Durham Book Festival invites proposals from writers to undertake a month-long writing residency in Amman, Jordan. 

Alta’ir is a partnership project between Durham Book Festival/New Writing North (co-founder), the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) (co-founder), St Mary’s College, Durham University (co-founder), and Dr. Fadia Faqir (initiator and co-founder), and the British Council.

We are looking for a published writer from the North of England, to spend up to four weeks in Amman on a paid residency in September 2018. 

The residency will be an opportunity for a writer to develop their own creative work. It will provide a unique space for a published author from the North of England to reflect and to write and have the opportunity to share their work with Arab audiences. The residency will raise the profile of British writing in Jordan and the Arab world in the UK, in the hope that long-lasting connections between writers in the UK and the Arabic-speaking world are forged.

As part of the residency, CBRL’s British Institute in Amman will arrange events in and outside of Amman (some of which have parallels with the north of England) and introduce the chosen writer to places of interest in Jordan (including Petra).


During the four-week residency the writer will: 

· Deliver writing workshops/readings that are made accessible to the general public

· Run workshops outside of Amman in hard to reach communities North and South of Jordan

· Deliver a discussion event around the work that the writer generates whilst in Jordan

· Provide 2-4 blog posts for Durham Book Festival about their visit and experiences


The chosen writer will discuss their visit to Jordan and the work it inspired, at an event at the Durham Book Festival on Sunday 14 October. This residency is part of a planned exchange with Jordan, which will see a Jordanian writer visiting the UK in October 2018.


Fee, Travel and Accommodation

Travel and visa costs will be covered by Durham Book Festival, who will also pay the writer a stipend of £800 (with an additional supplement of £200 for evening meals). Bed, breakfast and lunches  will be provided by the British Institute in Amman for the duration of the visit. 


What to send us: 

1. A statement (up to 500 words) explaining why you would like to undertake the residency and what you hope to achieve

2. A recent CV 


To be eligible to apply, writers must live and work in the North of England and have been previously published in the UK. 

Applicants must have published at least one full-length work eg. a novel, creative non-fiction or a poetry or short story collection.

Durham Book Festival and New Writing North support Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity and welcome applications from under-represented groups.


Deadline for applications is Thursday 14th June. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Rebecca Wilkie rebecca@newwritingnorth.com  


The Young Writers’ Talent Fund supports people aged 15-25 living in and around Newcastle upon Tyne. The fund has been created as the result of a legacy from the Northern Rock Foundation, and offers aspiring and early career writers the chance for bespoke support and development opportunities. There will be a range of awards made which will invest in talent, ambition and good ideas in the fields of literature and writing. We want to ensure that this funding has a significant impact on the recipient’s ability to pursue their talent and ideas.

For examples of previous recipients of investment from the programme, visit the Young Writers’ Talent Fund project page. 

We can support projects across a range of literature or writing forms including: graphic novels, spoken word, flash fiction, script, poetry, prose, journalism, blogging, or another area of arts or cultural activity that you would like to persuade us fits into ‘literature and writing’. There is a total funding pot of £8000 available and we aim to make 5-8 awards. The awards may part-fund or fully fund a project.

Each of the bursary recipients will have a meeting with staff at New Writing North to plan out their project. If required NWN staff will continue to meet the recipients throughout the year to support them in their project

What we could fund:

  • People who want to use the funding to develop a piece of art or literature, or want to develop an arts-based project
  • Young producers or publishers who want to set up a new initiative or support an existing one (eg. spoken word night, reviewing blog, poetry magazine etc)
  • Writers, artists, producers, publishers who want to buy some mentoring to help them develop their work
  • Professional development, such as supporting the costs of a work placement or short training programme, which will have a significant impact on their career in the arts or literature

What we will not fund:

  • People who live outside of Newcastle upon Tyne or who have lived in or around Newcastle for less than 3 years (except in exceptional circumstances please contact us to enquire)
  • People aged under 15 or over 25 at the deadline date (Friday 1 June 2018)
  • People who want to use the funding to support university or college fees or audition or interview expenses for university or college.
  • People who want to use the funding to support activity that is not literature or writing related

If there is a project or initiative you have in mind but you aren’t sure whether it fits the criteria, please contact Holly Sinkinson at holly@newwritingnorth.com or 0191 204 8851.

The decision-making panel will look for:

  • Applications that are likely to have a significant impact on the prospects of the applicant
  • Evidence of quality in the work you are developing
  • Good ideas that will have an impact on the cultural life of Newcastle (if you are a publisher or producer)

We believe that all writers should have the opportunity to tell their stories and we work with under-represented communities to help make this happen. We would like our workforce to better reflect the diverse communities in which we work.

To apply for the scheme please fill in the application form. The shortlisted candidates may be asked to attend a meeting before final decisions are made. Deadline for applications is Friday 1 June 2018