There is a real interest in creative writing in Sunderland, with thriving writers’ groups, more than one performance poetry night, a vibrant group of young songwriters learning their craft, highly-rated Creative Writing provision in the University, compelling drama written in Sunderland and performed in the community, and much more. We felt that the time was right to reflect this and to develop our creative writing community.
Our aim is for the Festival 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.
Our Festival is distinctive. It is being run across a month, rather than in a concentrated few days, to make events as accessible as possible for people with work, childcare, caring or other commitments. Every event, including those with writers and publishing industry experts with national and international profiles, is free to attend, and we hope that people with an interest in writing across the region will be able to join us for some of them.
We have also taken a broad approach to creative writing: we include events covering songwriting, writing for TV, audio drama and other forms of writing. 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 years Festival next year. This strand of the festival is delivered by MAC Sunderland, working with local writer and founder of Holmeside Writers, Iain Rowan.