“Regional writing does not have the pedigree here that it does in America, which honours writers from the South. In the UK, I am considered strange, this exotic girl from the North who is told she is avant-garde because she is writing about the country.”
Cumbrian writer Sarah Hall talks turkey about her inclusion in Granta magazine’s epoch-defining, reputation-making Top 20. Read more >> and listen to an excerpt from her novel-in-progress.
A book can take fifteen years to write but be out of print in no time and pretty much forgotten – a shameful state of affairs for Angela Locke’s novel Dreams of the Blue Poppy, according to fellow Cumbrian author and newbie independent publisher Kathleen Jones.
Originally published by Robert Hale in 2007, the novel – a historical romance with a botanical twist – has been re-released in an electronic edition by Kathleen’s Book Mill imprint. Read more >>
Ebooks, Kindles, iPads – technology is transforming the way we write and the way books are published. But in the rush to grasp the digital future are we being too quick to throw away the rich heritage of ‘real’ books and the printed word?
This new exhibition about to open at Egremont’s Florence Mine Arts Centre celebrates 5,000 years of the written word and warns against relying too much on swanky graphics and thousands of pixels. Read more >>
If you know anyone who studies the art of short fiction more assiduously than Brindley Hallam Dennis, let us know. Can’t think of anyone? Thought not. So who better, then, to take instruction from in the business of short story writing, out there in bucolic Curthwaite, in yer man’s actual front room? Nobody better, is who.
BHD’s lined up a fresh Facets of Fiction course – starting 11 April – and a series of special writing days in the distant summer. Wannabe fictionistas should definitely read more >>
Have you been writing poetry for a while and want to take your writing to the next stage? Need a push to polish up (and off) that vital first pamphlet or full-length collection?
Four Cumbrian poets can look forward to benefiting from the support and professional expertise of Wordsworth Trust Poet-in-Residence Judy Brown, who will act as their mentor for an intense three months this summer.
Want to apply? Then read more >>
The anthology we’ve all been waiting for! The Cockermouth Poets 1700-2012 is a labour of love by poetry activist and editor extraordinaire Michael Baron, bringing together 85 poets who have all either read publicly in the town, were born there, or passed though and breathed its sweet air. It’s an idea inspired by disaster, arising out of the ‘River Poets’ shop window poetry trail (also a Baron brainchild) to mark the first anniversary of the great flood of 2009.
Net proceeds from sales of the book – priced £8.50 – go to Cockermouth Mountain Rescue and Save The Children. Read more >>
After a gap of over ten years, Cumbrian writers are once again eligible to apply for these prestigious and pretty generous awards, now open to writers from all over the ‘greater’ North rather than just the North East. Awards of up to £5,000 are available to a range of writers, from new and ‘emerging’ to the more experienced, for poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.
The closing date is 31 January. Read more and apply online >>
In Derwentwater, Melvyn Bragg reminds us, ” … is an island which used to be called St. Erebert’s after the saint who lived there in the 7th Century, and his greatest wish was to die on the same day as St. Cuthbert, and meet him in Heaven. Meetings of a more earthly variety now take place at a festival devoted to words, which attracts literally thousands of wordseekers looking perhaps, like St. Erebert, for their small purchase on an elevated kingdom.”
At the end of last year, poet Andrew Forster took a month out from his job at the Wordsworth Trust to take up a fellowship at Hawthornden Castle, a very special ‘retreat’ for witers in Midlothian, near Edinburgh.
Up to five writers at a time observe a rule of silence between 9.30am and 6.30pm and knuckle down to some serious creative production. Read more >>
She spent some of her teens in Bowness (on Windermere), and now Judy Brown makes a happy return to Cumbria as the Wordsworth Trust’s latest Poet in Residence.
Reviewing her book Loudness, Douglas Houston declared: “Brown writes with an unflappable detachment that focuses from a useful distance on whatever she chooses, be it getting the sack, drunkenness, macro-economics, or the candidly unsatisfactory erotic encounters that are equably written off against experience in various poems [...]” Read more >>
Congratulations to Polly Atkin from Grasmere, winner of the Mslexia Pamphlet Competition with her pamphlet Shadow Dispatches. The prize is publication by Seren Books in March 2013.
Seren editor and competition judge Amy Wack said: “Her poems were both artfully discursive and beautifully succinct – and many surprised me. I loved the way they skewed from straightforward narrative towards metaphors that were sometimes quite outlandish but always beautifully realised.”
Following the successful launch of our free literary newspaper, The Fire Crane, last September, we’re inviting submissions for issue #02, due to be published in March 2013 and launched in style at the Words by the Water festival in Keswick.
So you’ve written a book. It might be a novel, a memoir, or a collection of short stories or poems. But is it any good? And what do you do next?
New Writing Cumbria is managing a scheme which allows writers on low incomes to benefit from a free, professional critique of their manuscript via The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s leading editorial advice service.