Full programme announced for Newcastle Writing Conference

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Great Hall, Sutherland Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne: Saturday 4 May, 9.30am-5.30pm

We’ve just confirmed the last speakers at the inaugural Newcastle Writing Conference, and the full programme is now available online at The conference is presented in partnership with Northumbria University.

The Newcastle Writing Conference is a must-attend event for writers across the north of England who are either new to writing or have only recently been published and would like to learn more about the industry they’re now working in.

You’ll learn from agents, editors, publishers, booksellers and fellow writers about what you can do to improve your chances of getting published and helping your book to get a wide readership.

“We felt that it was important to have a high-calibre writing conference in the North which brought writers from the North’s burgeoning creative writing scene into contact with key publishing industry players and experts to share ideas about the industry that many of them are breaking into,” said Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North.

“The conference builds on New Writing North’s track record of supporting and developing writers from a very early stage of their careers as we have done with the Northern Writers’ Awards since 2000.”

The conference is also an opportunity for agents and publishers to meet talented new writers at the early stages of their careers.


9.30am-10am: registration and coffee

10am-10.15am: Welcome from Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North

10.15am-10.45am: Keynote speech
Costa Prize-nominated novelist Stephen May talks about how to develop a career as a writer.

10.45am-11.45am: Breaking into Writing: Agents and publishers
A panel giving the lowdown on how to break into the writing industry with author, blogger and self-publisher Nicola Morgan, literary agent Juliet Mushens, and Two Roads Books publisher Lisa Highton. The panel will cover how writers engage with and identify suitable agents and publishers, how best to make approaches, and how to manage relationships in the writing business.

12 noon-1pm: Market Focus: What’s hot and what’s not?
A discussion about current trends in publishing with Barry Cunningham, MD of Chicken House Publishing (who discovered JK Rowling), agents Mark Stanton and Julia Churchill, and Faber & Faber publishing director Lee Brackstone. The panel will explore current trends in publishing in adult and children’s fiction, and discuss what kind of work is selling at the moment and the themes and trends that they see emerging in the market over the next two to three years.

1pm-2pm: networking lunch (included in ticket price)

2.15pm-3.15pm: Selling Books

Revealing the nuts and bolts of bookselling and e-books with Chris White, head fiction buyer at Waterstones, and Rosie Gailer, publicity director at Hodder & Stoughton, chaired by Claire Malcolm. The panel will explore the changing state of bookselling on the high street and in the retail sector, the impact of e-books and online selling on the marketplace, and new strategies that authors and publishers are using to sell books, and give you the lowdown on what writers need to know about how their work is sold.

3.30pm-4.30pm: Digital Writing
The Literary Platform hosts a panel event that will introduce The Writing Platform, their new online space for writers and profile emerging and innovative work within the field of digital books and writing. The Writing Platform is a guide to the digital world for writers – from social networking to new digital projects that are exploring how books exist in the digital sphere. Speakers on this panel are authors Chris Rickaby, Lisa GeeEwan Morrison and Tony White and the event will be chaired by Sophie Rochester of The Literary Platform.

4.45pm-5.15pm: Any questions?
The day will end with a Q&A session with speakers and Claire Malcolm.

5.30pm: ENDS

Full details and booking information is available at

Tickets (includes lunch and refreshments): £99 / £50 (students) / £20 (Cuckoo Young Writers)

Over half the tickets for the conference have already gone, so do make sure you book soon to make sure you can attend.