We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable break over Christmas and that you are all looking forward to a creative 2011. We are gearing up to present a host of interesting events this spring and readying ourselves for the launch of both the 2011 Northern Writers’ Awards and our new website next week. Here are some of the events that New Writing North have coming up between February and March.

First-time Tyneside author Alison Gangel launches her memoir, The Sun Hasn’t Fallen From the Sky, at a special event produced in conjunction with her publisher, Bloomsbury, and Newcastle Libraries. New Writing North director Claire Malcolm will be in conversation with Alison and her editor and agent to find out how the book came to fruition and what the current publishing market for memoirs is.

Newcastle City Library: Wednesday 2 February, 6.30pm. Free event. For details and to book, email information@newcastle.gov.uk.

We are very excited to present a special event with Alexander McCall Smith at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema in March to celebrate the arrival of The Double Comfort Safari Club, the tenth book in the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Alexander will be in conversation with New Writing North director Claire Malcolm. Following the reading there will also be a special screening of Casablanca, Alexander’s favourite film.
Tyneside Cinema: Tuesday 1 March, 7pm. Details and booking available soon at www.tynesidecinema.co.uk.

Our annual get together for screenwriters and scriptwriters, The Story Engine, returns with a special edition which focuses on the genre of crime. Featuring special guest film director Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Croupier) alongside discussions with leading crime writers David Peace, Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid and Denise Mina.
Tyneside Cinema: Friday 11 and Saturday 12 March. Tickets available at earlybird discount until 18 February. For full details, see www.thestoryengine.com.

There are also a couple of Café Culture events coming up that New Writing North has programmed, including the annual book group summit, which this year features MJ Hyland’s This Is How. For more information on these events, and the rest of the Café Culture programme, see www.cafeculturenortheast.org.uk.

In his book The Secret Lives of Buildings, Edward Hollis tells the story of 13 widely varied but uniquely significant buildings by examining the relationship between architecture and the art of storytelling in history, performance, and myth.
Urban Café, Dance City, Newcastle: 7 March, 7pm-9pm

Join award-winning novelist MJ Hyland for this special book group summit event to discuss her compelling and often shocking novel, This Is How. Set in the late 1960s, the book explores the inner life of a young man in a morally complex portrait of one life gone terribly awry.
Urban Café, Dance City, Newcastle: 18 April, 7pm-9pm