Sunday, 18 September 2016

News from New Writing North newsletter

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

September 2016
News from New Writing North
New Writing North news
Hey, Presto! 38-date tour for our children’s theatre production
Roll up, roll up! We’re about to set off on a 38-stop tour of the North with our children’s theatre production, Hey, Presto!, produced by New Writing North for Durham Book Festival
Presto and Monty are best friends. Monty is great at singing, eating ice cream and pulling funny faces, while Presto is a brilliant magician! When the carnival comes to town, Presto and Monty decide to join up with their amazing magic act. The show is a huge success, but fame goes to Monty’s head. Can the friends work out how to work together, before it’s too late?
Join us in your neighbourhood for a show with original live music, magic tricks and lots of laughs for children under 7 and their families. Tour runs 22 September–30 October. Find your nearest venue at the Hey Presto! website.
Creative Writing for Teachers
Our popular Creative Writing for Teachers programme returns next month. The group is suitable for teachers of all key stages, including Post-16 and adult classes.
Working with professional writers, participants gain the confidence to develop their own creative writing across forms, share ideas and reflect with their peers on their creative writing teaching. By taking part in writing workshops as participants, teachers gain knowledge, confidence and tools to take back with them into the classroom.
In the 2016/17 academic year, sessions will take place from 4.30-6.30pm on the following dates:
Thursday 13th October Thursday 8th December
Thursday 26th January
Thursday 16th March
Thursday 11th May
Thursday 6th July

