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.

Weardale WordFest 2022

21 – 23 October

Take a look at our new website for all the latest information about this year’s Weardale WordFest. We have a fantastic programme of free writing workshops in venues throughout Weardale on offer; be inspired in October!

And, of course, our Weardale WordFest weekend, 21 – 23 October in St. Thomas Church Hall Stanhope provides our trademark mix of talks by local writers, brilliant chat and discussion, bookstalls, exhibition and legendary cake and coffee. We are really looking forward to seeing you all again in October!

NorthPens Writer Jamie Tucknutt has had his first collection of poems POETRY AS PROZAC published by Tim Saunders publications. Go to our NEWS page to find a link to the publisher’s website plus more information and a link to a podcast featuring Jamie talking about his poetry and reading Poetry as Prozac.

The companion anthology to the film Our Isolated Dale. All of the poems and stories you hear on the film plus several new pieces from all of the writers involved, complemented by Marie Gardiner’s fabulous photographs. All proceeds will be donated to local charities.

Go to our NEWS page for details or email to order copies.

NorthPens Writers are really excited to be launching our very first film! During the periods of lockdown in 2020 we continued to meet on Zoom, and to write. Thanks to support from the Weardale Area Action Partnership Covid-19 assistance fund, we were able to work with Lonely Tower Film and Media to produce a film based around our writing. Our Isolated Dale was the result. You can use this link to view the whole film, or access it from the NEWS page where you will find more information and links to the segments by individual writers.


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:  Durham Dales Centre; Weardale Hub;  St. John’s Chapel: Chatterbox Cafe; Wolsingham: Bradley Burn Farm shop; Bishop Auckland: No. 42; Corbridge, Forum Books. 


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