New Writing North’s book group network
We run a network of book groups across the region for keen readers who like to read and discuss contemporary fiction. We also run a popular poetry reading group in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The groups are free to join, flexible to attend and are all run by facilitators who manage the meetings to ensure that everyone gets to join in. The books that are read are chosen by the group facilitators and New Writing North in seasonal bursts and reflect a range of interests. We tend to promote books that are literary in nature and alongside popular books of the day we also try to identify books that are less well known. We also sometimes create special events for our book group network and sometimes authors visit groups to talk about their work. In 2009 Lionel Shriver talked about her work at a special book group event organised as part of the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at The Sage.
How to join
If you would like to join any of the groups below, please email email@example.com. Once you are signed up you will receive a membership card which will allow you to access special offers from a number of book retailers and from some of the venues that the groups meet in.
Once a member you will also get access to our monthly book group newsletter which previews books and often has special offers for events and book purchases.
Where our groups meet
Below is information on all of our networked groups. Each group has a blog, where you can preview what books are coming up, when meetings are and find out more about the group itself.
Berwick Book Group
The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at The Barrels Ale House, Bridge St, at 6.30pm. The group is lively and fun and in the past has created special events including readings on the beach with literary inspired food!
Darlington Book Group
The group meets at 6.30pm at The Forum in Darlington and is facilitated by Jo Colley. The group has been known to have Christmas parties alongside its regular meetings.
Durham Book Group
Meetings are held from 6pm-7.30pm on the second Monday of every month at Leonard’s Coffee House. This group is facilitated by Jo Colley and often reads poems alongside novels.
Hexham Book Group
This busy group is facilitated by Susie Troup, the director of Hexham Book Festival, and meets at 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of every month at The Forum Cinema in Hexham. Chosen books often tie in to events with authors at the book festival.
Our second affiliated group, LitPop is a book club for lovers of books, music and books about music. It meets at 7pm-8.30pm every second Tuesday of the month at the Sage Gateshead and is convened by Rachel Carroll (Teesside University) and Adam Hansen (Northumbria University).
The Newcastle Living Room Book Group
The Newcastle Living Room Book Group is our largest group and on the day of the meetings each book is discussed twice, so you can either join us at 12.30pm or 6.30pm. All meetings take place at The Carriage pub in Archbold Terrace, Jesmond. The group is facilitated by journalist and writer Caroline Beck.
New Parents Book Group
This group is our newest group and was created to address the needs of parents with young children who want to find an arena in which they can discuss books (but also not feel guilty if they didn’t get the end of the book!). The group meets at 10.30am on the second Friday of every month at the Quay Education Area at BALTIC. This is at the back of level 2 and easily accessible with buggies, and has toys and space for the babies to play.
The Poetry Room Book Group
If poetry is your passion, our poetry reading group will be a real treat for you. Facilitated by two of the region’s most popular and respected poets, Linda France and Anna Woodford, the group discusses a wide range of contemporary poetry. The group meets every month from 6pm-8pm at City Library, Newcastle.
Sunderland Book Group
Facilitated by avid reader and journalist Laura Brewis, the Sunderland Group meets at The Royalty Theatre, Sunderland, on the second Thursday of every month from 6.45pm- 8pm (pop along from 6.30pm). Laura’s blog covers a range of subjects to do with reading.
The Tees Valley Book Group
The Tees Valley Book Group meets in the convivial surroundings of Stockton Central Library. The group is facilitated by Stephanie Roundsmith and is attended by readers of all ages.
Whitley Bay Book Group
Our first affiliated group. Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of the month from 7.30pm-9pm at The Quarry pub on Marden Road South, Whitley Bay, with reader in residence Cathy McCracken. The group reads contemporary work intercut with occasional classics.