South Tyneside’s The Word, National Centre for the Written Word is set to host the second annual WRITE festival this summer, after the incredible success of its first incarnation last year.
The festival looks to celebrate the written word in all its forms – from poetry to prose all the way to script writing and journalism.
Due to the festival’s popularity in its first-year, organisers have extended the event from five days to a mammoth two-week affair this time around, from May 12th – 25th. The fortnight-long programme is jam-packed with events for just about everyone, with events aimed at children like the Silent Book Disco, as well as events for adults that will aim to give budding writers all the tools they need to let their creativity loose.
Given the sheer amount of activities going on throughout the festival, I’ve picked out some of the most interesting things going on to give you a nudge in the WRITE direction (cringe).
You’ll need your sonic screwdrivers and extra-long scarves at the ready for the first day of the festival, as some of the weird and wonderful creatures from the universe of Doctor Who descend upon The Word including The Ood, Cybershade who will be there to meet and greet child and adult humans alike; the event will also include a fancy dress completion judged by the creator of the evil Daleks himself, Davros.
You don’t want to miss out
If you’re less about robots and more for romance then the WRITE festival has just the thing for you. Writer, Carol Cooke, will be hosting two romance story exchange drop-in sessions for writers, storytellers or anyone with a romantic tale – all you need to bring is a story and you’re set! These sessions will take place on the 14th and 25th of May.
On a darker note, forensic investigator Norman Kirtlan will be chatting about his latest book ‘Death From…’ that investigates the bizarre, tragic and sometimes shocking events that led to the death of many of our ancestors in Old County Durham. With years of experience in the field, Norman will be providing expert analysis and insight that’ll make you feel like you’re in a Victorian version of C.S.I. – this event takes place on the 16th May.
Sticking with the theme of crime, if you were inspired by Norman’s master class then you might just want to put your detective skills to the test with ‘An Austentatious Murder – A Night Of Murder Mystery’. The event, held on the 19th May, will drop you right into a Jane Austen novel; you will need all of your wits about you to crack the code and work out who is the potential killer.
From slashers to ‘slammers’, WRITE festival will be hosting its very own poetry slam competition on the 24th May, led by multi-award winning North East poet, Jenni Pascoe. If you’ve never attended a poetry slam event then now’s your chance; these competitions give budding poets the chance to show off their skills without any boundaries, you’ll see spoken-word, rapping and even the odd classic sonnet. Slam events are some of the most varied and exciting performance events going at the moment and this one is surely not to be missed.
Finally, across the whole of the two-week event there will be various sessions being held with some of the most experienced writers in the land, with the aim of improving your writing and giving you the skills and knowledge needed to get published – you’ll learn how to edit your writing and get your voice heard by publishing companies. These industry masterclasses are invaluable to those looking to be the next big thing – all you need is a pen, paper and buckets of creativity.
For further information about this year’s WRITE festival, head to theworduk.org.