Newcastle Writing Conference returns in May to foster new writers

Newcastle Writing ConferenceThe biennial Newcastle Writing Conference returns this spring, bringing together new and emerging writers across the North with publishing industry experts, inspiring authors and creative writing tutors. There isn’t anything specific to writing comics in the programme as far as we’re aware, but we thought downthetubes readers would be interested to know about it.

Newcastle Writing Conference is produced by Northumbria University and New Writing North, the writing development agency for the North of England. The two organisations have been joining forces since 2008 to support writers in their creative ambitions and promote new writing from the North.

The conference is aimed at everyone who has a desire to be published or to further their writing careers, including those who feel they are not currently represented by the publishing industry.

The event also celebrates the publication of Common People, a landmark anthology of working class writers, which is published by Unbound and supported by Northumbria University and New Writing North. The internationally acclaimed writer Tony Walsh, who has a story in it, will deliver a keynote speech.

The day-long conference, held at Live Theatre, Newcastle on Saturday 18th May, promises to open the door to the publishing industry, offering writers inspiration, networking opportunities, and very practical advice on developing their writing careers.

For those who are ready to take the next step, there will one-to-one sessions with literary agents and editors and the chance to pitch work to an industry panel.

For others at an earlier stage of writing, creative writing workshops with acclaimed writers including Paul Magrs will provide fuel for the imagination, while Carmen Marcus, founder of the Working Class Writers Collective, will offer her Writer’s Plan for organising your career and ambitions.

The conference includes representatives from major publishers Penguin Random House and Hachette, and leading literary agents Emma Paterson (Aitken Alexander), Niki Chang (The Good Agency) and Davinia Andrews-Lynch (ANDLYN).

Katy Shaw, Professor of Contemporary Writing at Northumbria, said: “The writers’ conference is a fantastic opportunity for authors and industry to meet and discuss challenges and opportunities in the twenty-first century British literary industries. At Northumbria, we work with New Writing North in our English and Creative Writing teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in our own research work to further understanding of access issues surrounding writing and publishing, and to professionalise our students with the skills they need to excel as global graduates in the contemporary publishing world.”

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the fourth biannual Newcastle Writing Conference. This year we’re keen to ignite people’s writing careers and inspire a new generation of writers regardless of where they come from and what their background is. We believe that talent is everywhere, so we’re particularly pleased to be able to offer ten bursary places to those who need them most.”

Newcastle Writing Conference 2019 takes place on Saturday 18 May 2019 at Live Theatre, Newcastle. Tickets are cost £49 Early Bird, £59 Full Price, £25 concessions, with a limited number of free bursary places available www.newwritingnorth.com

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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