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March 1st - March 29th 2018

Welcome to the Sunderland Creative Writing Festival

Welcome the Sunderland Festival of Creative Writing.

First run in October 2016, the Festival comes back for March 2018. A month long free festival for all those interested in becoming writers, made possible by the generosity of Arts Council England and the National Lottery. Our manifesto is simple.

    • Our Festival runs across a month, at different times and in different places, to make events as accessible as possible for people with work, childcare, caring or other commitments.
    • Our Festival events are free, again to be accessible to as many people as it can be.
    • Our Festival takes a broad approach to creative writing with events for people interested in writing novels, plays, comedy, poetry, interactive fiction, audio drama, and more.
    • Our Festival brings in great talent from around the UK to deliver sessions, but we are also committed to offering opportunities for local and regional talent.

We aim to provide opportunities for people with an interest in creative writing, whether as beginners or early professionals, to gain insights, to develop their skills, and to build networks with other writers. We hope that there is something for everyone in our programme; please do come along to our events, enjoy them and meet others interested in writing, and tell us afterwards what you might like to see in next year’s Festival. Please do get in touch.

Your festival is brought to you by a small team who know how important creative writing is in Sunderland and who wanted to contribute to growing a culture and network of writers. It’s not any of our day jobs to do this, it’s a labour of love, so please bear with us in response times to emails!

Iain Rowan is Festival Director. Iain is a published novelist and short story author and founder of Sunderland’s Holmeside Writers.

Alan Parkinson is Festival Co-ordinator. Alan is also a published novelist with his fourth novel due to be published this summer. He writes humorous blogs on modern etiquette and sport as well as musings on the writing process. Alan ran a number of workshops as part of the Putting Southwick On The Map project and created a digital story trail that linked all of the workshop stories together.

Alan Parkinson

We’re helped hugely by the wonderful Hannah Matterson and Kristian Foreman, who work for Sunderland Culture.Hannah is an Arts Fundraiser and Event Producer. She is part of Sunderland Culture and the Sunderland 2021 UK City of Culture bid team, working to build partnerships in support of the arts. She is also an event producer, working on the festival for a second year and bringing experience from all art forms including Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, Split Festival, Wonderlands- The UK Graphic Novel Expo and everything in between.

Kristian is currently the Marketing & Communications Manager for Sunderland Culture, and previously Sunderland’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid. He also produces cultural events and festivals in Sunderland as part of the Music, Arts, and Culture Trust, and is Programming Director of Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.