Eight local authors unveiled as Read Regional 2011 campaign launches at Hexham

Posted by

We’re delighted to announce the authors taking part in this year’s Read Regional campaign, the fourth year we’ve run it and its biggest year yet.

The eight authors promoted for 2011 were announced at a special event on Saturday 7 May at Hexham Book Festival. The authors, who include poets, novelists and short story writers, were all present to read from their work and talk to audience members, as well as sign copies of their books.

As well as the eight main titles, a further six books by local writers are also being featured this year. All the books will be available at participating libraries across the North East, and the authors will be taking part in events across the region.

The authors for 2011 are:


Marilyn Longstaff (Darlington): Raiment (Smokestack Books)
Marilyn Longstaff is a Darlington-based poet and has been published in a range of magazines, in anthologies, and on the web. Her books include Puritan Games (Vane Women Press, 2001) and Sitting Among the Hoppers (Arrowhead Press, 2004).

Sheree Mack (Newcastle): Family Album (Flambard Press)
Sheree Mack was born in Bradford to a Trinidadian father and a Geordie mother of Bajan and Ghanaian heritage. Family Album is her first collection and is preoccupied with migration, journeys and places.

Anna Woodford (Newcastle): Birdhouse (Salt Publishing)
Anna Woodford has received an Eric Gregory Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship, a Northern Writers’ Awards from New Writing North, an Arvon/Jerwood apprenticeship and a Blue Mountain Fellowship (New York). Birdhouse is her first full-length collection and won the Crashaw Prize.

Fiction (short stories)

Beda Higgins (Newcastle): Chameleon (Iron Press)
Beda Higgins won first prize in the Mslexia Short Story Competition in 2009. She writes poetry and prose and her work has been included in various anthologies and collections. Chameleon is her first collection of short stories.


Fiction (novels)

Ann Cleeves (North Tyneside): Silent Voices (Macmillan)
Ann Cleeves worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. Silent Voices is the fourth novel in the Vera Stanhope series. The previous titles have been re-issued to feature on the cover the cast from Vera, the television drama currently on ITV adapted from the books.

Carolyn Jess-Cooke (Gateshead): The Guardian Angel’s Journal (Little, Brown)
Carolyn Jess-Cooke was born in 1978 in Belfast. She won several prestigious writing awards while studying for a degree and an MA at Queen’s University in Belfast, including an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. The Guardian Angel’s Journal is Carolyn’s first novel.

Danielle Ramsay (North Tyneside): Broken Silence (Avon)
Danielle Ramsay was born in Dundee and now lives in Whitley Bay. Her debut novel, Broken Silence, was published in 2010 and she is currently writing the next in the DI Brady series – Vanishing Point – which is to be published by Avon in spring 2012.

Dan Smith (Newcastle): Dry Season (Orion)
Dan Smith was born in 1970 and spent much of his early life alternating between a traditional English boarding school and travelling the world with his parents. Dry Season, his first novel, was published in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Brit Writers Published Writer of the Year in the same year.

We’ll keep you updated about the authors’ progress in our newsletter and all the author events across the region will be included in The Listening Post, our monthly listings email for literature events in the region. More information about the authors and their books , and full schedule of events is available at