WRITE Festival 2018

We were thrilled to welcome WRITE Festival back for its second year between 12-25 May 2018!

After a fantastic first year, WRITE Festival evolved and grew for its second year into a 2 week festival which boasted an even bigger programme of events for people of all ages to enjoy!

The events

The diverse programming included everything from poetry writing workshops and a poetry slam, a murder mystery night, workshops on how to get published, comedy performances, family-fun events including Doctor Who monsters, two Writers in Residence and top-class authors and writers including Kevin Maguire, LJ Ross, Adam Bushnell, Jenn Ashworth and more.

‘WRITE’ across South Tyneside

As part of the festival’s expansion, we worked with venues across South Tyneside to hold events.

The Customs House

We we thrilled to work with The Customs House to grow the festival. Writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie gave a special performance about his retracing of the Jarrow Crusade at the venue on the opening day of the festival. We also worked with The Customs House to seek submissions for new writing, which were selected during the festival and will go one to be produced as plays for following WRITE Festivals.

The Stags Head

Our poetry slam was held at a local pub – The Stags Head – which provided a fun and relaxed atmosphere for the evening of fast-paced poetry.

South Tyneside Libraries

Events also took place across across local libraries (Jarrow, Hebburn and Cleadon Park) which included working with schools as well as a visit from bestselling novelist, Cath Staincliffe.

Working with schools

An important part of WRITE Festival 2018 was working with schools (both primary and secondary) to get children and young people involved in the written word.

Over the fortnight our OpenZone team, along with South Tyneside Libraries, delivered a range of digital and technology focused sessions. Some schools were joined by bestselling author Niel Bushnell who explored how stories affect us all and where story ideas come from. Other school children learned how to create their own interactive adventure games on a computer and two local schools got the opportunity to join Niel to create their own mythical monsters and creepy creatures through augmented reality.

Comprehensive schools were invited to local libraries to mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s immortal ‘Frankenstein’ where they learned about Mary herself, her remarkable background and experienced a live re-enactment of key passages.

Writers in Residence

We also had 2 Writers in Residence during WRITE Festival 2018. Tom Kelly’s residency involved working alongside young people from South Tyneside to write a series of short stories inspired by ‘Our Town’, which he showcased as part of his residency presentation event on Saturday 19 May 2018. Jenni Pascoe was our Poet in Residence who worked with various groups to develop their poetry skills. She also hosted 4 workshops for aspiring amateur poets to build upon their skills, performance technique and get them ready to compete in their very first poetry slam – which Jenni hosted at The Stags Head on Thursday 24 May 2018.

WRITE Festival 2018 was supported by: