We create life-changing chances – but we can’t do it alone. Can you help?

“I finally felt like I could write anything I like. I feel free.”
– Pupil, primary school, Gateshead.

Writing talent is everywhere. But opportunities are not.

That’s why New Writing North exists.

To identify and nurture talent.

To inspire a love for creative writing and reading.

To create life-changing chances for people – of all ages and backgrounds – across the North.

But we can’t do it alone. Can you help us?

Donate today

How do we make a difference?

We believe that talent is everywhere. But that opportunities are not. So we make it our job to create these. We develop programmes and activities that support people to enjoy and engage with creative reading and writing. Whether this is professionally or for pleasure. We help good writing find local, regional, national and international audiences.

By working with young people, their families and communities

One way we make a difference is through our young people and communities work.

Over the last five years, we’ve worked with more than 10,000 children from disadvantaged and culturally diverse backgrounds in our local communities across North East England. Many of them have additional needs or speak English as an additional language. In some areas, 2 in 5 young people live in poverty. The rate of children on Free School Meals is more than double the national average.

Our young writers’ programmes introduce young people to creative writing. This could be song writing, poetry, rap, scriptwriting, podcasting, or more. Creative writing projects and activities are led by expert writers and facilitators. Parents and carers, teachers, and children themselves have all pointed to increased confidence, talent and creativity, self-esteem, and school attendance, as a result.

“For many students who might struggle in classes, it is where they understand they can have a voice.” – Teacher, secondary school, Newcastle.

By finding, supporting, and celebrating talent

We also provide career-making opportunities through our talent development schemes.

Take our Northern Writers’ Awards, for example. The awards centre on discovering talent and supporting new work-in-progress. They offer opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers. These include forging connections with publishers and agents. Mentoring. Manuscript assessment. Writing placements. Retreats. And cash awards to buy time away from work and other commitments to write.

We support Northern writers at an earlier stage than most literary awards – usually before an agent or publisher is involved. Winning a Northern Writers’ Award can be life-changing for a writer at a pivotal stage of their career. But it also provides a pipeline of new Northern talent to the publishing and broadcast industries.

Through the awards, we’ve supported over 400 talented, often unpublished, Northern writers – and provided them with thousands of pounds worth of support and life-changing chances.

“No exaggeration to say that the Northern Writers’ Award changed everything for me. It gave me the second chance of life that I didn’t know I needed.” – Jay Patel, Channel 4 Writing for Television Award, 2016

The result can be transformative. In 2023, more than a dozen books by previous Award winners were published, such as Black Fell by Mari Hannah (Orion), A Dark Inheritance by HF Askwith (Penguin) and Cuddy by Benjamin Myers (Bloomsbury), as well as The Ink Cloud Reader by Kit Fan (Carcanet) and All My Wild Mothers by Victoria Bennett (Hachette UK).

There is a whole heap of other ways we make a difference, too.

We run open-access and targeted talent development activities (with over 2,000 applications a year). We produce renowned festivals and events. We run courses and workshops to help people master new skills, develop their voice, and see how far their talent takes them.

All this and so much more… Browse our website and find out how.

Our young programmers running their festival book swap

Our young programmers running their festival book swap

How to donate

Online donations

You can donate to us online via our JustGiving page.

Donate here

Postal donations

If you would like to make a donation by cheque, please make it out to ‘New Writing North Ltd’, and send them to us at New Writing North, 120 Squires Building, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST.

Corporate donations

We are delighted to receive donations from businesses, and to work with businesses on Corporate Social Responsibility projects or to discuss the potential sponsorship of our activities. Please contact Anna Disley, Executive Director (Programme & Impact) [email protected]

Thank you!