All sessions take place at The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle. The course costs £99 per teacher for the year.
Book your place now.
Proud Words
New Writing North is looking to join forces with schools in Newcastle and Durham to deliver our brand new LGBT+ reading and creative writing project, Proud Words, which we set up in response to demand from young people.
Schools are invited to apply to host a Proud Words group in which pupils will work with a series of professional writers to discuss and respond to literature which tackles LGBT+ issues. The group will work with the writers to produce their own works of creative writing in response, culminating in the creation of an anthology of original writing that can be shared amongst the wider school and community. This opportunity is free of charge to schools. Deadline for applications is Wednesday 21 September. Apply now.
Crowdfunding event
As part of this year’s Durham Book Festival, we’re partnering with crowdfunding publishers Unbound to bring you the lowdown on crowdfunding your own book. Crowdfunded authors Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant) and Alice Jolly (Dead Babies and Seaside Towns) discuss the trials and tribulations of crowdfunding with Unbound publisher and the creator of QI, John Mitchinson, on Sunday 9 October at Durham Town Hall. Book tickets at the Durham Book Festival website.
Book group leaders sought for Durham and Berwick
New Writing North’s book groups in Durham and Berwick are each seeking a new volunteer to steer their meetings. Durham’s meetings take place on the second Monday of every month at Waterstones, Saddler Street at 6pm, while Berwick’s group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the First Class Passenger Lounge, Berwick Train Station (6.30pm). If you are interested in either of these positions, please email
Poet, historian and broadcaster Katrina Porteous will have her specially commissioned poem Conversations on a Bench broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 9 October at 4.30pm (and it will also be available on iPlayer). It intertwines various stories told to Anna Scott-Brown on a bench overlooking the harbour in the fishing village of Beadnell, Northumberland.
Durham author Avril Joy's latest novel, Sometimes a River Song, published by Linen Press and recently longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker, is currently nominated for the The People's Book Prize, Autumn 2016. Vote via The People’s Book Prize website. Linen Press are currently open for submissions; find out more here.
The State of the Arts contributors in Liverpool
The State of the Arts is an arts, culture, and politics website publishing features, reviews, and interviews from and about cities around the UK. If you’d like to be a voluntary contributor towards the Liverpool section, simply email with a brief description of what you would like to do.
Young writers’ platform in South Shields
Hive South Yorkshire is a new hub for young writer activity in the South Yorkshire region. For information on their writing residentials and retreats; workshops, publishing opportunities and more, please visit
Live Theatre’s Live Lab bursary
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 more information on how to apply see
Live Tales Writing Mentors
Live Tales, Live Theatre’s new creative writing centre for children and young people, is looking for Volunteer Writing Mentors and Illustrators to help with creative writing workshops for young people (ages 7-11). For more information on how to get involved, see
South Asian folk music project in Bradford
Womenzone is developing a new heritage project entitled Loving Grannies Music!, looking to examine the oral tradition of songs being passed down from generation to generation. If you live in Bradford and are willing to be interviewed or if you have any old photographs of women reciting folk songs at weddings, births and special ceremonies please contact Mandeep Samra, Project Coordinator, on 01274 665 270 or email:
‘Guilty’ Mslexia Competition
Mslexia, the bestselling magazine for women writers, is inviting submissions on the theme of ‘Guilty’ for potential publication. From infidelity to blowing up a building, from getting away with murder to being sentenced for shoplifting—the possibilities for exploring guilt are endless. Send up to four poems of up to 40 lines each, or up to two stories of up to 2,200 words each. Submit at the Mslexia website. The closing date is 5 December 2016.
Historical Writers’ Association competition
Nominations are now open for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown 2017. The 2017 Prize is for books published from 1 January 2016–21 March 2017, and entry closes on 31 January. The award is £1000, and there is a nomination fee of £30. For more information and the nomination form, please visit
Women Writers over 40
Words and Women (based in Norwich) have launched a new annual prize for women writers over 40. The national prize is £1,000 and a month’s writing residency, and entries can be short prose, on any theme, up to 2,000 words. For more details email or visit
Workshops and networking
Online Creative Writing courses
Writers’ Centre Norwich is running a series of online courses in partnership with the University of East Anglia. ‘Writing Poetry: Intermediate’ and ‘Writing Fiction: Intermediate’ are 24 week courses, costing £900 each. ‘Writing Fiction: The Essentials’ is 12 weeks, and costs £450. Deadline for entries is Sunday 18 September.
Murder in the North: South Tyneside
The WEA is running an 11-week course at Hebburn Library on Monday afternoons (1-3pm), examining Northern Crime Fiction, commencing 26 September. One of the key issues discussed will be what makes a crime novel ‘Northern’, and the various narrative techniques used in the genre. You can enrol via the WEA website or find out more by emailing
Society of Young Publishers event in Manchester
Peter Walsh of Milo Books will be giving a talk for publishers on Friday 30 September at 7pm, at Sugar Junction in Manchester, just a short walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station. Peter is the managing director of Milo Books, a specialist true crime and sports publishing house based in the North West. Book via Eventbrite to hear about his experiences and to network with other professionals and aspiring publishers in the industry.
Residential Poetry Course at Grange Over Sands
Tutors Kim Moore and Jennifer Copley will be running From Ordinary to Extraordinary, taking place Monday 24–Friday 28 October, at Abbott Hall Hotel in the wonderful setting of Morcambe Bay. Find out more about the course, which is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced poets, via Kim Moore’s blog.
The Poetry Society is seeking an education manager, to work at the offices in Covent Garden, central London. The full-time, permanent position will require the successful candidate to be the strategic lead on work with children and young people, schools, teachers and universities (£28-£32K depending on experience). Closing date: 5pm, Wednesday 21 September. Find out how to submit your application.
The Listening Post
Hidden Civil War in Newcastle
Hidden Civil War is a month long programme of activity in Newcastle, inviting activists and artists to contribute to a series of events that expose, collate and present evidence of a Hidden Civil War in Britain today. Throughout October, there will be various talks, event and exhibitions. See the New Bridge Project website for more information.
Sunderland Literature & Creative Writing Festival
Sunderland’s annual celebration of the written word takes place 30 September–3 November, and there is something for everyone. The programme for the festival, which takes place across Wearside, features a wide variety of talks and workshops from writers, with guests including Ann Cleeves,  Michael  Chaplin and Sean  O’Brien. For more information, and to book, see
North West Grey Hen Press launch
The latest Grey Hen Press anthology, Extraordinary Forms: some wonders of the natural world, launches at the Harris Library, Preston on Sunday 2 October, 2-3.30pm. Featuring are Rosemary Doman, Joy Howard, Char March, Frances Nagle and Hannah Stone. For more information, see the Grey Hen Press website.
Lit/Up East Riding
Beverley Literature Festival and Bridlington Poetry Festival have combined as Lit/Up: a celebration of all things literary in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Taking place 5-22 October, highlights include appearances from broadcasters Lord Robert Winston and Will Self; bestselling journalist Mark Lawson; Rachel Joyce talking about her BBC Radio adaptations of Charlotte Brontë; and Northern Writers Award winning poet Zaffar Kunial.
Borderlines Book Festival
The Carlisle based book festival returns 7-9 October. There will be a crime strand to this year’s festival, with Val McDermid and Mari Hannah appearing. Other great speakers include Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency), screenwriter Jimmy McGovern and regular Radio 4 panellist and comedian Susan Calman. Tickets are on sale online via the festival website.
Dark Fairy Tales at the Mining Institute
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the publication of dark fairy tale The Book of Lost Tales, author John Connolly will be in conversation with local horror author Stephen Laws at the Mining Insitute in Newcastle at 7pm on Wednesday 19 October. Book tickets for £3 via the Waterstones website.
The Berwick Literary Festival
From Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 October, Berwick upon Tweed will host its third annual book festival. Guests include David Starkey talking about his study of the Magna Carta; Alistair Moffat talking about his history of Scotland; and Andrew Hankinson, who caused much discussion with his You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat].
Anne Sexton event: Noon Walk on the Asylum Lawn
This poetry event on 19 November 2016 at the Voodoo Café, Darlington (7.30pm) will celebrate the work of poet Anne Sexton. Writers (including Jo Clement, Jo Colley, Julie Hogg and Lisa Matthews) and musicians will have the opportunity to respond to Anne’s work, as will award winning poet Kim Moore. For more information, see the project’s Crowdfunder page.
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 26 October 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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