Sunday, 11 September 2016

News from New Writing North newsletter

Here is the latest News from New Writing North newsletter for my followers to peruse:

News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
New books from Benjamin Myers and Kathleen McKay
Moth Publishing, the crime imprint of our publishing arm, Mayfly Press, has just published two brilliant new crime novels from northern writers.
Benjamin Myers is an award-winning author and journalist. His recent novel Beastings (2014) won the Portico Prize For Literature, was the recipient of the Northern Writers’ Award and longlisted for a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award 2015. Widely acclaimed, it featured on several end of year lists. Pig Iron (2012) was the winner of the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize and runner-up in The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize. A controversial combination of biography and novel, Richard (2010) was a bestseller and chosen as a Sunday Times book of the year. Turning Blue (Moth, 2016) is his first crime novel, a terrifying and gripping tale set in the depths of winter in an isolated hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales.
Kathleen McKay is the winner of the Northern Crime Competition 2014. Kathleen’s previous publications include two poetry collections: Collision Forces (Wrecking Ball, 2015) and Anyone Left Standing (Smith Doorstop 1998); one pamphlet, Telling the Bees (Smiths Knoll, 2014); and a novel, Waiting for the Morning (The Women’s Press, 1991). Hard Wired (Moth, 2016) is her latest novel, set in Newcastle in 1996—a city of regeneration and investment. Charlie works in the local bail hostel where, exhausted and made cynical by the job, she expects the worst of everyone. When her friend's son is found dead in the local park she is dragged into the hunt for the murderer.
Moth Publishing: open for submissions
We are currently operating an open submissions period between August and November 2016 for crime novels for our Moth imprint. If you would like to submit work for consideration please send us the following:
  • A synopsis of the novel (no more than one page of A4)
  • Up to 3,000 words of the novel
  • An author biography
Work should be sent to Please use your author name as the title of the email. We will aim to respond to all submissions by the end of February 2017.
Metro Short Story Competition
We’re pleased to be working with Tyne and Wear Metro on a new short story competition, which is open to both new and established short story writers. The challenge is to write a 250-word short story based around the theme ‘Metro Morning’ which is inspired by an artwork of the same name, by artist Anthony Lowe, located at Regent Centre Metro station.
Writers of all ages can enter with prizes up for grabs in two categories; adults (16 and over) and children (under 16). The winning adult will receive £100 worth of Waterstones vouchers and the child winner will get an Amazon Fire tablet. The winners in both categories will also see their winning stories displayed in Metro stations.
To launch the competition Angela Readman has written two new short stories, The Curator of Losses and The Day it Really Rained Men.
The competition is open for entries now and is open to all. The deadline for entries is midnight on Monday 26 September. To enter, send your story and full name, age, address and contact number to Find full competition guidelines at
The Northern Rock Foundation Talent Fund
The Northern Rock Foundation Talent fund is a funding programme run by New Writing North targeting young people aged 15-25 who live in Newcastle upon Tyne. There will be a range of awards made which will invest in talent, ambition and good ideas in the fields of literature and writing. There is a total funding pot of £10,000 available and we aim to make 4-6 awards.
What we could fund:
• People who want to use the funding to develop a piece of art or literature, or want to develop an arts-based project. • Young producers or publishers who want to set up a new initiative or support an existing one (e.g. spoken word night, blog, poetry magazine etc.). • Writers, artists, producers, publishers who want to buy mentoring to help them develop their work. • Professional development, such as supporting the costs of a work placement or short training programme which will have a significant impact on their career in the arts or literature.
If there is a project or initiative you have in mind but you aren’t sure whether it fits the criteria, please contact Rachael Walsh at or 0191 204 8851. Find the application and more information at the New Writing North website. The shortlisted candidates may be asked to attend a meeting before final decisions are made. Deadline for applications is Monday 24 October at 5pm.
Durham Book Festival tickets
Excitement is building—and the full programme is now available—for Durham Book Festival, which we’re hosting 6-17 October.
Volunteer at Durham Book Festival
We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to work at this year’s Durham Book Festival.
The festival runs 7-16 October 2016, and features a host of prominent writers, poets and political minds such as Laura Bates, James Rebanks, Anthony Horowitz, Alan Johnson, Michael Morpurgo, Kit de Waal, Helen Mort and Inua Ellams. Download the full programme here.
As a volunteer, you’ll be allowed free entry to all Durham Book Festival events (subject to available space). You’ll also have the chance to meet some of the authors. We’ll provide food and drinks throughout your shifts, and to top it off you’ll get a free t-shirt to keep as a souvenir. Find out more and apply by Monday 19 September at the Durham Book Festival website.
Durham Book Festival Young Poets Call Out
We are looking for local young poets (14-25 years old) to share their work at Durham Book Festival, as part of Knee Deep, a poetry event about our relationship with water. The event takes place at Empty Shop HQ in Durham on October 15, organised by Tender Buttons in partnership with Jasmine Simms, and Cuckoo Young Writers.
If you would like to present your poetry as part of the festival please send examples of your writing to by 12pm on Wednesday 21 September and include the phrase “Knee Deep” in the email title.
New term for Cuckoo Young Writers
Sharpen your pencils, it’s a new term for the Cuckoo Young Writers. And as well as being in all our usual locations—Newcastle, Sunderland, Warkworth and Cramlington—we’re starting a brilliant new group in Durham too.
As always, all our groups are totally free and are a chance to meet other young writers aged 12-19. It also doesn’t matter whether you’re already a prolific writer or whether you just want to come along and have a go—everyone is welcome!
All our groups are lead by a professional writer and a group leader. They’re creative, supportive environments where you can get feedback on your work, try out new styles of writing and work towards something super-exciting, like a pamphlet, a zine or a performance.
