Skip to main content

Young Writers’ City

Young Writers’ City introduces young people to creative writing and makes provision for those who find a talent or interest to continue to express themselves creatively.

The programme works in-depth and over the long-term with young people through schools and community groups, tailoring a range of activities according to their interests.

At a glance

What is Young Writers’ City?

Young Writers’ City is a targeted programme, currently taking place in Excelsior Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne and Academy 360 in Sunderland. It aims to give young people, especially those from under-represented groups, the opportunity to express their own ideas, thoughts and opinions through creative writing.

Work with schools and community groups

We have been embedded in Excelsior Academy since September 2015. Writers are there three days a week running term-long writing projects with every year 8 and 9 pupil. Writers also run lunchtime groups 3 days a week for anyone who is interested in continuing to develop artistically. We started working in Academy 360 in October 2017 using the same model but with a focus on songwriting.

In-depth and long-term

We have a project producer in each school, they work hard to build trusting relationships with young people, to develop their confidence in creative expression, to tailor support on an individual basis, and to introduce them to other cultural opportunities in the city. We have agreed a partnership with Excelsior Academy that we will work with them in this way over the next 5 years.

We firmly believe that the arts are for everyone and that talent is everywhere.

‘Now I know where to go to help me develop my writing. When you have talents but you don’t know what to do with them it can be frustrating. I think Young Writers is a good example of how people can come and show themselves, not just other people, but prove to themselves that they have a talent.’

Student, 14


Young Writers’ City works in areas with lower cultural provision, to make sure that all young people can make the most of opportunities and enjoy the many benefits of a creative life.

Our work also paves the way for young people to get involved with our wide-ranging open access programme, Cuckoo Young Writers and other cultural opportunities with organisations across the city.

Our support through Young Writers’ City is in-depth and long-term. We begin by working with participants over a term-long writing project, in which the participants work together to express their own ideas, gain confidence in their own creativity, and to create a final artwork.

We explore writing across artforms with the same writers working in the school over at least a year. Our Young Writers’ City groups have worked with poets, songwriters, theatre directors, rappers, filmmakers, and games designers. They have produced their own films and music videos, recorded their own songs, published pamphlets and zines of their work, and performed for their families and peers.

And it does not stop at the end of the term. One of the core principles of Young Writers’ City is that when young people find they have a talent or interest in the arts, we make provision for them to develop that talent through extra curricular activity, mentoring, and additional support.

Not only that, but we also create some amazing art.

The project

A Young Writers’ City production from New Writing North.

Written by students from Collingwood School, Excelsior Academy with Fred Phethean

Take Off, a Young Writers’ City production from New Writing North.

Written by students from Collingwood School, Excelsior Academy with Rowan McCabe.

Every Day I Wake Up, a Young Writers’ City production from New Writing North.

Written by students from Collingwood School, Excelsior Academy with Fred Phethean.

Blanks was created by students in Milburn at Excelsior Academy, who drove the creation of the concept with their pure passion for gaming.

Get involved

Work with community groups

We work with community groups in Newcastle upon Tyne to create inspiring creative projects for young people. If your group is interested in getting involved, get in touch with Lizzie Nizon

Sign your school up

We’re always looking for ways we can work in partnership with Newcastle schools to deliver exciting Young Writers’ City projects, which support learning, engagement, creativity and leadership. For an informal chat, contact Lizzie Nixon.

More opportunities for young people

As well as Young Writers’ City, New Writing North offers loads of activities for young people in the North of England through its Cuckoo Young Writers programme. Get involved with us and you can access our full range of activities including masterclasses with leading writers, writing workshops and more, all for free!

Latest from Young Writers' City

Back to top