Inkubator 2023

Inkubator is currently closed for applications

Inkubator is an annual development programme for writers and songwriters who want to develop their skills in facilitation and participatory arts practice with children, young people and adults

New Writing North introduces people to creative writing through exciting programmes across schools and communities in the North East. From our Saturday morning writing groups, to our long-term relationships with primary and secondary schools, and more recently our community programmes in Newcastle and Gateshead which focus on co-creation with individuals and groups. Our programmes offer people the opportunity to experiment and create across forms and disciplines, from songwriting and rapping, to prose and poetry to memoir writing and scriptwriting.

This new Inkubator programme provides eight individuals with the practical skills and knowledge they need to deliver sessions with people in schools and/or community settings. Through the Inkubator programme, participants are matched with a mentor who can provide more in-depth support around their practice and individual needs.

Meet our Inkubator participants for 2023

  • Amy Lord

    Amy Lord is a writer and freelance arts marketer from Middlesbrough. Her debut novel, The Disappeared, was published by Unbound in 2019. Amy has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. She is particularly interested in working in a community context, leading sessions with adults.

  • Hannah Burke

    Hannah Burke recently graduated with a BA in Music from Durham University. The Inkubator training course has allowed her to begin her facilitation career in the hopes that she can help enhance others’ song writing abilities. Hannah Burke’s aim is to facilitate young people in song writing in the hopes that music and words can be used in combination to express feeling and emotion.

  • Jess Howard

    Jessie is a singer-songwriter and self-taught musician from Northumberland, living in Newcastle. She has her own solo musical project as well as playing in a duo and with a local band. Jessie would like to develop her songwriting facilitation further, particularly working with children of nursery/primary age, co-writing lullabies, stories and simply exploring instruments and ideas together via music.

  • Leila Hussein

    Leila Sarah Hussein is an internationally published writer and poet, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her work’s primary focus is empowerment. Leila’s writing has been featured on northern radio, commissioned by an MP in the house of commons and a book deal was offered by Lapwing books; early into her career. With a diverse cultural and professional background, Leila has facilitated in art and business arenas. Her interest now lies in facilitating within specific community sectors such as local youth and minority groups, to enhance diverse, grass roots; expression.

  • Madelaine Culver-Goldstein

    Madelaine Culver is a writer and visual poet with a background in arts administration currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her creative work appears in various places online and in print. In 2020 Madelaine successfully completed the Writing Poetry MA at Newcastle University; in 2021 she joined Northumbria University as a practice-based PhD student specialising in intertextual poetics. Madelaine is interested in working with community-focused venues and is particularly keen to work with children and young people with care experience.

  • Megan Adams

    Megan Adams is a writer and facilitator based in County Durham. Megan is passionate about helping young people of all backgrounds and abilities to discover the magic of creative writing and is especially interested in working with disabled children because she recognises how powerful it is as a disabled person to have people be interested in your stories. As well as shadowing the young writers group, she has also completed facilitation training with The Forge in Stanley, Co Durham where she ran a fantasy creative writing workshop for year 6 pupils.

  • Michelle Patterson

    Michelle is a qualified teacher with a specialism in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), based in Sunderland in the North East. Michelle leads on the English programme in her current role and is about to embark on a Masters degree in Creative Writing this year. Michelle is experienced in planning, designing and delivering bespoke programmes with engaging sessions for children and young people. Michelle’s main passion is creative writing and facilitating for children and young people, with a particular interest around the themes of social, emotional and mental health, and wellbeing.

  • Toni Ford

    Toni writes short fiction and narrative non-fiction on themes of memory, travel, culture, and home. Toni has freelanced as a culture reporter and a travel writer and is currently working on a collection of short stories. Supporting adult groups in public libraries with reading and creativity, Toni is an experienced facilitator keen to combine her writing with her work. Toni particularly enjoys working with young and older adults, opening up space for people to tell their stories.

Inkubator offered the perfect opportunity for me to combine my creative writing practise with my experience as a public library worker. I knew I needed to learn new skills and techniques – and I still have a lot to learn – but the Inkubator programme has given me a strong foundation to work from. I don’t think I would have pursued this career goal if not for Inkubator.

Toni Ford, Inkubator participant 2023

Course Structure

Inkubator is a four-month development programme comprising of 5 training sessions and 5 placement sessions.

Training sessions cover the skills required for facilitation, as well as an introduction to freelance working, safeguarding and evaluation. There is an emphasis on the importance of critical reflection as a way to improve your participatory arts practice.

Placement sessions allow you to put your facilitation skills into action at one of New Writing North’s Young Writers’ programmes. They are tailored to participant’s skills, interests and availability.

The placement offers a combination of shadowing experienced practitioners and leading delivery. A typical placement might be four afternoon sessions at a secondary school, plus one session at a Saturday Young Writers’ group. Participants are accompanied by a New Writing North Producer or Lead Writer during placement.

Over the course of the four months, participants attend three mentoring sessions with individual mentors and carry out regular reflections, as well as attend a final evaluation session.


It is free to take part in Inkubator. All successful applicants will receive £50 per session to support participation on the course, totalling £500. We hope that following successful completion of the course, we will be able to offer participants further freelance work on New Writing North’s programmes.