Thursday, 18 August 2016

News from New Writing North newsletter

Here is the latest News from New Writing North newsletter, including details of the Durham book Festival, competitions, opportunities, jobs and more:

      August 2016
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Durham Book Festival 2016
After months under wraps, we are excited to finally share this year’s Durham Book Festival programme with you. It’s going to be a good one! Some of the many highlights include Hey Presto! our touring theatre production for under 7s and their families; our Big ReadRegeneration by Booker Prize winner and Durham resident, Pat Barker – which culminates in a flagship event with Pat Barker and Michael Morpurgo at Durham Cathedral; and the 15 Little Free Libraries we are building for County Durham.
You’ll also find big names including Alan Johnson; Anthony Horowitz; Laura Bates; Juno Dawson; Helen Mort; Chris Mullin; Hunter Davies; James Rebanks; Nikesh Shukla; Decca Aitkenhead and many more.
As the producers of Durham Book Festival, we think it’s really important to commission new work, so we’re especially pleased to present Kathryn Williams and Friends; Kamal Kaan’s As The Cloud Takes its Last Breath; Carmen Marcus’s The Book of Godless Verse; Matt Miller’s Sticking; Where Does the Power Lie in the North East? in association with The Northern Correspondent; and TippingPoint: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell. You can find all of our events at We hope to see you at the festival this October!
Gordon Burn Prize 2016 shortlist announcement
We are thrilled to announce the shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2016, as selected by our judges, the novelists Jenn Ashworth and William Boyd, journalist and writer Rachel Cooke, and the artist and author Harland Miller.
The shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2016 is:
A Woman on the Edge of Time: A Son’s Search for his Mother by Jeremy Gavron The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker All That Man Is by David Szalay And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany
The prize was founded in memory of Gordon Burn, a writer who pushed the boundaries and whose work across fiction, non-fiction and journalism was bold and fearless. The prize is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, Faber & Faber (Gordon’s publisher), New Writing North and the Durham Book Festival.
The winner will be announced on Friday 7 October at the opening of this year’s Durham Book Festival. Tickets for the festival are now on sale, and we very much hope you’ll join us.
Become a Reviewer in Residence at Durham Book Festival 2016
Following the success of our Reviewers in Residence programme at Durham Book Festival last year, we’re offering young people (aged 15-23) the chance to get involved again.
This is a chance to hone your feature writing, blogging and interviewing skills through masterclasses and workshops with top professionals such as The Guardian’s North of England editor Helen Pidd and books vlogger (and festival “Vlogger in Residence”) Jen Campbell, get access to festival books and events and get a chance to interview festival stars. Our Reviewers in Residence team will be writing throughout the festival for the Durham Book Festival blog and for Cuckoo Review, and will have a chance to have their work published in the 2016 print edition of Cuckoo Press, published later this year.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity to see how a book festival runs, improve journalism skills and do some networking with the literati, so if you’re interested in journalism, broadcasting, publishing or editing this is the opportunity for you. Find out more at the Cuckoo Writers site.
Andy Berriman and Alli Davies, who together run Zen Gun, a theatre company based in the North East, are currently working on a piece called ‘Trade’, which was originally inspired by a visit to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. The museum invited them to write for their blog and the article is now available to read online.
Sally Jubb, who won the Andrea Badenoch Award at 2015’s Northern Writers’ Awards, has been shortlisted for the 2016 Bristol Short Story Prize. The winner of the 2016 prize will be announced at an awards ceremony on 8 October.
Newcastle-based Fiona Veitch Smith’s debut historical mystery novel, The Jazz Files, has been shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger award. The winners of the awards—across 10 categories—will be announced at a gala dinner in London on 11 October.
Project management training in Gateshead
Helix Arts and Gateshead Council's Culture Team have joined forces to provide a unique opportunity for artists working in any art form living in Gateshead. The Make Participatory Arts Happen training course involves attending eight training sessions (commencing 7 September) where you will learn how to design and manage participatory arts projects. You will then be given a small budget to run an arts project for people living in Gateshead. To sign up, complete and return the Expression of Interest form by 15 August.
Submissions on the theme of ‘Melancholia’
Archipelago, a yearly magazine for both visual and written work, is inviting submissions including but not limited to poetry, fiction and academic/non-academic essays; with particular emphasis on feminist, LGBT and other marginalised voices. Please email your submission to by 25 August.
Applications invited for MA in Writing Poetry
The Poetry School, along with Newcastle University, is seeking applications for their MA in Writing Poetry. The course starts in September and is to be delivered part-time over two years. More information can be found on The Poetry School’s website. For further enquiries, please email John Canfield at for study in London, or Melanie Birch at for study in Newcastle.
Penguin Random House seeks marginalised writers
