Studying creative writing
The Poetry School
The Poetry School runs regular workshops for poets across the North East. Their programme changes year-to-year so check out their website for up to date information.
The North East has two book festivals – Hexham Book Festival in the spring and Durham Book Festival in the autumn – both of which offer creative writing workshops as part of their programmes.
Studying creative writing at university
The North East has more creative writing programmes then any other part of the country outside of London. So whether you are looking to study at BA or MA level, or to undertake occasional part-time study, it’s worth checking out what’s on offer from all of the universities below.
The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics is a focus for numerous creative writing activities and events and is home to the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, a research centre which promotes events with writers and runs projects. Creative writing is offered at Post-Graduate and Masters level and supervision is offered at PhD level. Tutors at Newcastle include Jackie Kay, Sean O’Brien, WN Herbert and Margaret Wilkinson. The university offers many short accredited courses and spring and summer schools. For more information, see www.ncl.ac.uk/elll/creative.
Northumbria offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in creative writing as well as supervision for those wishing to study for a PhD in the subject. Teaching is mainly workshop-based, and modules cover a wide range of forms from novels, short stories and poetry to drama and screenwriting, and various media from print, film and television to the stage and radio. Tutors at Northumbria include Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Michael Green, Steve Chambers and Pauline Plummer. In addition to courses, the university hosts many literary events and activities including book launches and poetry readings. These are often held at the university’s new Gallery North. Watch their listings page for notices of events.
Sunderland offers creative writing as part of a BA in English and creative writing. It also has a great reputation for media production courses in radio and TV. Occasional screenwriting courses are also offered. For more information, see www.sunderland.ac.uk.
Teesside offers an MA in creative writing that is taught from its campus in Darlington, and BA undergraduate level teaching of English with creative writing. The university also offers a range of short courses and summer activities. Tutors at Teesside include Kachi A Ozumba and Bob Beagrie. Teesside University is also renowned for its courses in animation and screen media based at the Middlesbrough campus. For more information, see www.tees.ac.uk.
Studying creative writing further afield
There are many writing courses and programmes nationally. Here are a few that we would recommend as trusted providers of activity.
The Arvon Foundation
The Arvon Foundation runs residential week-long creative writing courses in beautiful and historic houses in Devon, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Inverness-shire. They work with writers of every age and at every stage of their writing lives. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, there is a course for you. If you are on low or no income, you can apply for a grant to help with your course fee.
Cove Park is an international centre for the arts and creative industries based in Scotland. Cove Park’s annual programme of residencies enables national and international artists, working in all art forms, to undertake research and develop new projects. The prestigious Fielding Programme for writers runs out of Cove Park.
The Faber Academy is a series of writing programmes and events run by publisher Faber & Faber. As well as operating from Faber’s base in London, courses also take place across the UK and internationally.
For up to date information on a wide variety of training for writers across the UK, see the Literature Training website.