Saturday, 13 February 2016

News from New Writing North newsletter

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

      February 2016
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Crime Story: Portrait of a Criminal
Crime Story 2016
Two award-winning writers explore the minds of two of the most notorious criminals of recent times.
Dan Davies spent more than a decade writing the highly-acclaimed biography, In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile, which presents an uncompromising portrait of Savile, compiled from years of interviews and dogged research, as well an enquiry into the society that enabled him for so long.
The event also launches Northern Writers’ Awards winner Andrew Hankinson’s You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]. The book covers the last days of the fugitive gunman Raoul Moat, who shot three people before going on the run in rural Northumberland. Written in Moat’s own words, pieced together from letters and recordings, the book offers a compelling insight into his paranoid state.
Book now for Crime Story: Portrait of a Criminal at Live Theatre, Newcastle on Thursday 10 March.
Ticket holders will receive £8/£10 off their Crime Story festival ticket, the programme of which will be launched on the same night.
Cuckoo Mega Survey
Cuckoo Young Writers, New Writing North’s young people’s programme, is looking for Cuckoos past and present to complete a survey on our work. Whether you attended one workshop or one hundred, we’d love to hear from you. The survey will help us reflect on the work we’ve done and shape the work we do in the future, so if you want to have an influence—plus, be in with the chance to win £50 of book vouchers—find the short survey here.
Read Regional 2016 launches
We’ve kept in under wraps for long enough, so it was with great joy (and a tiny bit of relief) that we finally announced the ten titles selected for this year’s Read Regional campaign.
From March to June, ten writers will traverse the North of England taking part in 80 events between them in libraries, schools, book groups and literary festivals. Their books are now available in the libraries of 22 local authorities across the North. Do try to get to a local event or borrow a book from your local library, and help us to continue supporting libraries, writers and readers in the North of England. Details of all events and reading guides are at
New board of trustees for New Writing North
We’re thrilled to have recruited several new members to our board of trustees. David Roche, former CEO of Borders and Books etc., is the new chair of the board, and is joined by Joanna Ellis, partner at The Literary Platform; Lee Mason, commissioning editor at Channel 4; theatre and television director Sarah Punshon; Jerome de Groot, senior lecturer in English Literature at Manchester University; and writers Ian McMillan, Michael Chaplin and Niel Bushnell. Read more about our new board members.
Northern Writers’ Awards close for entry
The Northern Writers’ Awards closed for entry on Wednesday 3 February with 1,004 entries. Good luck to everyone who entered! We have now begun the judging process and will be in touch with winners in early June 2016. The awards will be announced on 30 June 2016.
Young Writers’ City at Excelsior Academy
Our young writers were in the news again, as our Young Writers’ City project at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle culminated in a spoken word symphony performed by students in years 8 and 9. Since September, pupils at the academy have worked with writers Bob Beagrie, Rowan McCabe and Fred Phethean to create the performance, which involved rap, beat-boxing, spoken word and prose in some of the pupils’ many languages including Slovakian, Spanish, Croatian, Arabic and Romanian. Read all about it at the Chronicle website.
Man on the Moon special offer package
Finally, to keep your little ones entertained over February half term, we have launched a special offer based on our 2015 children’s theatre commission for Durham Book Festival. If you came to the show last October, no doubt you (like us) are still humming the tunes.
The Man on the Moon Combo consists of children’s picture book Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob) by Simon Bartram (RRP: £6.99), as well as the Man on the Moon Resource Pack, which contains an exclusive audio CD and fun activities for children and their families
The package is available to buy for £5 from the New Writing North online shop.
Lisa Matthews, lead poet in residence at the Northern Poetry Library has devised the anchored terset, a radically condensed form of poetry, using just three words. and piloted it earlier this month for National Libraries Day. Her creation garnered a lot of national attention, including an article on the Guardian website.
And congratulations to Debbie Taylor, whose novel Herring Girl, which is set in North Shields, was the most borrowed book from Newcastle City Library in 2015. Debbie Taylor was part of last year’s Read Regional campaign, which promotes writers in the North of England through libraries. Read about Herring Girl in the Evening Chronicle.
