What’s on



workshop on the writer’s INNER VOICE led by David Napthine, part of an interdisciplinary study – HEARING THE VOICE – led by researchers at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The international research team includes academics from anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, history, linguistics, literary studies, medical humanities, philosophy, psychology and theology. We also work closely with clinicians, voice-hearers and other experts by experience.

In addition to shedding light on the relations between hearing voices and everyday processes of sensory perception, memory, language and creativity, we are exploring why it is that some voices (and not others) are experienced as distressing, how they can change across the life course, and the ways in which voices can act as important social, cultural and political forces.

For more information about Hearing the Voice, please see our project website and blog. hearingthevoice.org

Poetry Workshop, Wednesday 2nd May

Inspired by the DLI Collection, hosted by NorthPens Writers and the Durham Dales Centre. Wednesday 2nd May, 10 a.m. – 12 noon at the Durham Dales Centre. Everybody is welcome. There is no charge for taking part, but please email us, northpens15@gmail.com, to reserve a place.

It promises to be a thought-provoking morning, hope to see you there!


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.’

BOOK LAUNCH and EXHIBITION – 14th December 2017

Enjoy an exhibition of our work together with that of some of Weardale’s most talented craft groups at Stanhope Community Centre, Thursday 14th December, 2 – 4 p.m. Entry free, refreshments provided! For further information email northpens15@gmail.com.

2017 – the highlights so far!


Poetry workshop – A really interesting and challenging session with poet Jo Colley, looking at ways of using objects as a starting point for moving into more abstract thought in poetry. Jo inspired us to spend the next few weeks looking at and experimenting with different types of poetic form in our own sessions.


We visited the THE WORD. A brand new library and National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields, crammed full of fascinating exhibitions, ideas and, of course, books!


As part of the WE ARE WEARDALE creative writing project, Rachael Cochrane ran a workshop on Flash and Micro Fiction for us. We have worked with Rachel on a few occasions now and always thoroughly enjoy, and get a great deal from, her sessions. This time, we used photographs, some of our own but mainly historic photographs from the Weardale Museum. Poems by some of the NorthPens writers appear in the WE ARE WEARDALE anthology.


We ran a writing workshop on theme of trees with the children of St. John’s Chapel and Forest in Teesdale Schools at St. John’s Chapel. The children produced some amazing poems and story books; the poems were written on leaves and hung on a ‘poetree’ (made by Ed and Jenny Spooner). We’ve re-created our own NorthPens version so you can see how it worked!


A workshare with the children at Wearhead School and Rachel Cochrane. This was also part of the WE ARE WEARDALE project. We listened to each others’ work and the youngsters enjoyed becoming audio technicians for the morning, recording the poems and stories as they were read out.

August 26th – NorthPens display at the Upper Weardale Agricultural Show

Wednesday 22 March – visit to THE WORD in South Shields

Wednesday 8th February – poetry workshop with Jo Colley


November – Young Writers’ Awards at High House Chapel, Ireshopeburn

May – August NorthPens Young writers’ award workshops

20th January – Writing for radio with Caroline Beck



2nd December 2015 – novel writing; follow-up workshop with Jeremy

12th August 2015 – Flash fiction workshop with Amanda Quinn

7th August 2015 – closing date for NorthPens creative writing award

29th July and 5th August 2015 podcast recording sessions with Rachel Cochrane

22nd July 2015 – Novel writing workshop with Jeremy Warr

21st January 2015 : Poetry workshop with Cynthia Fuller



5th November 2014 : structuring a short story with Avril Joy

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