NorthPens is a community writing group based in Weardale, County Durham. The group was established in 2013 and encompasses a wide range of strengths, aspirations and interests among its members.

The most important aspect of our weekly meetings is that we all love writing, have fun and enjoy each others’ company. Anyone is welcome to join us, it doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have, we will be pleased to see you. We meet between 10 and 12 a.m. on Wednesdays at Stanhope community centre.

Each session has a focus agreed by the group. We may decide to spend some time working on a particular topic or technique, such as writing poetry or structuring a narrative. Usually, (although not always!) our meetings follow a similar pattern. We spend part of the time working on writing exercises and/or discussing and analysing published work – stories, poems, extracts from novels etc. – the rest is devoted to sharing work and offering each other supportive feedback. We also run occasional masterclasses with professional writers.

The 2019 Weardale WordFest will take place during the last weekend in October, Friday evening to Sunday morning (25th, 26th, 27th). Make sure you put the date in your diary and check our WordFest page (above) for the latest plans and developments.

NorthPens Masterclass programme, Summer 2019

10th July Poetry writing workshop with Ellen Phethean

7th August Follow-up workshop with Ellen

21st August Short Story workshop with Susie Dufort

18th or 25th Sept. Writing for Children with Sara Gibbeson

All masterclasses take place during our normal sessions, 10 -12 a.m. on Wednesdays at Stanhope Community Centre. This year’s programme is funded by the Weardale Area Action Partnership. Everyone is welcome to come along to our masterclasses; there is no charge, but we do ask that participants contribute £3 per session towards the running costs/hire of the community centre. Leave us a message or email if you would like to attend any of the workshops.


Children’s Creative Writing Award

The theme for 2019 will be announced soon, and there will be a special workshop during the Weardale Wordfest. Keep checking the Young Writers’ page (above) for details and information about how to enter.




the NorthPens anthology

… it would make a fantastic  present, or two!

NorthPens Writers ‘…celebrate the craft of storytelling in a vibrant range of forms, interweaving the strands of time and place with the voices of an eclectic, funny and often moving, bunch of characters.’

Price £7.50. Available November 2017 from NorthPens (leave us a message) or from local outlets below:                                                         

Stanhope: Weardale Gazette Office;  Durham Dales Centre; Weardale Hub;  St. John’s Chapel: Chatterbox Cafe; Wolsingham: Bradley Burn Farm shop; Bishop Auckland: No. 42; CorbridgeForum Books. 




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