We’re thrilled to announce a new programme of work for young people in Gateshead, which will begin in 2019.

Our work supports writers at all stages of their careers and our Young Writers programme currently runs five weekly creative writing groups across the North East, six annual summer schools, the Young Writers’ Talent Fund and regular masterclasses and development programmes. Our award-winning Young Writers’ City project has staff and professional writers based at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle and Academy 360 in Sunderland, three days a week all year round.

The Kavli Trust, owners of Primula, which is based on Gateshead’s Team Valley, is funding a £200,000 programme of work, which brings the full suite of our Young Writers programme to Gateshead.

The programme’s key partners are Gateshead Council, secondary schools Joseph Swan Academy, in Low Fell, and Kingsmeadow Community Comprehensive School, in Dunston, as well as feeder primary schools.

From February 2019, writers, artists and project producers will be based in each secondary school, where they will run innovative 10-week creative writing programmes with around 400 Year 7 and 8 pupils each year. In each school, writers will also run lunchtime and after-school clubs throughout the year on a range of writing forms from rapping and songwriting to screenwriting and poetry, so that all young people with an interest can develop their writing talent.

Outside of school, a free creative writing group for 12-19 year olds will be held every Saturday at Gateshead Central Library, complemented by free creative writing summer schools in the borough.

Throughout the programme, young people in Gateshead will be enabled to express their own creative ideas supported by professional writers and artists. They will meet other young people who enjoy writing, create new work, and share it with audiences including their families and peers.

We’re grateful to the Kavli Trust for its support and we’re really excited to get started on the programme in the new year. Find out about our whole Young Writers’ programme here