Monday, 18 July 2016

News from New Writing North newsletter

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

July 2016
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Cuckoo Songwriters Success!
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Sunderland Young [Song] Writers Musical Instrument fund on Kickstarter. The campaign was a huge success and will mean that the young songwriters who don't have their own instruments will start the new sessions in September with access to guitars, percussion and keyboards!
The Cuckoo Young [Song] writers will also be performing for the first time at this year's Summer Streets festival in Sunderland, alongside other top Northeastern acts such as Field Music and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. The young songwriters will be on at 1.20pm on Saturday 16th July. The festival takes place in Thompson Park in Sunderland. See more information at the Cultural Spring website.
Young Writers’ City teacher wins award
New Writing North is very proud that teacher Angela Martin from Newcastle Sixth Form College has been awarded an NGC Teaching and Learning Award for 'Innovative Ideas and Impact on Learner Progress' for her work with our Young Writers’ City project. Young Writers’ City has been working with Angela and writer Stevie Ronnie since September last year to develop new ways of engaging college students with poetry and literature.
If you are a teacher in a secondary school or FE in Newcastle and would like to talk to us about how Young Writers’ City could work with your school, please email
Cuckoo Young Writers Summer Schools
This summer, Cuckoo has a creative writing summer school for every taste. Join us for everything from song writing to crime fiction, spoken word to making poetry out of paper, scissors and glue! Cuckoo Young Writers’ Summer Schools are for young people aged 12-19 who are interested in creative writing. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve already got a novel on your memory stick or you just want to try something new and have a go: CUCKOO NEEDS YOU. And it’s all totally FREE!
Make poetry in Newcastle/ Gateshead, 25-29 July 2016 Pick ‘n’ mix writing summer school in Durham, 2-4 August 2016 Explore songwriting in Sunderland, 1-3 August 2016 Crime writing in Cramlington, 16-17 August 2016 Start songwriting in Warkworth, 23-25 August 2016
For more info about all the summer schools and to sign up, see the Cuckoo Young Writers website.
Spaces are limited, so book soon!
Two 2016 Northern Writers Awards winners have had their work published by The Chronicle in Newcastle. 14-year-old students Amy Langdown and Shana Nichols—both members of our Cramlington Cuckoo Young Writers group—were chosen ahead of 600 other entrants to win the Matthew Hale Award, for writers aged 12 to 18. Their striking feminist poem, ‘The Competencies of Rage’, is available to read via The Chronicle’s website.
Our Read Regional 2016 programme may have ended, however the ten writers who took part are keeping themselves very busy. Carys Davies's story ‘The Testimonie of Alyss Tee’ was published in the summer 2016 issue of Ploughshares, an award-winning journal of new writing. This special 45th anniversary all-prose issue is guest edited by novelist Claire Messud and literary critic James Wood.
Read Regional author Crista Ermiya’s story ‘1977’ is included in the newly published Best British Short Stories 2016 anthology, edited by Nicholas Royle. A blog post about her experience participating in this year’s Read Regional is available to read online.
Whitley Bay writer Steve Chambers's BBC Radio 4 comedy Highlites, co-written with Phil Nodding, is airing its sixth and final series from Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July. The episodes will air 10.45am-11am each day and follow the characters of Bev, a bitter and vindictive chief stylist in a hair salon, and her fond and foolish assistant Shirley.
Holland House's Novella Project
Holland House's upcoming Novella Project has been designed to provide industry experience and publicity for new writers. The organisation is looking for submissions from first-time authors of between 20-50,000 words, and all genres are welcome. The closing date is 1 December, but early submissions will receive a response before then. Contact Holland House at:
The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets 2016
The Michael Marks Awards is presented by The Wordsworth Trust and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.
The Poetry Award recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK between July 2015 and the end of June 2016. The Publishers’ Award recognises an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, based on their publishing programme, while the Illustration Award recognises outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet.
Cash prizes are available ranging from £1,000 and £5,000. For full details see: The competition opens for entries Mon 18 July and closes Friday 26 August.
Children’s Novel Competition
Mslexia Women's Novel Competition 2016 is for novels of at least 15,000 words written for children (and young adults) in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists. First prize 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 fee is £25 per novel (deadline: 19 September). For more information, and to enter, see
National Poetry Competition 2016
