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Our work in schools

New Writing North works with schools in numerous ways to help inspire imaginative and confident writing in the classroom, and to encourage young people to express themselves creatively.


New Writing North has a long track record of working in schools. We are able to offer long-term projects which are writer and artist-led, engaging pupils in imaginative approaches to developing their writing. We work with inspiring professional writers who are experienced in working in school settings. We also engage teachers in developing their own creative writing practice.

Whether you are interested in stretching gifted and talented young people, or in engaging reluctant writers, we can provide you with writer-led projects in your school, including facilitating Arts Award. We also support teachers with techniques that can be used with pupils, develop insight into the process of imaginative writing, and reflection on the pedagogy of creative writing.

We are always interested in talking to teachers and schools about one-off and on-going projects and we can create bespoke projects for your school. Below are some of the ongoing ways we work with schools.

2,770 In 2014-15 we worked with 2,770 young people in schools, groups and workshops

Young Writers’ City

We have funding to work with secondary schools serving areas of Newcastle through our Young Writers’ City project.

We currently work with Walker Technology College, Excelsior Academy, Newcastle Sixth Form College and community groups on a wide variety of literary projects. We are interested to hear from other schools in this area.

Durham Book Festival for Schools

Each October, we present an inspiring author programme at Durham Book Festival. The schools events are well-attended by primary and secondary schools across the county. Previous authors include Chris Haughton, Juno Dawson, Meg Rosoff and Daljit Nagra.

Durham Book Festival Laureate

Each year Durham Book Festival hosts a Festival Laureate, who visits local schools to deliver workshops, supported by Durham University’s English department, before taking part in the festival.

Past laureates have included leading poets Helen Mort, Sinead Morrissey and Paul Farley.

The school visits are free of charge and are open to secondary schools and sixth form colleges.

Proud Words

Proud Words launched in October 2016 and sees our first LGBT+ reading and writing groups taking place in two Newcastle schools, Heaton Manor and Benfield, with writers Laura Lindow and Lisa Matthews.

At the heart of this project is providing a safe space for young people to explore their emotions via a creative platform. During our groups, students will be given the freedom to work on their own writing, while critically engaging with existing material, in the company of experienced writers and peers.

Cuckoo Young Writers

If you work with keen young writers, please signpost them to Cuckoo Young Writers our young people’s programme, which includes FREE weekly writing workshops for 12-19 year olds in Newcastle, Cramlington, Amble/Warkworth, Sunderland, South Shields and Durham.

Please also consider nominating a talented young writer for the Matthew Hale Award as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards.

What people are saying about our work in schools...

“I am astonished and delighted by what I did”

Student, age 13, Walker Technology College, Newcastle


To discuss how New Writing North might work with your school, or to take part in any of the above projects, contact Lizzie Nixon, Participation Manager at New Writing North at or call 0191 204 8841.

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