30pm) will feature two influential whistle-blowers discussing their experiences. Chaired by local author Dr. Guy Mankowski, the writers will discuss their stories and engage in interactive discussions to shed new light on how we can expose the kind of cover-ups that affected them. Tickets are £4.50 on the door or can be purchased via Eventbrite.

Mudfog Press events
Mudfog Press will be launching two new pamphlets at Hartlepool Library on Wednesday 9 December (6pm): Walking the Ridge Line by Robin Moss, and Sheila Nichols's Tasting the Salt. Robin will also be reading from his collection at the Lit & Phil on Wednesday 16 December at 7pm, along with a talk from environmentalist Mike Pratt who will be previewing his forthcoming collection, A Recipe for a Snow Bunting's Nest. For further details contact Pauline Plummer 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 30 November.

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