The State of the Arts
Online culture magazine The State of the Arts has recently launched in Manchester and is looking for volunteers who would like to gain experience through writing articles and editing the various sections, which include arts, culture, and politics features and reviews. If you are interested, contact Mattie Roberts.
Live Theatre writer in residence
Live Theatre and Northumbria University Newcastle are seeking to appoint a playwright in residence for twelve months, beginning in September 2016. The successful applicant will receive a residency fee of £20,000 and access to space, support, resources and equipment. The deadline for applications is Monday 22 February. For more information see the Live Theatre website.
Chorlton Arts Festival theatre commission
Chortlton Arts Festival is offering up to £500 (inc. VAT) for the development and performance of a new piece of theatre—either a one person show or a full cast production, to take place on Wednesday 25 or Saturday 28 May at The Lloyds, Chorlton in Manchester. All completed application forms should be submitted by Monday 29 February. Submit at the Chorlton Arts Festival website.
Dundee International Book Prize
Submissions for the 2016 Dundee International Book Prize are invited until Friday 19 February. The winner will receive £5,000, a week’s protected writing time in Dundee and publication by Freight Books. Visit the competition’s website for all the information you should need to enter.
National competition for A-Level students
The 28 February deadline is looming for the Lancaster Writing Awards, open to sixth form A-Level students across the UK. The top prize in each of the three categories is £200 and the winning young writers will see their work on the pages of prestigious literary journal Cake Magazine. For more information, including word counts please visit their website.
The Novella Award
Manchester Metropolitan University has announced the opening of its third annual Novella Awards, with the deadline for submissions being 29 April. This year’s competition will be judged by Lucy English, author of Selfish People and Children of Light and prizes include £1000 and publication by Sandstone Press. See for information on how to enter.
Workshops and networking
North East writers group
Writers in the Evening is made up of writers in Newcastle and the wider North East who get together in person and virtually to support and critique each other’s writing. The group is free to join and is run by volunteers; get in touch via to express your interest in joining.
Writing for Children at Haltwhistle
Author and illustrator Chloe Daykin will lead a series of fun and stimulating workshops at Haltwhistle Library looking at exciting contemporary fiction, with sessions taking place on Thursday 3, 10 and 17 March (6-8.30pm). Workshops cost £6 each or £15 for all three; to book your place, telephone Haltwhistle Library on 01434 321863.
Alnwick short stories
At three weekly Saturday workshops (commencing Saturday 5 March, 10am-12) taking place at Alnwick Library, prizewinning author Bea Davenport will take you through plotting, pace and structure to help create successful short fiction. Contact Alnwick Library via 01670 622154 to secure your tickets (£6 each, or £15 for all three sessions).
Free Word is looking for a marketing and communications manager to provide maternity cover for 9-12 months in London beginning at the end of May (deadline: Monday 15 February). The post-holder will be responsible for an integrated marketing, communications, audience development, branding and PR strategy for Free Word, the only international centre for literature, literacy and free expression in the world. Find out more at Free Word's website.
Theatre Hullabaloo in Darlington is looking to recruit a marketing manager to play a crucial role in the growth of the organisation, including the development of The Hullaballoon; a new flagship venue specialising in theatre for children and young people. Details of how to apply are available on their website.
Writing West Midlands, the regional writing development agency based in Birmingham is looking to recruit a PR & communications manager (maternity cover) for a period of 10 months from May 2016. £22-22k pro rata for 3 days per week. For full details and to apply, see their wesbite.
The Listening Post
Fantasy author event at Whitley Bay
Stephen Aryan, who has written Battlemage, the first book in the Age of Darkness trilogy, will be presenting a talk about his life and works at Whitley Bay Customer First Centre on Thursday 28 April at 7pm. Tickets cost £1.50 and refreshments will be included. To book contact the venue on 0191 643 5390
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 22 February 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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