Getting Ready for WRITE Festival

Posted by: Press team on 14 September 2021 11:20

From creating pop-up characters to learning how to pen a chilling Gothic novel - there's still time to get involved in this year's week-long celebration of writing in South Tyneside.

The WRITE Festival is running from this Friday (17 September) to Saturday 25 September. It aims to showcase an array of literary and creative talent with a jam-packed programme of events, performances, workshops and talks at The Word in South Shields, across South Tyneside libraries and online.

Among the events is the opportunity for youngsters to join writer and illustrator Julia Stafford for a fun craft session to create a pop-up character. Children will paint, draw, cut and stick before bringing their pop-up face to life. The event is taking place on Sunday 19 September, at 2pm, at The Word. Tickets cost £2 per child.

Local author Helen Scarlett will also be making her WRITE Festival debut with a workshop on how to write a chilling Gothic novel. The two-hour session, from 10am, on Sunday 19 September, at The Word, will explore the building blocks of successful writing, crafting unforgettable characters in dark and ominous settings and constructing narratives with twists and turns. Tickets cost £5 per person.

That afternoon, at 1pm, Helen will be talking about her experiences leading up to the publication of her first novel, The Deception of Harriet Fleet. Though this is a free event, booking is required.

On Monday 20 September, author Margaret Murphy will be hosting two separate zoom online writing workshops. The workshop at 6pm explores the use of dialogue including how to reflect characters' personalities and background. The other, at 7pm, focuses on starting points such as introducing characters, integrating research and the pitfalls to avoid. Each online workshop costs £5 per person.

There is also an opportunity to join costume historian and dressmaker Meridith Towne on a journey through the camping and caravanning fashions of the sixties and seventies. Her talk takes place on Wednesday 22 September, at 2pm, at Jarrow Focus Library. Tickets cost £5 per person.

Best-selling authors Harriet Evans and Lissa Evans will also be discussing their careers and books The Beloved Girls (Harriet) and V for Victory (Lissa) on Wednesday 22 September, at 6pm, at The Word. Tickets cost £1 per person.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "The WRITE Festival in only in its fifth year but has grown to become an extremely popular event in the South Tyneside calendar.

"It's a wonderful celebration of the written word in all its forms and a great way of bringing together such a wealth of amazing literary talent. It is also a fantastic opportunity for budding writers or illustrators to get advice and feedback from industry insiders, get support to develop their skills and find out more about how to get published.

"There is so much more going on during the course of the week. Whether people love writing stories or poems or are interested in how books are adapted for TV or film, we hope that this year's WRITE Festival will inspire people to start their journey on producing their very own literary masterpieces."

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

For the full programme 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: 28 September 2021 11:44