New Writing North launches new online magazine Cuckoo Review

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Cuckoo Review ( is a new online arts and culture magazine written by young people. Young writers aged 15-23 will have an opportunity to cut their journalistic teeth and offer their opinions on the latest cultural offerings in the region and beyond.

The first edition is launched at the end of this month and features interviews with Mercury Prize winners Alt-J and controversial Carnegie prize winner Melvin Burgess, as well as reviews of the latest plays, exhibitions and gigs from Northern Stage, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Great North Museum, The Stand Newcastle, Gala Theatre, ARC Stockton and The Cluny. In the coming months, Cuckoo Review will feature Evolution Festival, the Late Shows, Newcastle Fashion Week, and an interview with TV personality Dawn O’Porter about her first foray into novel writing.

Following its launch online on 22 April 2013, Cuckoo Review will be updated on an almost daily basis with news, previews and reviews, making the site the go-to place for the most up-to-date cultural news. With tight deadlines, competition for the “top” stories and young writers being encouraged to pitch their own ideas, Cuckoo Review aims to mirror a professional working magazine as closely as possible. To sign up for Cuckoo Review on Twitter, follow @CuckooWriters.

The scheme has received overwhelming support from the region’s top cultural venues, which have provided free tickets, attendance at press events, and access to artists visiting the region.

Cuckoo Review was initiated following a series of masterclasses which ran throughout the summer of 2012, which saw young reviewers work with leading journalists including Laura Snapes from music website Pitchfork, Danny Leigh from BBC One’s Film programme, and Elizabeth Day and Kate Kellaway from The Observer. Participants made it clear that the North East lacked the opportunities and infrastructure to support young writers who wanted to break into journalism.

Anna Disley, Programme Director at New Writing North, says:

Cuckoo Review helps young people gain experience in arts journalism, an area in which there are relatively few opportunities in the North East. It also helps grow audiences of young people for culture in the region and beyond.

Cuckoo Review will provide a new and distinctive voice and we hope it will resonate widely, becoming a well-respected forum for cultural news and comment.” Cuckoo Review has already had 100 applications since its first callout in March and has allocated 40 reviewing slots, showing a very clear demand for this type of creative outlet for young writers.

Cuckoo Review forms part of New Writing North’s ongoing programme of work with young people – Cuckoo Young Writers – which includes fortnightly writing groups, summer schools, workshops in schools, and a quarterly literary magazine: Cuckoo Quarterly (

Cuckoo Review will be available online at from Monday 22 April and will be officially launched at a special event with crime novelist and critic Louise Welsh at Hexham Book Festival on Sunday 28 April.

Its sister publication, Cuckoo Quarterly, will publish its sixth edition on Friday 26 April and is available to read, along with all previous editions, at


For all media enquiries and interview requests please contact Olivia Chapman, Communications Manager at New Writing North on 0191 204 8850 (office), 07411 164 837 (mobile) or email [email protected]

Notes to editors:

Cuckoo Young Writers activity is programmed and run by New Writing North, and is made possible through support from Arts Council England and the Sir James Knott Trust. 

New Writing North is the writing development agency for northern England, and opened in 1996. In 2012, NWN joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations and works on selected projects across the Greater North. NWN works with writers to develop career opportunities, new commissions, projects, residencies, publications and live events. NWN works in partnership with a broad range of organisations, universities, local authorities, regional development agencies, sponsors and media producers to develop opportunities for writers in our region.

New Writing North would like to thank all the Cuckoo Review partners. They are: Tyneside Cinema, MIMA, Seven Stories, Juice Festival, Dance City, Theatre Royal, Northern Stage, Live Theatre, Tyne and Wear Museums, The Stand Newcastle, The Cluny, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Customs House, ARC Stockton, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Gala Theatre, Empire Theatre Sunderland, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, The Sage Gateshead, NARC Magazine, Random House, Orion, Bloomsbury and Hot Key Books.