The WRITE Festival - Celebrating the Written Word - updated

Posted by: Press team on 26 July 2021 20:02

South Tyneside's annual celebration of the written word is returning with a week-long programme of events this September.

This year's WRITE Festival, which is taking place from Friday 17 to Saturday 25 September, aims to showcase an array of literary and creative talent. It will feature a range of events, performances, workshops and talks for all ages at The Word in South Shields, across South Tyneside libraries and online.

The Borough's 5th annual festival - designed to celebrate the written word in all its forms - launches with a talk by historian Lucy Adlington, author of The Dressmakers of Auschwitz. This is a remarkable true story of resilience, camaraderie and quiet heroism in the most extreme circumstances.

Lucy said: "I love writing books, reading books and talking about books. I can't wait to join everyone at the WRITE Festival to share the love."

The programme of events also includes author talks from best-selling crime writer Nicci French, The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, Ann Cleeves, who will close the festival.

TV-crime drama enthusiasts can join Ben Lamb - author of the first dedicated study of one of British's television's most popular genres - as he conducts a forensic investigation of police TV series from 1955 to present day, such as CrackerThe Bill and Happy Valley.

There will also be entertainment from Highly Suspect, with their family-friendly murder mystery afternoon for budding crime solvers and detectives, a talk from costume historian and dressmaker Meridith Towne on the fashions of the camping and caravanning in the sixties and an Introduction to Calligraphy workshop.

Sessions will also be held in collaboration with local publishers and authors for those keen to write and publish their own literary works.

These include a one-to-one online masterclass with Sixth Element Publishing with mentoring on writing, ranging from fiction to non-fiction, children's books, short stories, memoirs and poetry.

Local author Helen Scarlett will also be making her WRITE festival debut with a workshop on how to write a chilling Gothic novel as well as a talk about her experiences leading up to the publication of her first novel, The Deception of Harriet Fleet.

Author Margaret Murphy will be hosting two separate zoom online writing workshops - one exploring dialogue and the other focusing on starting points.

Best-selling authors Harriet Evans and Lissa Evans will be discussing their books The Beloved Girls (Harriet) and V for Victory (Lissa) and their careers.

Youngsters can join writer and illustrator Julia Stafford for a fun craft session to create a pop-up character and teenagers interested in different forms of writing can work with professional writers and learn new skills with the Young Writers' Feast by New Writing North.

Sessions with schools will also be held at The Word, in partnership with OpenZone, and in Jarrow Focus library, where pupils will get the chance to chat with author David Almond.

Other festival highlights include an event with local historian Bill Greenwell who will be answering questions and discussing his book A History of Marsden Rock and Marsden Grotto.

There will also be highlights screened from the Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival, which celebrated reading and writing with the aim to combat loneliness and championing community connections amid social distancing.

Those interested in attending festival events are encouraged to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

For full details of WRITE Festival events, and to book tickets, visit

Tickets can also be purchased in person from Shop @ The Word. Follow The Word on social media: Facebook /worduk and Twitter @theword_uk

Last modified: 26 July 2021 22:36