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Newcastle Writing Conference 2017

New Writing North and Northumbria University

Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 13:30 to 18:30 (BST)

Newcastle Writing Conference 2017

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Early Bird Ticket
A limited number of early bird tickets are available until 28 April.
28 Apr 2017 £39.00 £2.90
Full Price Ticket 19 May 2017 £49.00 £3.34
Student Ticket
Please bring valid student ID card to event
19 May 2017 £25.00 £2.29

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Event Details


Newcastle Writing Conference is a must-attend event for aspiring and early career writers looking to promote their work, network with fellow writers and understand more about the publishing industry.

Our writing conferences in 2013 and 2015 sold out. We encourage you to book early and make the most of the Early Bird rate (ends 28 April). For additonal information about each of our break-out sessions, please visit the New Writing North website.



Arrival, registration, tea and coffee


Welcome from Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North.

Keynote address from Louise Doughty.

Louise is the author of eight novels, including the Top Ten bestseller Apple Tree Yard, which was recently adapted for BBC One. 


Break out Session One – choose one

A. Editing your work with Susannah Otter 

Bring a 500-word sample of your work to this practical workshop. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions about how to get the most out of working with your editor.

B. Writing about place with Jenn Ashworth

This creative writing workshop is a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the most exciting young novelists of her generation. This session will focus on writing about place.

C. Should I self-publish? with Rachel Abbott

Rachel Abbott has self-published six novels, including The Sixth Window. In this session Kate will share her personal wish list, as well as offering advice on how to best prepare your work to find an agent and answering any questions you have on the process. 

D. Meet the agent: Kate Barker
Kate Barker has worked in book publishing for nearly 20 years. Recently she set up her own literary agency and is actively looking for new writers. In this session Kate will share her personal wish list, as well as offering advice on how to best prepare your work to find an agent and answering any questions you have on the process. 

E. Off the Page with Gemma Seltzer

Explore all the ways you can share your ideas, stories and poems beyond the printed page. Join writer Gemma Seltzer to learn about digital literature, participatory arts projects, poetry films, social media fiction and writing for radio. There'll be time to start planning your own new paperless writing project, too!


Coffee break, networking and book signing with Louise Doughty


Break-out Session Two – choose one

A. Be Your Own Best Publicist: promoting your work with Maura Brickell

Maura Brickell is an award-winning books publicist who has worked on campaigns for authors as diverse as Jo Brand, Will Young, Melvin Burgess and Sarah Winman. Her session will be packed with excellent ideas for making your work stand out from the crowd.

B. Meet the agent: Ella Kahn

Ella Kahn co-founded DKW literary agency in 2012. Ella will be joined in this session by one of her authors, Dan Smith, author of thrillers for adults and children, including Boy X (2016) and Dry Season (2011). Together they will share their experience and advice on how best to hook and work with your agent. This session is open to all, and will particularly suit those writing for children.

C. Finding your story with Andrew Crumey

In this inspiring creative writing workshop, Andrew employs exercises which take you back to the roots of your story to find the voice you want to develop. This session is suitable both for those with a completed draft, as well as writers looking for fresh inspiration.

D. The business of being a writer with Theo Jones (Society of Authors) and Niel Bushnell

Get to grips with your writing career with Theo Jones of the Society of Authors, who will cover the nuts and bolts of contracts, terms of agreements, rights, and how to navigate the publishing world. Niel Bushnell is a children’s author and chair of the SoA’s Authors North committee. He will join Theo to talk about the practicalities of being a writer, being self-employed and the benefits of being a member of the Society of Authors.

E. Perfect your pitch with Ian Fenton 

Get tongue-tied when trying to describe your work? With writer and director Ian Fenton’s tips and techniques, you’ll perfect your elevator pitch in no time – ready to wow your peers in the coffee break after this interactive workshop. 


What’s Hot and What’s Not with Ella Kahn, Susannah Otter and Kate Barker, chaired by Claire Malcolm

In our final panel, agents and editors will look at current trends and issues affecting the publishing industry, while we invite them to look to the future of the publishing landscape. This panel discussion has always been a popular feature of our previous writing conferences and is not to be missed!


Questions from the audience

After hours

From 6.30pm we’ll be heading over the road to Nancy’s Bordello for networking drinks with the Society of Authors. We hope you can join us!

Do you have questions about Newcastle Writing Conference 2017? Contact New Writing North and Northumbria University

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When & Where

Northumbria Law School
City Campus East
Northumbria University
NE2 1UY Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 13:30 to 18:30 (BST)

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New Writing North and Northumbria University

Newcastle Writing Conference is a partnership between New Writing North and Northumbria University

New Writing North is the writing development agency for the north of England, and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

New Writing North works with writers to develop career opportunities, new commissions, projects, residencies, publications and live events. It works in partnership with a broad range of organisations, universities, local authorities, regional development agencies, sponsors and media producers to develop opportunities for writers.

Northumbria University, Newcastle is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. 

Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the UK with almost 34,000 students from 131 countries. The University has over 186,000 alumni worldwide. Northumbria has invested more than £200 million in our estate since 2005 to improve the student experience. Northumbria is ranked top 50 in the UK for research power and had the 4th largest increase in quality research funding (REF 2014). According to Times Higher Education, Northumbria had the biggest rise in research power of any university in the UK. Northumbria is ranked 3rd in the UK for international student satisfaction in the International Student Barometer survey 2015, a rise of 26 places on the previous year. 

Northumbria University’s cultural partners include New Writing North, Live Theatre, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. 


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