Impact case study: Louise Powell
“Without New Writing North, I would not be able to call myself an emerging writer.”
Louise Powell, Durham Book Festival 2019 & 2021
Louise is a working-class writer and director who creates work for theatre, film, audio and prose.
She has written two short films commissioned by Durham Book Festival, was published in Kit de Waal’s acclaimed Common People and was shortlisted for the Northern Writers’ ‘Sid Chaplin’ Award for working-class writers (2019, 2020).
New Writing North supported me as an emerging writer
“My first experience of working with New Writing North came in 2017, when I participated on their Significant Ink Professional Development Programme for Screenwriting. The course covered screenwriting fundamentals and featured a guest talk from playwright Ishy Din, which inspired me to write my first play, Fit for Work. This play debuted at the Tristan Bates Theatre, then toured to Durham Assembly Rooms and the Chapel Playhouse during 2019. In the same year, my prose memoir about my childhood spent flapping (greyhound racing at unlicensed tracks) was published in Kit de Waal’s Common People anthology, and I participated in its accompanying professional development programme. Over a six month period, New Writing North demystified the publishing industry and facilitated mentoring sessions with award-winning novelist Carmen Marcus.
At the programme’s close, Durham Book Festival commissioned me to work with Topher McGrillis to create the short film ‘This Place is Going to the Dogs’, based off my Common People memoir. The film allowed us to capture the tracks at Wheatley Hill and Easington prior to their closure, and led to my selection for the New Creatives North and BFI Weekender programmes. New Writing North supported my successful application for Developing Your Creative Practice funding, which gave me more mentoring sessions with Carmen Marcus, as well as time to write a draft of my flapping novel. They were project partners on ‘Counter Culture’, a National Lottery Project Grant funded art film which I co-wrote, co-directed and produced under commission from Durham Book Festival 2021. I continue to benefit from New Writing North’s advice as I come close to submitting my novel to agents and independent publishers, and I currently have projects in development thanks to introductions they have facilitated.
Without New Writing North, I would not be able to call myself an emerging writer.”
Louise Powell, 2022
Louise Powell is a working-class writer and director from Middlesbrough who creates work for theatre, film, audio and prose. Her theatre work has been performed at the Tristan Bates, Bolton Octagon, Durham Assembly Rooms and Chapel Playhouse Theatres. Louise has written for three short films, including the Durham Book Festival commissions This Place is Going to the Dogs (2019) and Counter Culture (2021), which she also produced and co-directed under a National Lottery Project Grant. Her prose work was selected for publication in Kit de Waal’s acclaimed Common People anthology (Unbound: 2019).
She is a BBC New Creative, with an audio drama The Pitmen Flappers awaiting broadcast, and she was selected for the BFI Weekender for Working-Class Filmmakers. Louise has been shortlisted for BBC Northern Voices (2022) and Screen Yorkshire’s FLEX Programme (2021), as well as the Northern Writers’ ‘Sid Chaplin’ Award for Working-Class Writers (2019, 2020). She is currently readying her Arts Council funded novel for submission to agents and independent publishers, participating in Papatango’s ‘GoWrite’ Playwriting Course, and developing documentary and narrative ideas with film, TV and audio production companies, one of which is under option.