New Writing South

Whether novelist, poet or playwright, writing is a lonely business. It can be hard to network with other writers, find career resources, or get advice from professional writers. New Writing South aims to help creative writers in the south-east.

Writing workshops and masterclasses can develop new writers.
Writing workshops and masterclasses can develop new writers.

Developing writing talent

New Writing South (NWS) seeks to develop and encourage writers by creating an environment in which excellent writing thrives. Its Board of Trustees include a publisher, lawyer, banker, a literary agent and professional writers, and its patrons are Mark Ravenhill and Fay Weldon.

To develop new writers in the south-east, NWS offers masterclasses, workshops and courses from leading professionals. In recent years, these have included:

  • novelists Bernadine Everisto and Mavis Cheek
  • playwrights Mark Ravenhill and Chloe Moss
  • BBC producers Gordon House and Jessica Dromgoole
  • screenwriters Jenny LeCoat and Vincent O’Connell
  • literary managers from the National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Paines Plough and from leading agencies and publishers.

New Writing South work with a range of partnership organisations, regionally and nationally, to develop new writing opportunities, encourage commissions, initiate creative projects and set up writer residencies.

Membership is open to everyone involved in creative writing in the south. The annual cost of membership is £40 (if you are waged) or £25 (unwaged).

Resources for new writers

Some of the services New Writing South offers to help writers:

  • Side Shows
    An opportunity for playwrights to work with a professional director and actors to hear their work. Part the wider development offer to writers, informed mostly by the script reading service.
  • Script and manuscript reading
    A full, professional script reading service for dramatist. NWS also manages an allocation of manuscript reading bursaries from The Literary Consultancy for authors in the south-east region.
  • Writer mentors
    Writer mentors offer expertise and experience in order to support and guide emerging or established writers, often during a crucial time of their professional career or on a specific project.
    The NWS mentoring service locates the right mentor for the writer, brokers the contract, advises on fundraising, monitors the process and supports the relationship throughout.
  • WriterGuide
    WriterGuide is a professional development service that enables writers to look at where they are, define goals and ambitions and then plan a route to fulfilling them. It’s a structured process that’s all about focusing on the writer, their career and professional development.
  • Workshops and courses
    New Writing South runs a programme of workshops and courses to suit a range of experience and genres, ranging from self publishing to advanced radio writing.

Creative learning for schools

New Writing South seeks to develop and encourage writers by creating an environment in which excellent writing thrives.

New Writing South’s highly successful Creative Learning Team has been placing professional writers in schools across the south-east for over seven years. The writers have worked with thousands of young people, inspiring their imaginations and encouraging their creativity.

The Creative Learning Team aims to:

  • Encourage students to develop their creative voices
  • Inspire the students taking part to develop their own creative writing
  • Refresh or develop students’ sense of enjoyment in writing
  • Develop confidence
  • Work with students in a different way, in order to draw out different responses from them
  • Use the above to contribute to raised standards of literacy.

The Creative Learning Team includes poets, screen writers, novelists, stand-up comedians, TV and radio writers, journalists, playwrights and crime writers.  All are CRB checked, most are Arts Award Advisors, and everyone is highly trained and experienced at working in schools. Their education work has been described as a model of practice by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

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