Northumbria University and New Writing North have worked in partnership since 2008 to generate excellent research, enhance learning and teaching, develop writing talent and contribute to a strengthened literature sector in the North of England.


New Writing North is the writing development agency for the North of England. Core projects include the Northern Writers’ Awards, Read Regional, Moth Publishing, the Gordon Burn Prize, the Cuckoo Young Writers Programme, and work with teachers and schools. Northumbria University and NWN share an aspiration to support and develop new creative writing talent, and to create an environment in which new writing thrives and is celebrated. This is achieved through collaborations that enhance research, teaching & learning and public engagement in creative writing.

Writing lends itself to interdisciplinary practice, and several of our key collaborations connect writers as a learning community with academics from across the University in new and innovative ways.  In 2014, we developed and delivered Crime Story, a unique crime writing conference that engaged with over 80 writers to participate in a weekend of seminars and panels that brought research from diverse disciplinary backgrounds – forensics, judicial process, police cultures, victimology – to a new audience; since then we have collaborated to deliver a Crime Story seminar series and have ongoing plans for developing further learning opportunities with the writing community. Two collaborative PhDs with New Writing North have also been underpinned by interdisciplinary approaches, developing an ‘applied’ approach to creative writing PhDs that compliments the University’s successful practice led creative writing doctoral scholarship.

The partnership has a key focus on talent development through the Northern Writers’ Awards, which supports the development and retention of writing talent in the region through bursaries, mentoring and industry networks. The awards have acted as a lever to develop new partnerships with national and regional partners including Channel 4, Lime Pictures and Red Productions to support a new Writing for Television Award. The partnerships have enabled academics in Media Production to develop relationships with commissioning and production companies that enhance our teaching and learning offer, including opportunities for  students in Media Production to engage with a senior commissioning editor for C4.

We co-deliver the biennial Newcastle Writing Conference, which explores trends in publishing and new markets for writing, and supports writers to make connections with each other and with industry experts. The Conference develops the knowledge and know-how of established and emerging writers as well as students seeking to understand more about the writing and publishing industry.

The partnership has facilitated the development of new learning offers at Northumbria University, and enhances the offer we are able to make to our student community. A Post Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing in the Classroom was developed as part of our collaborative PhD programme, and is now an established PG route in Humanities.  Since 2013, NWN has worked with the creative writing team to establish and co-deliver the Writing & Enterprise module for students. This brings industry speakers, knowledge and expertise into Northumbria classrooms, exploring traditional and new modes of publication and distribution in the writing industry, and developing skills that equip students to work in the literary sector.




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