The National Poetry Competition is now open to everybody aged 17 or over, for previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines on any subject. The judges read all entries, and all poems are judged anonymously. Cash prizes range from £1,000 to £5,000, and there are seven commendations at £200 each. Winning poems are also published in an anthology and on the Poetry Society website. Deadline: 31 October.
Jesmond Library—creative writing competition
Jesmond Library is launching its second annual creative writing competition over the summer, with the theme—quite fittingly—being ‘Jesmond’. Prizes include £300 worth of book vouchers from Blackwell’s Bookshop and The Keel Row Bookshop. Closing date: 1 November. Entry forms are available from the Library in St George’s Terrace, or from the website Enquiries can be made via, tel 0191 281 2385.
Workshops and networking
Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade workshop
There are still some spaces left for Victoria Watson’s daytime retreat at Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade on Sunday 24 July, 10am-2pm (£40, including lunch). As a participant, you'll be invited to read your TVLB-inspired work at the Heritage Open Day on Saturday 10 September (although this is not mandatory). To book your place, call Victoria on 07854 147140 or email
Sci-fi and fantasy event in Beverley
Humber SFF (27 August, 4pm-8pm, at The Monks Walk, Highgate) is a free to attend genre-based social event for the Humber region, providing the opportunity to meet others who write as well as discovering new books. Daniel Godfrey will be reading from his highly anticipated book, New Pompeii, while David Tallerman will be reading an extract from The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories. For more information, see
Writing for Children 10-week course at Lit and Phil
Suitable for beginners or more experienced writers, this course will examine a variety of children’s literature to explore technique and style (Tuesday 20th September–29th November, 10.15am -12.15am, with a break for half term).
All ten sessions cost £80 in advance or £27 for the first session and £7 per session after that. Book via the Lit and Phil—0191 232 0192—or for more information contact Ellen Phethean.
Writers’/artists’ retreats at Kelleth Old Hall
2015 Northern Writers’ Awards winner Charlotte Fairbairn is launching a retreat at her Eden Valley house, Kelleth Old Hall, with the first one taking place 28 September–13 October.
There will be time for writing, painting, reading, and thinking, and qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher Kate Stannard will also be leading sessions. Prices start from £65 per night, with a minimum five nights’ stay. For more information, see
Crime writing in the Lake District
Mari Hannah, author of the DCI Kate Daniels series, is the main speaker at First Page's residential crime writing course (venue TBC). Mari will be offering top tips for writing compelling crime fiction, alongside guest sessions on blogging and self promotion from writer Wendy H. Jones and blogger Beth Pipe, and expert manuscript advice from the resident editors and creative writing tutors.
The course runs from 31 October–4 November, and there is an early bird ticket offer available until 31 July (£425 full board, instead of the usual £475). For more details, see:
The Listening Post
Indie Lit in Bradford
The first ever UK Indie Literary Festival is taking place Saturday 23 July at St James Hall, Bradford. 25 UK authors will be there in person, as well as Kendare Blake—best-selling author of the critically acclaimed 'Anna Dressed in Blood' series—will be answering fan questions via Skype. The event is free; see for more information.
Summer Soiree in Newcastle
A showcase of comedy and new writing by mental health survivors and supporters, will be taking place on Tuesday 2 August on the top floor of Broadacre House, Market Street, with special guests and MC Sharon Race. The event runs 6.30-9pm and admission is free, including refreshments.
Whitley Bay Film Festival 2016
Tickets for the popular seaside festival (14 August–3 September) are now on sale, with highlights including a 20th anniversary celebration of TV mini series Our Friends in the North (Friday 26 August; The Exchange, North Shields). Screenwriter Peter Flannery will be in attendance; discussing the seminal drama he modestly calls ‘a posh soap opera’ (ticketed; free of charge).
Lit-inspired events include a screening of 1988’s surreal version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at St Mary’s Lighthouse, and Tales of Terror, a film based on a trilogy of Edgar Allen Poe-inspired horror stories.  For the full line-up, and to purchase tickets, see
The Fighting Bradfords
Gala Theatre, Durham
Thursday 8 to Saturday 17 September, 7.30pm (+2.30pm on Wednesday 14 & Saturday 17).
Written by Carina Rodney and directed by Psyche Stott, this Gala Theatre production tells the story of Roland, George, James and Thomas Bradford, the most celebrated brothers in British military service.
Drawing on first-hand accounts, correspondence and family anecdotes, The Fighting Bradfords explores what drove this family of decorated First World War soldiers from County Durham to become national heroes.
Tickets: £12 - £15. Buy them from the Gala website (‘Pay What You Like’ on Monday 12 September. Call the Gala Theatre Box Office and pay what you want when booking in advance).
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 July 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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