Attention book lovers and writers: New Writing North Summer Season now on sale!

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New Writing North has launched its Summer Season with a wealth of opportunities for readers and writers in the North of England.

This summer marks 25 years of the organisation’s flagship writer development scheme, the Northern Writers’ Awards.

Worth more than £50,000 this year and having supported over 400 writers to date, the awards are the biggest programme of their kind in England – finding and supporting writers at all stages of their careers. Watch along on the livestream as this year’s winners are announced on 25 June.

Explore reading

Discover new books by northern writers, with literary events at Newcastle’s Northern Stage with Karen Powell (Friday 14 June), author of Fifteen Wild Decembers which was shortlisted for the 2023 Nero Book Awards, and Eliza Clark, author of Penance and Boy Parts (Tuesday 18 June), who was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2023.

Both events are part of a season celebrating northern women writers, as part of Underdog: The Other Other Brontë – a National Theatre and Northern Stage production, exploring the lives and legacies of the Brontës.

The Northern Bookshelf Live programme invites you to meet northern authors in your local library. This summer you’ll find Lucy Nichol at Durham Clayport Library (25 May), Jessica Irena Smith at Hebden Bridge Library (13 June), Okechukwu Nzelu at Hexham Library (18 June), Rose Wilding at Berwick Library (20 June), and many more. Visit the Northern Bookshelf Live page to find all events.

Readers can also apply to be part of a new Shared Reading Volunteers scheme, run by New Writing North and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Books and reading allow us to connect to the world around us. Shared reading is a way to foster this connection and increase wellbeing for patients in hospital. Apply by 13 May. Selected participants will receive training to volunteer in Newcastle Hospitals. 

Try writing

Whether you’ve written creatively before or are completely new, you can join one of New Writing North’s free and friendly writing groups. These meet six days a week in communities across the North East during term-time.

There are groups for young people; for speakers of English as an additional language; and for women of colour.

Take the next step with a Keep Writing course for just £40 for four weeks in libraries in Morpeth and Jesmond. Working with tutors David Mark and Laura Fish, you’ll gain confidence in your writing and carve out space to progress your writing project.

Make something new this summer, with New Writing North’s free 3-day summer programmes for young people aged 11-19. Taking place in Newcastle, North Shields, Cramlington, Gateshead and South Shields, you can choose the right summer programme for you and have the chance to try poetry, prose, songwriting, playwriting, and writing for games, film, or podcast.


Develop your writing career

 Kickstart your writing career with an online course as part of the New Writing North Academy – with opportunities from writing YA, short stories, or memoir to a CPD-accredited course to improve your writing at work. Working in a small group of dedicated writers you can benefit from flexible learning at a time and pace that suits you, exploring the techniques used by leading contemporary writers. Courses run year-round.

Enter for a Channel 4 Writing for Television Award, open from 23 April until 4 June. New television writers will take long-term placements with independent production companies including Bonafide Films and Rollem Productions. They will also receive mentoring from a television professional and a bursary of £3,000.

Emerging television writers across the North are invited to apply for a place in one of the Channel 4 Northern Talent Network: Script Hubs. These will meet in Bradford, Newcastle and online from July to November. Through peer group sessions and workshops, writers will engage in group activities and learn from professionals as they develop their work (apply by 4 June).

Find out more about getting into screenwriting and opportunities to develop your career at the Channel 4 Northern Talent Network: Screenwriting event at Showroom Workstation in Sheffield on 8 June.

Published poets are invited to join North East Poets, a professional development group in Newcastle. The programme will offer continuing craft development and a network for poets navigating the next step in their career and is open to those who have published at least one pamphlet. Apply between 28 May and 8 July.

Six-month residencies are available to writers and artists, based in the North of Tyne, through New Writing North’s Creative Associates scheme. Designed to support creatives with time and space to create work that may be otherwise difficult to do, each recipient will receive a £5,000 project fund, mentoring, and support from the New Writing North team. Apply between 28 May and 29 July.


Anna Disley, Executive Director of Programme and Impact at New Writing North, said: “As we prepare to celebrate our 25th Northern Writers’ Awards this summer, we’re thrilled to do so within a programme packed with opportunities for everyone. Our Summer Season offers everything from Creative Associate residencies, mentoring, peer support and bursaries for writers developing their careers, to free drop-in sessions for people of all ages to try a creative hobby. You may even have time to volunteer and share a love of reading with others, as we launch a shared reading programme to support patients with Newcastle Hospitals. We are sure you will find plenty to inspire you, and we hope you can join us.”

Download the Summer 2024 programme (PDF)

Find listings: events, groups and activities and current projects.