Middlesbrough Writers' Day

18 Sep 2021 - 12.30PM

We are delighted to be partnering with Middlesbrough Libraries to offer a day of free, online events celebrating writing and publishing from the North East. The programme includes two short story workshops and a panel discussion.

Tickets on sale now via Eventbrite.

Workshops have limited capacity and are first-come-first-served. 

 

12:30 - 2pm 

Workshop 1 - Folk horror writing workshop with Crista Ermiya

Writing folk horror in the city

Folk horror is largely seen as a rural genre. Through prompts and writing exercises, in this workshop we will explore how – and why – we might use its conventions in our diverse urban landscapes. Everyone is welcome. Suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced writers.

 

About the Author:

Crista Ermiya’s first short story collection, The Weather in Kansas (Red Squirrel Press, 2015), was a New Writing North ‘Read Regional’ title and was included in Best British Short Stories 2016 (Salt, 2016). Her stories have been published in The Book of Newcastle (Comma Press, 2020) and Test Signal (Dead Ink/Bloomsbury, 2021). Originally from London of Filipino and Turkish-Cypriot heritage, Crista lives with her husband and son in Newcastle, her home for the past 20 years.

 

 

2:30 - 4pm

Workshop 2 - Prose writing workshop with J.A. Mensah

Novel Ailments and Curious Conditions – A Prose Writing Workshop

From Kafka's The Metamorphosis to Jackie Kay's Shell and Akwaeke Emezi's Freshwater, writers have utilised curious conditions as a means of exploring character, place, and society at large. Whether it is physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual ailments – what does a character's anxieties, illnesses, neuroses, and inner turmoil tell us about them and the world they inhabit? What does it tell us about our world? How might you employ these 'novel ailments' in your own writing to inform structure and drive your narrative forward?

This creative writing workshop will explore chronic ailments, spiritual trials, and fantastic transformations by interrogating ideas of health, wellness, and illness. We'll try out playful writing exercises as a way to build characters, develop plot and create intrigue in your writing.

This workshop is hosted in partnership with the Dilston Physic Garden and forms part of J.A. Mensah's writing residency at Dilston.

 

About the Author:

J.A. Mensah is a prose and theatre writer and a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of York. She was a Leverhulme Artist in Residence and her plays have been produced by Pilot Theatre in York and Live Theatre in Newcastle, among others. Her short stories have recently appeared in The Book of Newcastle (Comma Press), New Narratives for the North East (New Writing North), and Test Signal (Dead Ink and Bloomsbury). Her debut novel, Castles from Cobwebs (Saraband), was longlisted for the 2021 Desmond Elliott Prize and won the inaugural NorthBound Book Award. She is currently writer in residence at the Dilston Physic Garden in Northumberland.

 

 

4:30 - 5:30pm

Panel discussion 

A panel discussion featuring authors J. A. Mensah, Crista Ermiya and publisher Jamie McGarry, founder of Valley Press. A celebration of writing and publishing in the North East and your chance to put your questions to the panel.

 

Jamie McGarry founded Valley Press in 2008, whilst studying English Literature / working as a part-time bookseller in Scarborough – and has spent the last decade growing it into one of Yorkshire’s leading publishing houses. With a broad list including poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and over a hundred and fifty titles in print, VP was awarded ‘Arts/Culture Business of the Year’ in 2017, with Jamie himself ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ (in the Yorkshire coast region, a.k.a. Whitby to Hull).

 

Crista Ermiya’s first short story collection, The Weather in Kansas (Red Squirrel Press, 2015), was a New Writing North ‘Read Regional’ title and was included in Best British Short Stories 2016 (Salt, 2016). Her stories have been published in The Book of Newcastle (Comma Press, 2020) and Test Signal (Dead Ink/Bloomsbury, 2021). Originally from London of Filipino and Turkish-Cypriot heritage, Crista lives with her husband and son in Newcastle, her home for the past 20 years.

 

J.A. Mensah is a prose and theatre writer and a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of York. She was a Leverhulme Artist in Residence and her plays have been produced by Pilot Theatre in York and Live Theatre in Newcastle, among others. Her short stories have recently appeared in The Book of Newcastle (Comma Press), New Narratives for the North East (New Writing North), and Test Signal (Dead Ink and Bloomsbury). Her debut novel, Castles from Cobwebs (Saraband), was longlisted for the 2021 Desmond Elliott Prize and won the inaugural NorthBound Book Award. She is currently writer in residence at the Dilston Physic Garden in Northumberland.