‘Something for everyone’ at literary festival coming to South Shields this spring

Glen McCrory.
Glen McCrory.

Big names in the book world are heading to South Tyneside as the region’s leading literacy festival gets set to open.

The Word’s third annual WRITE Festival will take place from Saturday May 11 to Friday May 24.

A series of events have been lined up to celebrate the written word in all its forms will be launched with a day of writing workshops led by EastEnders, The Bill and Emmerdale scriptwriter Mark Illis..

South Shields-born journalist Kevin Maguire will also be making a return visit to the venue as he converses with Michael Rosen, Ann Cleeves who created Vera and Charles Dickens’ great-great grandson Gerald Dickens.

Amateur storywriters will also get a chance to shone when the winner of The Word’s short story competition, in association with Sixth Element Publishing, is announced.

Authors Celia Bryce and Adam Bushnell will also read a selection of the uplifting stories entered.

This is our third year and it’s no exaggeration to say the festival is just getting bigger and better each year.

Tania Robinson

Tania Robinson, head of culture at The Word, said: “In short, we really do have something for everyone.

“There are not only events for all ages but also the chance to take part and be creative or simply sit back and listen to genuinely interesting people talk about their lives and work.

“This is our third year and it’s no exaggeration to say the festival is just getting bigger and better each year.

“However, this means demand for tickets is likely to be high, so I’d urge people to book early to avoid disappointment.”

Sports fans are also in for a treat as multi-award winning playwright Ed Waugh will chat to former boxing world champion Glenn McCrory.

The pair will discuss the champ’s extraordinary life, his love for his adopted brother David, his boxing career and how Ed has set out to showcase this in his new play entitled Carrying David.

Throughout the two-week festival, a series of workshops will be held in collaboration with local publishers and authors, for those keen to write and publish their own literary works.

For youngsters, there will be a free Silent Book Disco - when they can put on headphones and read and dance to a playlist of songs inspired by some of their favourite books - and a family-themed interactive storytelling session with the chance to create their own characters and ‘make a story,’ with Adam Bushnell and Liz Million.

To book tickets, visit www.theworduk.org/write