The QT

Friday 19 July 2024

Autumn programme is a page turner

A packed programme brimming with top drawer literary events, community writing groups and industry workshops awaits us this autumn, thanks to New Writing North.
New Writing North has unveiled its autumn programme

Whether you’re someone who writes; someone who wants to write or someone who enjoys the writing of others, you will find much to like in New Writing North’s autumn programme.

Festivals and author events, industry workshops, community writing groups and poetry discussion sessions all feature including courses for those interested in writing for children and young adults and aspiring crime novelists.

A limited number of early bird tickets are already available for a weekend (Jan 31-Feb 2) dedicated to screenwriting opportunities in the North East. Sponsored by North East Screen, agents, production companies and commissioners will all be in attendance… we don’t think the first tranche of tickets will last long.

Anna Disley, executive director of programme and impact at New Writing North, said: “It’s a huge part of our work to help develop young talent, and to ensure those undeserved in our communities have access to creative opportunities. 

“We’re proud to be uncovering, supporting, and providing career-making opportunities for writing talent at all stages, with thanks to the support from our partners.”

Highlights from the autumn roster include a series of literary events at Waterstones Newcastle and Tyneside Cinema.

Former Guardian journalist and columnist for Vogue, Bella Mackie, will talk about her  new murder mystery, What a Way to Go (Sept 19); Louise Doughty, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Apple Tree Yard and Platform Seven, will discuss her latest novel, A Bird in Winter, with rising star Charlotte Vassell (The In Crowd) in a Faber Fiction event (September 25). 

Left to right: Authors Charlotte Vassell, Louise Doughty and Bella Mackie and poet Linda France

Also on September 19, Four Seasons in One Poem will see a panel (Aboriginal writer Graham Akhurst, award-winning poet Yvette Henry Holt of the Bidjara, Yiman and Wakaman Nations of Queensland; and British poet Linda France) discussing climate-themed poetry.

In October, Durham Book Festival returns (October 11-13) and while the full programme is being kept under wraps until it is officially unveiled in August, a quartet of headline authors have been revealed to get everyone excited.

They are:

  • Rebecca F. Kuang, the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Yellowface;
  • The Booker Prize winning author Alan Hollinghurst, who will be celebrating Our Evenings, his first novel in over a decade;
  • The former Makar of Scotland, Jackie Kay, who brings her long-awaited new poetry collection May Day to the festival; and
  • Bestselling American author Jodi Picoult will discuss her latest novel, By Any Other Name.
Clockwise from top left: Jackie Kay, Alan Hollinghurst and Jodi Picoult are confirmed for this year’s Durham Book Festival

Anna said: “We’re thrilled to give a sneak preview into some of the incredible authors coming to this year’s Durham Book Festival. New Writing North’s mission is to bring inspiring events and activities to readers and writers, and be a catalyst for creativity.”

As well as the one-off events and activities, the programme also serves as a reminder of the New Writing North’s year-round schedule of informal, community-led groups for writers and creatives across the North-East, including creative workshops for older residents, creative drop-in sessions, and a multilingual creative writing group.

It also lays out the programme for the next Northern Writers’ Awards, which open for entries on November 26. 

You can read all about this year’s awards ceremony, which took place in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, here.

Next year, the awards will feature the Hachette Children’s Novel Awards 2025 for debut manuscripts of middle-grade and early teen fiction, which are open from October 22, 2024.

For full details of the autumn programme and Northern Writers’ Awards dates etc, visit the New Writing North website.


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