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«Digital Literature Programme

Digi_Transform programme

A unique professional development programme for writers and writer/SMEs.

The programme runs throughout April, May and June 2018, both online and with meetings in Newcastle upon Tyne.

We aim to recruit 15 individuals to undertake a programme of professional development to transform the digital side of their business. You will work with peers and a web developer to create a new website for your work/business, receive professional photographic and filming support and work with an industry mentor to develop your work. At the end of the programme all participants will have a completed website, have improved their digital profile and be better equipped to continue to develop their work.

Who we would like to support

We are aiming to support writers who have clear vision for how they want to develop their work over the next year and who have considered how the programme could support and benefit their professional development and the progress of their business. You may be a writer looking to revamp your online brand or to develop a website for the first time in line with progress in your career. In the application procedure you will be asked to specify how you feel participating in the programme will improve and support your work. We expect to support writers who can demonstrate a track record of working professionally as a writer for at least one year and who have existing books, productions, projects or high quality content that the site can be used to promote. When choosing the 15 writers who will participate in this opportunity we will consider inclusivity and equality issues and hope to achieve a good balance of age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic profile across the writers that we support.

Writers on this programme are also encouraged to attend the Digi_Writer seminars and workshops and the Digi_Create conference to widen their learning.

Who can apply?

This programme is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is available to writers who are registered sole traders or freelancers (registered with HMRC and who can provide a unique taxpayer reference number) or who represent a Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) that employs less than 250 people.

Participants must live in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s geographical area of focus, which covers the local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The programme

Diagnostic meeting with your mentor:

A one-to-one, 2 hour meeting (online or in person) with a project mentor at which you will identify your business development needs and create an action plan of learning and activities to support you to move forward. This will be an opportunity to look at both the development of creative work and to create a plan to advance your career that considers existing barriers, skills development needs and how they can be addressed.

Website Focus Group:

A group style workshop of 3 hours at which you will work with peer writers and with our web developers to brainstorm and discuss the structure and content needs of a writer’s website. Once the group has established the brief for the developers they will then design a template website that will be the basis of every participating writer’s new website. This will also be the first time that the group of writers participating in this project will meet and network.

Photography and Filming Day:

To build high quality content for their website each participating writer will benefit from working with a professional photographer and filmmaker to create new content for their site. This will take the form of a professional headshot and a short film of you reading and talking about your work. The film that is made will be edited and along with the photograph provided to you to use on your new website.

Website basics:

A training day on how to manage content for your new website. You will be trained in how to upload and edit work on your new site, which will be built in WordPress. You will also learn about ways to upload and host images and video to a site and how to connect social media feeds. We will also take you through the process of registering the hosting of the website for one year (which you will pay for) so that when we launch your new site it has a home that you can renew in the future.

Progress meeting with your mentor:

A one-to-one, 2 hour meeting (online or in person) with a project mentor at which you will discuss the progress you have made since the first meeting, advance plans and trouble-shoot any emerging issues.

Final meeting with your mentor:

A one-to-one, 2 hour meeting (online or in person) with a project mentor at which you review the activity that has been undertaken, reflect on the learning and progress that has been achieved and establish a forward plan of activities to continue to progress your career.

Website launch:

A PR moment from New Writing North where we will celebrate the launch of all of the new sites with a programme of PR activities to draw attention to the participating writers through social media promotion.

Programme of activity


Diagnostic meeting with Mentor
Website Focus Group
Photography and Filming Day
Progress meeting with Mentor
Website basics
Final meeting with Mentor
Website Launch

Date, Time, Venue


Time commitment

2 hours
3 hours
2 hours
2 hours
3 hours
2 hours


Each participating writer will receive a bursary of £100 to support their participation in the project. This bursary will be paid in two instalments: £50 on acceptance into the programme and £50 upon completion and launch of the websites.

Other information

Participating writers will receive one year’s free hosting for their new website. We will offer advice on how to identify and purchase future hosting as part of the project.

Conditions and how to apply

To apply to participate in this programme you must fill in the online application form hosted on Submittable. Entry is free. The deadline for submitting applications for this opportunity is Thursday 8 March 2018.

Decisions on who will be selected to participate in the programme will be at the discretion of New Writing North and we will not be able to enter into any correspondence with unsuccessful applicants following the decision-making process. You will be informed about the outcome of your application by 31 March 2018.

Please note that you should not apply if you are likely to have difficulty attending events and meetings during the day in April and May. Once the cohort of participants is agreed we will programme dates for activities that work for everyone.

If you accept a place on the programme you must attend 12 hours of meetings and activities and agree to adhere to the monitoring and evaluation processes and paperwork that is required by our commissioners.

In the application form we give the opportunity for you to inform us of any special needs that you may have that may impact on your ability to attend the programme as described. We want to ensure that our opportunities are as accessible as possible and will work with all participants to ensure that their needs are addressed. The bursary attached to this programme is designed to help to facilitate travel, childcare and other practical needs that applicants may need to address to participate fully in the project.

Apply to the Digi_Transform programme

Digi_Transform is now open for applications until Thursday 8 March 2018.

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