Penguin Random House UK is looking to find, mentor, and ultimately publish new writers from communities that are under-represented on the nation's bookshelves - including economically marginalised writers, and those from BAME and LGBTQ communities.
WriteNow will give 150 writers across the UK the opportunity to attend one of three insight days in London, Birmingham and Manchester (commencing 1 October). 10 exceptional writers will go on to benefit from a year of mentoring. Writers across the UK can apply by visiting and submitting a sample of their work.
Durham scratch night submissions
Gala Theatre is seeking submissions for the second in a new series of scratch nights. Next Up… is Gala’s stage for new work with the next event taking place on Wednesday 2 November. The event provides an opportunity for playwrights, artists or companies to trial and share works-in-progress in front of a friendly and constructive audience. Submissions in a wide range of genres and styles of performance are welcomed. To find out more or apply, contact Nick Malyan on
Aesthetica Creative Writing Award
There are a few weeks left to enter the 10th Aesthetica Creative Writing Award: presented by Aesthetica Magazine and judged by literary experts. Emerging and established writers and poets are invited to register by 31 August to be in with a chance of winning publication in an anthology of new writing, subscriptions to leading writing organisations and publications, and a consultation with a literary agent, among other great prizes. To enter, visit
Workshops and networking
Magical Fiction in Leeds
An Inscribe masterclass, Writing the Magic in the Everyday, taking place Saturday 13 August, 11am-4pm at Union 105 (East St. Arts), will explore magical realism, or what Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier calls "the marvellous real". The session will be led be author Marcia Douglas and tickets, costing £12-15, can be booked online.
North Tyneside workshops and mentoring
Whitley Bay writer Elaine Cusack is running writing workshops and offering one to one mentoring in North Tyneside this autumn and winter. Workshops include travel and food writing, as well as Ekphrasis (finding inspiration in art). Elaine's hour long mentoring sessions start on Saturday 3 September. For more information on workshops and mentoring visit Elaine's blog.
Writing for Wellbeing in Corbridge
Laura Napran’s Writing for Wellbeing workshops offer to lead you through guided writing activities to foster personal growth, increased mindfulness, and emotional wellbeing. Upcoming sessions include one themed to Change and Growth at Dilston Physic Garden, Corbridge on Saturday 10 September (participation costs £25). For more information on workshops and to book, go to
Royal Exchange playwriting workshops
Led by professional writers and theatre makers, Wordplay workshops, held at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, draw on a selection of plays from their repertoire to gently introduce participants to writing for theatre. The next workshop is Wednesday 14 September, 11am-1pm, with an emphasis on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Tickets cost just £6 per session.
Art and culture magazine Aesthetica is recruiting a part-time digital content officer to work in their York office (£18,000 pro-rata). The successful candidate will source, write, edit and upload content across Aesthetica’s websites, as well as manage social media channels and promote various projects. The deadline for applications is Monday 15 August.
The Listening Post
SI Leeds Literary Prize shortlist
The SI Leeds Literary Prize has announced its longlist of unpublished fiction by black and Asian women. The twelve long-listed manuscripts were selected from many entries of promising and accomplished writing, covering a wide range of genres and subjects, and can be viewed online via the SI Leeds website. The prize ceremony will take place on 12 October as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival.
Indie Presses 2016/17
Indie Presses 2016/17: a guide to independent book publishers and literary magazines, has been published by women writers’ magazine Mslexia. The comprehensive catalogue of more than 400 independent literary presses and magazines comes complete with full details on how to submit your writing to them, plus Mslexia’s perspective on the quality and reputation of those listed. Buy a copy for only £12.99 (plus p&p) by visiting
Newcastle writer’s one-man ‘Gandalf’ play
North East playwright Adrian Marks (winner, Golden Brad movie script award 2009; Ovation Theatre Award finalist 2010-2012) will have his script, Waiting for Gandalf, performed at Newcastle’s Bridge Hotel on Saturday 24 September at 4pm, following on from its Brighton Fringe debut this May. The play will be performed by Chris Neville-Smith, who came across it at Live Theatre's 2011 writers' group, at which both he and Adrian were members. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked, and there will be a collection for charity afterwards.
The Mansio continues its tour
The Mansio, a contemporary structure sharing new work from poets and authors, will be at Birdoswald 3-4 September and Carlisle Castle from 9-11 September. A series of free workshops, talks, storytelling, and author events is taking place around Northumberland, linked to the tour.
Author talks include Colette Bryce (Mon 15 August, 6pm, at Wall Village Hall); Kathleen Jamie (Thurs 1 September, 7.15pm, at Carlisle Library); David Almond (Thurs 8 September, 7.15pm, at Carlisle Library) and Lemn Sissay (Sat 10 September, Carlisle Castle). There will also be a Writing Workshop with Tony Williams on Sat 10 September, 10am-12noon, at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle. Booking is essential for most events; see for full details.
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 August 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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