A host of award winning writers are gearing up for the inaugural WRITE Festival coming to South Tyneside this week.
The WRITE Festival aims to inspire budding authors, poets and playwrights with a packed programme of events taking place at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields Town Centre.
From Wednesday 21 June to Sunday 25 June, visitors will be able to enjoy creative writing sessions, workshops, performances, storytelling, song writing, poetry slams and much more.
Those visiting The Word for the festival will be able to see well established writers including Sunday Times number one bestseller Mark Billingham, one of Britain's leading crime novelists, Chris Brookmyre, stand up poet Kate Fox, award-winning comedian, writing and star of BBC2 show Hebburn, Jason Cook and playwright, screenwriter and author Michael Chaplin to name just a few.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, with special responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "WRITE Festival is a culmination of everything that The Word has to offer through its programme of high quality exhibitions, events and workshops.
"We hope that the WRITE Festival will ignite people's imaginations and creativity as well as foster the writing talent of the future.
"With five days of unmissable events taking place, we hope that as many people as possible from across South Tyneside and beyond will not only help us to make our first WRITE Festival a huge success but come and explore the wonderful features of our iconic new building, The Word."
Some of the highlights of the WRITE Festival include:
Poetry Slam - Thursday 22 June, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, £5.50 per person. Performers will go head to head competing to win votes from the audience to win the Poetry Slam competition! Hosted by nationally known performance poet Kate Fox - it promises to be fast-paced, exhilarating and sensational and will feature some of the best and comedic poets the North has to offer. There will also be a chance for amateur poets to take part.
Breakfast with Nancy Revell: From Journalist to Novelist - Friday 23 June, 9am to 10am, £4.50 per person. Author of 'The Shipyard Girls' saga series, Nancy Revell will talk about what she calls her 'Olympian leap' from journalist to novelist.
Mark Billingham and Chris Brookmyre are Indiscreet - Friday 23 June, 7pm to 9pm, £5.50 per person. The comedy duo will be performing a show where they lift the lid on the real world of being a writer, from the angry letters from readers to the backstage shenanigans and nightmarish personal appearances. This show is for over 18s only and attendees should expect strong language.
The Great Pirate Plot - Saturday 24 June, 10.30am, 11.30am & 2pm. £3.50 child, £2.50 adults, £10.50 family of 4, £1 for children under 12 months. Critically acclaimed Faye Hanson will tell daring tales of adventure on the high sea while StoryWorld is transformed into a watery wonderland. This immersive and interactive session will take children on an amazing adventure.
Screenwriting with Michael Chaplin - Saturday 24 June, 1pm to 3.30pm, £3.50 per person. Michael will discuss the film 'Just Henry' which he wrote for ITV, adapted from the novel of the same name by Michelle Magorian. As the film is screened he will present a scene-by-scene analysis of the screenplay and end product, especially the choices he made in plot and characterisation. A must for any budding screenwriter, this promises to be an entertaining, insightful and lively event.
An Audience with Jason Cook - Saturday 24 June, 7pm to 9pm, £7.50 per person. Jason will return to his South Tyneside roots for a fascinating interactive Q&A session that will dive into all aspects of his outstanding career, including the hit sitcom Hebburn.
How To Get Published? - Sunday 25 June, 2pm to 3.30pm, £3.50 per person. This is an opportunity for people to find out everything they need to know about getting published. Whether they have been writing for a while, have never written a word and dream of getting published, the exclusive How To Get Published event is not to be missed.
The WRITE Festival has been organised by South Tyneside Council with support from Arts Council England.