Creative Writing Course at Seaton Delaval Hall for Emerging Writers

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John Challis is writer-in-residence at Seaton Delaval Hall, as part of the Curtain Rises project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. He is a poet, researcher and teacher living in the North East. His debut collection of poems The Resurrectionists was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2021. A pamphlet, The Black Cab (Poetry Salzburg), appeared in 2017 and was a New Writing North Read Regional title. He has received a Pushcart Prize, a Northern Writers’ Award, an Authors’ Foundation grant from The Society of Authors, and was highly commended in the 2021 Forward Prizes for Poetry. His work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, in Ambit, The Guardian, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London and elsewhere.

As part of his Residency at Seaton Delaval Hall, poet John Challis is running a creative writing course for emerging writers.

This six-week creative writing course will immerse you in the spirit of Seaton Delaval Hall, a dramatic architectural masterpiece designed by the renowned playwright and architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, and home to the fun-loving, and often scandalous, Delaval family.

Through workshops in and around Seaton Delaval Hall, you will produce new writing in poetry, prose or script, inspired by the family’s notorious parties and theatrical pranks, the landscape and ecology of the property, the family’s involvement in the industries of coal, glass and salt, and the way in which the Delavals have shaped the North East.

By the end of the course, you will have a raft of new drafts and ideas inspiring you to continue to write in response to place, landscape and heritage.

The course will take place at Seaton Delaval Hall on the following dates:

Saturday 22nd Jan at 10.30 am
Saturday 29th Jan at 10.30 am
Saturday 5th Feb at 10.30 am
Saturday 12th Feb at 10.30 am
Saturday 19th Feb at 10.30 am
Saturday 26th Feb at 10.30 am


Places on the course are FREE, participating writers will be selected by a panel including John Challis, New Writing North and National Trust representatives on the basis of your application.

To apply

Apply here. Please tell us in up to 300 words why you would like to take part in this series of 6 workshops, include information about your writing experience up to this point. Please note: you do not have to be an experienced writer to apply, we are particularly interested in hearing from writers who are currently under-represented in the creative writing industries.

Please also include a sample of your writing (up to 3 poems, 10 pages of script or 5 pages of prose)