Top names lined up for WRITE Festival in South Shields

South Tyneside's newest landmark will be living up to its name when local and national writing talent gather in the borough for the inaugural WRITE Festival.

The Word, Market Place South Shields
The Word, Market Place South Shields

The five day celebration of writing in all of its forms will take place at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields Market Place in June.

Visitors 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 and award-winning comedian, writer and star of BBC 2 show Hebburn Jason Cook.

Jason Cook

There will also be author’s talks, creative writing sessions, ‘How to get published’ workshops, comedy and children’s activities.

Vistors can also take part in a series of poetry workshops with Kate Fox.

The comic poet who has many awards to her name - including the Belfast Culture Slam, Cheltenham Science Festival Slam and the New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse Award - will host and take part in the festival’s poetry slam and has been commissioned to produce a new poem all about The Word.

Tania Robinson, head of marketing and culture at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are extremely excited to be launching the inaugural WRITE Festival in South Tyneside.

Jason Cook

“The Word is already a home for North East writers and we are looking forward to extending our welcome to literary lovers from across the country.”

The festival runs from from June 21 to June 25.

For more details, go to