New Narratives for the North East

They tell us that we live on a tiny crowded island. They try to tell us that we are tiny within ourselves. Tell them to come up here with the skylark, to forget what they think they know, and to look down upon the vastness of the North.

David Almond, Sing the North

In 2020, fifteen writers were asked to look beyond the flux and rhetoric of the current moment to capture something deeper and more lasting about the contemporary North East and its people. Through interview and extracts of their work as well as the varied sounds of the region, we discuss what makes this part of England distinct and what its future might look like.

New Narratives for the North East is a New Writing North commission with the North East Cultural Partnership, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This podcast series was made for Durham Book Festival by Sonderbug Productions, with music specially composed and recorded in Newcastle by Jayne Dent.

Listen online

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    Episode One: Sing the North

    David Almond’s commission, ‘Sing the North’, takes centre stage, interwoven with the voices of other writers as we take a journey upon birdwing across the North East.

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    Episode Two: This Edge

    Here we explore the North-East’s relationship with its borders, of land and sea, and how being on this edge informs its character, communities and perspectives.

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    Episode Three: The City is a Language

    Join us to explore the North-East’s distinctive urban spaces and explore how those on the inside read and think about our cities and towns.

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    Episode Four: About the Future

    This episode looks forwards, refiguring the North-East’s heritage, opening new ideas and exploring potential future narratives for the region as we look to the future.

Special Episode: Writing Collaboratively

A special round-table discussion where New Writing North’s Chief Executive, Claire Malcolm talks to writers Lisette Auton, Carmen Marcus and Mim Skinner about the approaches that they took to creating their pieces of work. All three writers chose to collaborate with other creatives and communities to make their work. The podcast explores how they did this and what writing collaboratively with others enables.