New Writing North call to tender: Gordon Burn Prize brand development and website design

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1. Who we are:

New Writing North is the development agency for creative writing and reading in the North of England and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. We work in partnership with regional and national partners to produce a range of literary and performance activities including flagship projects such as the Northern Writers’ Awards, Cuckoo Young Writers, the Gordon Burn Prize and Durham Book Festival. The Gordon Burn Trust was set up in memory of the writer Gordon Burn and is a partner in the Gordon Burn Prize and many other unique initiatives that support visual, literary and creative artists.

2. The brief

The Gordon Burn Prize is an annual prize for a published work of fiction or non-fiction, which reflects the concerns, and interests of Burn’s work. Gordon Burn wrote fiction and non-fiction and many books that challenged the very notion of the boundaries between the two forms. The prize enters into its fourth year in 2016. The prize website will bring together information on the prize and how to enter (for writers and publishers) and offer a range of articles, downloads and audio for readers and listeners. It will aim to encourage entries for the prizes whilst also celebrating the work of Gordon Burn on our prizewinners.

This brief is to both create new branding for the award and to design and build a website for the project.

Brand development:

At the moment the prize is using a small graphic self-portrait of Gordon Burn. The quality of this image isn’t of a high quality, though we would like to retain its usage on the website. We would like to create a logo and associated branding for the prize which can be used to drive the design of the new website and on other marketing materials such as banners and leaflets.

The feel of the branding should be contemporary, serious and established but not stuffy or old-fashioned. Gordon Burn’s creative work had edge and the prize branding should reflect that.

Three partners, The Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North and Faber and Faber, all of which have their own branding, run the prize. The designer should consider how the three partners might be profiled alongside the branding for the prize and on the new website.


• To create an engaging and attractive gateway to the prize.
• To have an efficient archiving system for out of date pages.
• To support the implementation of a new CRM system which will support writers and publishers to manage their data and the submission of work.
• To track usage via Google Analytics to help us better understand our audience interactions.
• Mobile friendly and meeting and excelling all disability and access requirements.
• Ideally, we would like to build the site using WordPress.

Creative design:

We want the new website to be clean, easy to read, visually interesting, with videos, images of people and book covers, able to accommodate mixed lengths of text and have a clean banner for easy navigation.


Our proposed navigation is as follows:

• HOME – the gateway to the prize and the site content with space for current announcements. Sub sections: Gordon Burn, About, Partners and Supporters.
• WINNERS – Profile pages for each winning writer (author photo, book cover, biog, downloads and links) and a link to a page showing shortlisted books and authors.
• JUDGES – Sub sections: 2016 Judges and Previous Judges.
• MEDIA – Sub sections: Media Releases, Media Coverage, Podcasts, Films, Images.
• ENTER – Sub-sections: How to Enter, Rules and Conditions of Entry and Online Entry Portal/Form.
• BLOG – various content.
• ARCHIVE – Miscellaneous articles of interest and archived materials.
• SIGN UP – Form linked to CRM to register for more info and news.


We would like a flexible HTML newsletter template, for use on Campaign Monitor, designed in conjunction with the new site.

3. Timeline and Delivery
Commission awarded: 1 March 2016
Designs confirmed: 1 April 2016
Site launches 1 June 2016.


4.1 Meetings and communication

Consultants will be expected to outline how they will manage the design and implementation of the project and the delivery to New Writing North.

Project Management Group
Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive
Rhys Bethell, Digital and Data Manager
Laura Fraine, Marketing and Communications Manager


5. Procurement

Submitting a proposal:

The consultant should supply the following information:

1. Portfolio of relevant work.
2. Fixed price quotation for carrying out this work plus day rates for any additional work requested by the client.
3. Information on the availability of the consultant (s) to undertake this work between March and May 2016.
4. CV for the proposed consultant (s) who will personally deliver the project that should Include details of their specific experience and expertise of the type required to deliver this project.
5. Proposal and methodology (including timetable) for carrying out the work.
6. (Max 3 x A4 pages), to include: Anticipated programme of work that identifies key stages and deliverables. 7. Contact details for 2 references from the last 2 years of relevant work

Submission scoring

Applications for this work will be scored on the following criteria:

Examples / experience provided of similar types of work undertaken
Quality of the proposal and methodology
Value for money

Deadline for submissions: 12 noon, Friday 19 February 2016.

Proposals should be emailed to Laura Fraine [email protected]. Any queries in advance of submission can also be made to this contact by email or by phone on 0191 204 8850.

To download the brief as a PDF, please click here. To view other briefs that New Writing North have put out to tender, please go to our News section.