Friday, 15 January 2016

News from New Writing North

Here is the latest News from New Writing North, featuring the NWAs 2016, opportunities and competitions:

   January 2016
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Northern Writers’ Awards 2016
This year’s Northern Writers’ Awards entries are now coming in thick and fast: don’t forget the deadline at 11pm, Wednesday 3 February. We’ve had a lot of enquiries in the last few days—most of the answers should be on our FAQs but feel free to get in touch at or connect with us on Twitter @NewWritingNorth or Facebook.
There are two new awards this year: the Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award is worth £2000 and is open to final year undergraduates, postgraduate students and recent alumni of the university.
The Northumbria University/Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards (children’s drama) offers one writer a £3000 bursary and a 12-month attachment to Lime Pictures’ children’s department. This complements the Northumbria University/Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards (serial drama), which was first awarded in 2015, and this year offers two writers a £3000 bursary and 12-month attachment to Hollyoaks.
When you’ve completed your own entry, please consider offering your support to a young writer (aged 12-18) by nominating them for the Matthew Hale Award. And if you know a young writer aged 14-18, do encourage them to apply for the Cuckoo Young Writers Award. It’s worth £200 and will be judged this year by the incredible Louise O’Neill.
Young writers wanted for Random Acts North
Are you a young writer interested in moving your work to the screen? Want to take part in a national-recognised training programme for young artists and (maybe) get your work on TV?
Random Acts North and Cuckoo Young Writers are hosting a workshop for young people (aged 16-24) interested in applying to make a short film as part of the Random Acts training programme, which offers you the opportunity to have your film broadcast on Channel 4.
During the workshop you will learn techniques to help you move your writing from the page to the screen, as well as meet the team delivering Random Acts and get real advice on how to improve your chances of being commissioned. We’re looking for young creatives with exciting ideas—no previous filmmaking experience is necessary!
The workshop will be held at Tyneside Cinema on 27 February 2015, 2pm-5pm. For more details or to sign up to the workshop, email or phone 0191 204 8851.
To find out more and apply for Random Acts see
Poetry Exchange podcasts
At last year’s Durham Book Festival, we invited people to talk to the Poetry Exchange about the poems that held a special place in their lives. Some of those conversations, and the poetry readings that came from them, are now available in a series of podcasts on The Poetry Exchange website. Thanks to all participants for helping make such a fascinating project.
Congratulations to Degna Stone, Jo Colley, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, John Challis and Linda France, who have been appointed Northern Poetry Library Poets in Residence. Located upstairs at Morpeth Library, the Library houses the largest collection of post-World War II poetry in England outside of London. For further info on the poets go to
Adelle Stripe has penned an epic poem, inspired by her family’s history in the fishing communities of Hull. Beyond The Silver Pit was presented as an audio/projection installation at Manchester Central Library in December and can now be listened to online.
Opportunities paid digital poetry residency
A new six-week digital poetry residency will commemorate over 800 years of the Magna Carta, creating a space for young people to debate and create. 12.15today, along with The Poetry School, are looking for a digital Poet in Residence with a passion for engaging young poetry audiences online. Download the details here and get your applications in by Sunday 24 January.
Creative Industry Finance advice
Creative Industry Finance, which was run as a pilot in Yorkshire, is now available right across England. Small and medium-sized enterprises and artists are able to apply for free advice on how financial support might be able to enable their businesses to achieve growth.
Butcher’s Dog submissions
Butcher's Dog poetry magazine is welcoming submissions for their next edition, particularly from those with a connection to Northern England. Submit no more than three unpublished poems in a single Word document to by Sunday 31 January. The selection process preserves entrants’ anonymity, meaning that your name must not appear anywhere on the poems, including the document file name.
Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers
The Crime Writers’ Association Daggers has been synonymous with quality crime writing for over fifty years. A panel of top crime editors and agents will judge their Debut Dagger competition, which has a deadline for entry of Sunday 28 February. All shortlisted entrants will receive a professional assessment of their entries and will be sent to prospective publishers and agents. For full terms and conditions, see
Tall Tales in Hexham
The Tynedale Tall Tales Competition, taking place in the Great Hall of Hexham Abbey on Friday 11 March at 7.30pm will give 10 participants the chance to tell original stories for the chance of winning spot prizeswith all funds raised going to the Rotary International campaign to eradicate polio. To participate as a tall tale teller or as a member of the audience please either email, phone 01434 606192 or leave a message on
