Time to Write Awards
Andy Croft lives in Middlesbrough, where he has been active in community writing projects for many years. Writing residencies include the Hartlepool Headland, the Great North Run, the Southwell Poetry Festival, the Combe Down Stone Mines Project, HMP Holme House and HMP Moorland. His verse-play about the history of Middlesbrough, Smoke!, was shown at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
His books include Red Letter Days, Out of the Old Earth, A Weapon in the Struggle, Selected Poems of Randall Swingler, Holme and Away, Comrade Heart and After the Party. He has written five novels and 42 books for teenagers, mostly about football.
He has edited several poetry anthologies, including Red Sky at Night (with Adrian Mitchell), North by North East (with Cynthia Fuller), Not Just a Game (with Sue Dymoke), The Night Shift (with Michael Baron and Jenny Swann), Speaking English: Poems for John Lucas and Everything Flows: A Celebration of the Transporter Bridge in Poetry.
Books of poetry include Nowhere Special, Gaps Between Hills (with Mark Robinson), Headland, Just as Blue, Great North, Comrade Laughter, Ghost Writer, Sticky, Three Men on the Metro (with WN Herbert and Paul Summers) and Nineteen Forty-eight (with Martin Rowson).
He has given many poetry readings, including readings in Paris, Potsdam, Sofia, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, New York and London’s Poetry International. He writes a regular poetry column for the Morning Star.
Alice de Smith
Alice de Smith was born in Cambridge and now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her work for the theatre, which includes Our Kind of Fun, Briefs, and The Cinderella Group, has been performed at Live Theatre, Newcastle, The Everyman, Liverpool and the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. She has also written travel and feature articles for national newspapers and magazines. In 2007, she received a Northern Writers’ Time to Write Award for her novel, Welcome to Life. She is currently working on her second novel.
Northern Promise Awards
Jo Colley is a writer and digital learning designer who lives in Darlington. She has worked as a poet and prose writer with Tees Valley Arts and New Writing North on several projects, running creative writing sessions with people of all ages and backgrounds. She has been reader in residence for both the Darlington and Durham Book Groups, in association with New Writing North.Described by SJ Litherland as “a thrilling, audacious poet,” she has been published by Vane Women, Ek Zuban and Salt and her next collection, Bones of Birds, is due out with Smokestack in 2014. Recently, she has had poems published in Black Light Engine Room, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept (Red Squirrel Press) and Ink on Paper (mudfog /mima). In 2011, she came second in the Biscuit Flash Fiction Competition. Her poem Welcome to the Hotel Caledonia was Diamond Twig’s poem of the month in October 2008.Jo is one of the editors of Other Poetry. She is also an event organiser: she set up and ran Hydrogen Jukebox at Darlington Arts Centre for six years, was a member of the committee for Colpitts Poetry from 1999 to 2012, and more recently, has produced Babel, a poetry and music event at The Forum in Darlington.PublicationsAs If (Vane Women, 2002)Punchdrunk (Ek Zuban, 2005)Weeping for The Lovely Phantoms (Salt, 2007)
Romi Jones is a prose writer and lives in a field close to the north Northumberland coastline. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and a Northern Promise Award. Her short stories have been published by Bloomsbury and Biscuit Books. Currently she is working on a novel The Boy in the Beach Hut. Her unpublished novel Disquiet Corners was short listed for Unbound Press Best Novel Award 2010 and long listed for Aurora Metro Virginia Prize 2009.
She has used her experience of combining creative writing with community involvement, in collaboration with local sound artist, to create installation of words and sounds Outer Place, Inner Voices funded by Arts Council.
Awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship, she travelled to USA/Canada to study creative writing with people with dementia. This followed NHS writer-in-residence in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, producing the pamphlet ‘Words from the Wise.’ In 2012, she was commissioned by New Writing North to write a series of six flash fiction, Dementia Dilemmas, inspired by working with older people in an Alzheimer’s Society Centre. She has also worked with student nurses at Northumbria University using a creative writing approach to reflective practice.
Angela Readman gained a distinction in a MA in creative writing at The University of Northumbria. Her poetry has won The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Charles Causley, and The Essex Poetry Prize. It has been widely published in anthologies and journals including The Rialto, Magma, Ambit, Envoi & Bare Fiction. In 2007, Salt published her collection Strip. Her latest poetry collection The Book of Tides came out with Nine Arches in 2016.
Angela also writes short stories and flash fiction. She won The Costa Short Story Award in 2014 after being shortlisted two years in a row. She is a winner of the National Flash Fiction Day Competition and her stories have been shortlisted in the Manchester Fiction Prize, The Asham Award, The Bristol Prize, & The Bath Short Story Award. In 2015 her debut collection Don’t Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories. The book won The Rubery Book Award and was shortlisted in The Edge Hill Prize. In 2016 she won The Mslexia Short Story Competition and was commissioned to write a story that was on Radio 4 in 2017. She currently lives in Newcastle.
Having lived in Leeds for most of her life, Elizabeth Whyman moved to Newcastle in 1997. She is a graduate of the MA in creative writing at Northumbria University. In 2006 she was a finalist in the Cinnamon Press First Collection Award, had a poem commended in the Robert McLellan Award and won the inaugural Poetry Can First Collection competition. The collection, Touchpiece, was published in 2007.
The Waterhouse Poetry Award
Christy Ducker lives in Northumberland. Her pamphlet, Armour, was a Poetry Book Society Choice, and is also a Read Regional title for 2012. Her poetry commissions include residencies for Port of Tyne and English Heritage. Her work appears in the collaborative book, Tyne View. She has received the Waterhouse Poetry Award, and is currently writing a series of poems about Grace Darling, as part of her PhD research at Newcastle University. A selection of Christy’s new work will be anthologised in Oxford Poets 2013.
Armour (Smith/Doorstop, 2011)
Tyne View (NWN, 2012)
The Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award
Glynis Reed has two children and lives within walking distance of the beautiful Tynemouth Long Sands. She won the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award 2007. Glynis was inspired to enter for the award after graduating from Newcastle University with an MA in creative writing. Part of the award involved being mentored by novelist David Almond. Having originally worked on a collection of short stories, this support proved to be the encouragement Glynis needed to branch out in her writing. She has since developed one of her short story ideas into a novel. The novel has progressed as health allowed but is now near completion.