Journalists Kevin Maguire and Andrew Pierce lead line up as the WRITE festival returns to The Word

A literary festival is set to return to South Shields this spring with its “most ambitious” line up yet.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 23rd February 2020, 1:58 pm

The fourth annual WRITE Festival returns to The Word in South Shields, on Saturday, May 23 with a three-week programme of events, workshops and activities for all ages.

Among the highlights will be a special appearance by Good Morning Britain’s political pundits and sparring partners, South Shields-born journalist Kevin Maguire and the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce.

The pair – who have a regular slot on the ITV show, hosted by Piers Morgan - will be the stars of an In Conversation evening on Thursday, May 28.

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Daily Mail deputy editor Andrew Pierce. Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

The programme will also include audiences with a host of authors, such as The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen and award-winning writer and poet Lemn Sissay MBE, who will discuss his life and work with BBC Newcastle’s Anna Foster.

In a new move the festival has added an extra week of children’s activity sessions to the programme from May 23-29 and will also host two teenager-friendly events, a Young Writers’ Day on May 23 and a YouTube Masterclass on May 29.

On June 6, the spoken word will be the focus of attention when The Festival holds a Wor Dialect Day, celebrating over 2,000 words and phrases unique to the North East.

The Word Bank of Lost Dialects will be on show to visitors who will also be able to enjoy three new dialect songs commissioned written by local singer/songwriter Jen Stevens.

The WRITE Festival returns to The Word, South Shields this spring.

Throughout the three weeks a series of workshops will be held in collaboration with local publishers and authors for those keen to create their own literary works.

“WRITE 2020 is undoubtedly our most ambitious programme yet,” said Tania Robinson, head of culture, at The Word.

“Extending the festival has given us the chance to incorporate more events, while our growing reputation has secured more big names for our adult audience.

“The Festival is also a fantastic springboard for community engagement and, along with new commissions, we will be engaging with local schools and students and supporting aspiring writers in the community.”

South Shields-born journalist Kevin Maguire.

For full listings and to book tickets visit