Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts



Creative Saturdays

We run a number of one-day workshops for creative writers to hone their skills across a variety of genres.

Our forthcoming workshops

Spring School

The Short Story: DIGGING DEEP Monday 9 to Friday 13 April 2018

This year's Spring School is now FULLY BOOKED. Please contact Melanie Birch (0191 208 7619 | if you would like to be placed on our waiting list.


The best short stories immediately create a vibrant and immersive world, enchanting, enthralling, almost possessing the reader. So how do they do that? And how can we do that?

We’ll be digging into a variety of contemporary short stories for answers, then using the hidden methods and techniques we find. The aim is not only to produce our own stories, but to enrich the stories we do produce with secrets on style, tone, structure, character development, dialogue and description from the best practitioners of the craft.

Informal workshops, led by award-winning writers, will involve on-the-spot writing exercises, time to experiment, readings and discussions. The course finishes with a group reading and dinner (included in the course fee: £300/£250 concession). The course will be held in the Percy Building, Newcastle University.

Spring School is open to everyone, although those attending should be committed writers. The ideal candidate is an aspiring writer who possesses a serious creative intent to see their work develop. Beginners and writers with more experience are equally welcome.

This year’s Spring School tutors are:

David Almond is the author of Skellig, The Savage, The Tightrope Walkers, and many other novels, stories, picture books, songs, opera librettos and plays. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal and The Hans Christian Andersen Award. His most recent short story collection is Half a Creature from the Sea. David is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Ann Coburn, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, is a children’s novelist who also writes for the theatre. Her fiction includes Glint, The Dream Team series and Royal Bedtime Stories. Ann’s theatre plays include Get Up and Tie Your Fingers, winner of the John Whiting award and The Devil’s Ground, winner of a C. P. Taylor bursary.

Ailsa Cox is Professor of Short Fiction at Edge Hill University. Her collection, The Real Louise, is published by Headland Press. Other books include Writing Short Stories (Routledge) and Alice Munro (Northcote House). She’s editor of the peer-reviewed journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice and the deputy chair of the European Network for Short Fiction Research.

Margaret Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer on the MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, is a prose writer and dramatist. Her most recent short story If He Wakes appeared in the latest anthology from Comma Press, Thought X. Her most recent radio play, Stannington, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. Margaret is a frequent contributor to Mslexia on writing the short story.





Margaret Wilkinson, aged 7, writing at her family’s kitchen table in New York City.

Festival Workshops

During the Newcastle Poetry Festival we offer a number of in-depth workshops with distinguished international writers.

Check here for more information on the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Festival workshops.

  • Lucie Brownlee: Life Stories (FULLY BOOKED)

    Date/Time: 19 May 2018 10:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Lisa Matthews: This line is not for turning

    Date/Time: 21 April 2018 10:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Theresa Muñoz and Claire Askew

    Date/Time: 25 November 2017 10:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Kitty Fitzgerald: Investigating short fiction

    Date/Time: 9 December 2017 10:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Gez Casey: Narrative Dramatic Structure

    Date/Time: 28 October 2017 10:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Power: How the Poem Generates Energy

    Date/Time: 20th May 2017, 10:00 - 16:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University

  • Writing for Radio

    Date/Time: 11th March 2017, 10:00 - 16:00

    Venue: Percy Building, Newcastle University