Basil Bunting Poetry Prize
The Basil Bunting Poetry Prize is open to all poets writing in English and has a £1000 top prize. The deadline is 7 March, more information is available at The organisers are also running a Young Person's Poetry Competition, which runs alongside the adult competition.
This is open to UK writers aged 19 and under, and is split into two categories: 14-and-under and 15-19. More info at
Workshops and networking
Poetry slam workshop in Newcastle
Have you wanted to take part in a poetry slam but were put off by your lack of experience, nerves, or were unsure if you had the right material? Scratch Tyne is holding a free workshop at Broadacre House on Sunday 24 January (2-5pm). The session will be guided by Radikal Words’ Jeff Price and is a must for budding performance poets wanting to compete in the Great Northern Slam at Northern Stage on 31 March. Full event details at the Facebook event.
Youth Arts Project Management course
A six-day training course at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (23 & 24 February, 15 & 16 March, 12 & 13 April) is designed to leave you fully equipped and inspired to successfully deliver your very own youth arts projects. The course is priced at £400, all inclusive of accreditation, certification, lunch and refreshments for all six sessions. Book your place via the ArtsWork website, or contact Rachel Hall via for further advice and information.
Whitley Bay & Newcastle writing workshops
Victoria Watson ( runs two weekly writing groups—Mondays, 7-9pm at Quilliam Brothers Teahouse in Newcastle and Thursdays, 4-6pm at Di Meo's Delaval Ices in Whitley Bay. Each session is £10 and everyone is welcome, regardless of discipline or experience.
Pen Power at ARC
Poet and creative writing tutor Natalie Scott will lead a writing workshop at ARC, Stockton-on-Tees on Saturday 6 February (11am-12.30pm). Activities will include using a poem as a prompt to write a creative response, and expressing your thoughts on the page in response to a subject, theme or object. Tickets cost £10 per person and can be book via
Culture Warrington is seeking a press and publicity coordinator to be based in their offices at Arts Centre, Warrington (37 hrs per week, £18,376 to £20,849). The successful candidate will be responsible for securing positive press and PR coverage for Pyramid Arts Centre, Parr Hall concert venue and Warrington Museum & Art Gallery. Download a person specification here and an application form via the Culture Warrington website. The closing date is 9am on Monday 25 January, and applications should be emailed to
The Listening Post
Live Lab Elevator
A week of events taking place at Live Theatre (9-13 February) will celebrate the best new theatre from the North East and beyond. The full programme, which includes panel discussions, workshops, master classes, shows and work-in-progress showings, is available to view on the Live Theatre website.
Tynemouth tales
A live performance of the radio play Figureheads will take place at the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Headquarters (The Watch House, Tynemouth) on Sunday 24 January at 3pm.  Written by Whitley Bay writer Noreen Rees and performed by five local actors, the play is inspired by the wooden ships’ figureheads in the museum, and will be followed by readings of poetry and short stories from local writers based in North Tyneside. Tickets are free but must be booked by emailing
Death at Dawn: The life and death of a North Shields soldier
Cloud Nine Theatre Company, in association with Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project, present Peter Mortimer's award-winning play at The Memorial Hall, Wallsend on Friday 19 to Tuesday 23 February and Discovery Museum, Newcastle from Friday 26 February to Wednesday 2 March. Tickets (£10/£8) are available from Wallsend, North Shields and Whitley Bay Customer First Centres, Newcastle City Library, the Discovery Museum and online via
A Firm of Poets: Unity Words
Wakefield’s A Firm of Poets will be bringing the best spoken word artists to the city as part of a new night at performance venue Unity Works. The first night will take place on Wednesday 24 February at 7pm and feature Wigan-based poet Louise Fazackerley and the charismatic Rob Reed. More information about Unity Words can be found at
Valentine’s with a horror film legend
Gateshead-based Mark Iveson, whose book Cursed Horror Stars was published last year, will be presenting a lecture on actor Bela Lugosi at Newcastle’s Castle Keep on Saturday 13 February (6pm for £8). Tickets for the talk, which will be followed by a screening of 1932 cult classic White Zombie, can be booked online.
Lewis Carroll play
A play about Lewis Carroll, written by Bothel’s Imogen Barnfather and Cockermouth’s Miriam Ulyatt, comes to The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March at 7.30pm (tickets £7/£5). In The Dream Child, the author of the beloved classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland transforms Victorian society into a world of colourful characters through which he leads the young Alice Liddell. You can find out more about the production and book tickets via the Wyldwood Theatre Company website.
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 25 January 2016.
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 2016

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