To find out all the details of when and where groups will be happening and what they’ll be doing, go to the Cuckoo Writers website.
Read Regional feedback
Many thanks to everyone who attended Read Regional events in 2016 and especially to all those who filled in our feedback cards. The winner of our prize draw has been chosen at random as Diana White, who attended an event led by Bones in the Nest author Helen Cadbury at Stockton Central Library. Happy reading, Diana!
A number of Northern writers have had their books published by Smokestack. John Seed has set out to recover the lost and silent world of Durham pitmen in Brandon Pithouse: a book about the pain and danger of working underground, the damage to the human body and the human relationships created in such conditions. Ruth Valentine’s Downpour draws on the writer’s experiences as an undertaker and a celebrant at secular funerals to compose an extended meditation on dying and death, its emotional grammar and its painful but necessary rituals. Missing by Malcolm Povey is a collection of poems about illness, death and loss and the meanings we seek in death and find in life.
Berwick-based Bea Davenport's fifth novel is to be published by Accent Press in autumn 2017. The Misper, a contemporary novel about intense friendships, is Bea's first in the YA genre, although she has two crime novels published by Legend Press and two children's novels published by Curious Fox and ReadZone Books.
Long-time NWN collaborator, Carina Rodney has a new play The Fighting Bradfords, at Gala Theatre 8-17 September and we’re pleased to be able to pass our subscribers this ticket offer. The Fighting Bradfords tells the story of Roland, George, James and Thomas Bradford, the most celebrated brothers in military service history. Drawing on first-hand accounts, correspondence and family anecdotes, this brand new play explores what drove this remarkable family from Witton Park, Bishop Auckland to become national heroes.
You can access tickets for performances of The Fighting Bradfords on 9 & 10 September, 7.30pm for £11 (standard price £15) by quoting “WRITING11” when booking via the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600, online on the Gala Theatre website or in person at the venue (not in conjunction with any other offer).
Traverse Theatre open submissions
The Traverse Theatre have opened up their script submission window for 2016 and are accepting submissions from 1 August to 30 September 2016, to develop and produce for the Traverse stage. All plays must be sent through the online submissions service, Submittable. For more information, see the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland website.
Live Lab bursary callout
Submissions are now open for Live Theatre's £2,000 Live Lab Bursary to develop a new piece of theatre. The bursary winner will receive £2000 to help in the development of a new piece of theatre, dramaturgical and producing support, two weeks rehearsal/R&D space at Live Theatre and a performance slot in the work-in-progress night at the Live Lab Elevator festival in February 2017. For details on how to apply, see the Live Theatre website.
The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism
The International Anthony Burgess Foundation is seeking the best, previously unpublished writing on new work in the arts. The winning 1500-word piece will be a review of a book, film, concert, exhibition, ballet, play or TV show, with a cash prize available of £2000. To enter, please see The International Anthony Burgess Foundation website.
Workshops and networking
Reading and Writing Poetry at the Lit and Phil
A seven-week poetry course, taking place in Newcastle, will use some famous and not so famous poems to inspire and kick start new writing (Monday 10 October–21 November). The course, led by Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny, is open to anyone with an interest in poetic form, and is tailored to suit both new and experienced writers. Telephone 0191 232 0192 to reserve a place (course fee of £60 payable at first meeting).
Writing From Life at Victoria Gallery & Museum
As part of Liverpool Literary Festival, RSL Fellow Andrew O’Hagan, one of his generation’s most exciting and serious chroniclers of contemporary Britain, will lead a master-class on writing fiction. Join him on Sunday 30 October, 12.45pm-3.45pm. Tickets cost £30/£15 concessions and can be booked online via the Liverpool Literary Festival website.
Pop Up Projects is seeking a development manager for an 18-month fixed-term contract (Oct 2016 to March 2018; £30,000 per annum, rising by 3% annually). The company has an impressive track record of engaging children, schools, families and communities through far-reaching, imaginative and innovative literature programmes and events that impact on enjoyment of reading and writing. The full job description is available to download online.
The Listening Post
Bookish performance in Halifax
A show inspired by our love of books and reading is coming to Orangebox Café at 5.30pm on Sunday 11 September, devised by award-winning theatre maker and comedian Laura Mugridge and musician Tom Adams who are both associate artists at Harrogate Theatre. Two books from a choice of five will be chosen by the public in the weeks running up to the performance, including recipe, fiction and travel books. The result will be a playful and relaxed show full of personal stories, music and much more. Visit the Square Chapel website to see the list of books and to vote.
One of Our Own: Jam Jar Cinema poetry event
A number of North East poets will read at a King Ink event taking place at Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay on Monday 12 September at 7pm, raising funds for Walking With: a centre of support in North Tyneside for asylum seekers and refugees, including recently-arrived Syrian families. Tickets cost £5. For further information, contact and buy tickets here.
YA and Children's Fiction in Newcastle
On Saturday 17 September, 45 top children's and Young Adult authors and illustrators will appear at Newcastle City Library as part of the UKYA and Children's Extravaganza. The YA authors will be appearing from 10am–1pm, while children's authors and illustrators will appear from 2pm–5pm. Tickets are available for £5/£3 from the Seven Stories website.
Bewick-inspired poetry in Newcastle
Poetry and print lovers alike can enjoy the opportunity to see the wood engravings of the North’s greatest artist and hear new poems inspired by their legacy, at Great North Museum: Hancock on Saturday 15 October (1-3pm). Joanne Clement will deliver the poetry readings, as part of the International Print Biennale. The event is free to attend but booking is essential via
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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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