Inkubator: paid professional development training to work with young people

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Inkubator is an exciting new paid professional development course for writers across all disciplines who want to develop their skills in participatory arts practice with young people.

New Writing North Young Writers is an award-winning programme, which introduces young people to creative writing through school and community groups in the North East. From our Saturday morning writing groups to our long-term relationships with secondary schools, we offer young people the opportunity to experiment and create, using forms of writing from songwriting and rapping to prose and poetry.

Our programme could not run without our facilitators: dynamic, diverse and talented freelance writers with a passion for working with young people. To maintain the highest quality on our programmes, it is vital that we support emerging writers who may have little to no experience of participatory practice.

The Gateshead Young Writers project, funded by Kavlifondet, now enables us to offer this superb development opportunity for six emerging practitioners.


Course Structure

Inkubator is a professional development course taking place between April and July 2020, which will comprise six training and reflection days, plus a practical placement on one of the New Writing North Young Writers’ projects to put facilitation skills into action.


Taught content

The taught content will comprise masterclasses led by guest writers and artists and will cover the skills required for facilitation with young people, as well as an introduction to freelance working, safeguarding and evaluation. There will be an emphasis on the importance of critical reflection as a way to improve your participatory arts practice.

Training will take place on the following dates from 10am–2pm at Gateshead Central Library:

Wednesday 15 April

Wednesday 22 April

Wednesday 6 May

Wednesday 17 June

Wednesday 1 July

Wednesday 22 July



The placement will happen between May and July 2020 and will be tailored to each applicant’s skills, interests, and availability. The placement will offer a combination of shadowing experienced practitioners and leading delivery. A typical placement might be four afternoon sessions in a secondary school, plus two sessions at a Saturday young writers’ group. This will be accompanied by mentoring from a New Writing North artist or producer.


Further learning

Between April and July 2020, you will be expected to attend:

  • Up to three progress reviews with the course lead
  • Two action learning groups with other participants in the cohort.



It is free to take part. All successful applicants will receive a bursary of £500 to enable their participation on the course. We hope that following successful completion of the course, we will be able to offer participants further freelance work on New Writing North’s programmes.



To apply:

  • You must be over 18 years of age.
  • You should be passionate about working with young people.
  • You should be able to demonstrate current practice of an artistic discipline to a high standard (e.g. performances, publication, online portfolio).
  • Words should form a significant part of your artistic practice (e.g. songwriting, rapping, scriptwriting, poetry, prose, essays).
  • You should be able to commit to the course structure outlined above.
  • You must be able to travel to New Writing North projects in the North East on a regular basis.

Through our work, we aim to show young people that writing is a passion and a career choice that is attainable for people of all backgrounds and life experiences. It is important to us that our freelancers represent the diversity of the young people who we work with. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from people who are underrepresented in current arts and culture. This includes, but is not limited to, writers of colour, disabled writers, LGBTQIA+ and non-binary writers, and working-class writers.

Please note: successful applicants will be required to apply for an enhanced disclosure and barring service (DBS) check to assess their suitability to work with young people, if they do not already have one. This will take place prior to any work on New Writing North’s programmes.



Apply here via the Submittable platform

Application deadline: Wednesday 18 March at 11:59PM

Interviews will take place on: Friday 27 March

We welcome questions about the programme. Please direct your enquiries to [email protected].