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Books Editorial

cleeves19.jpg The write stuff

WRITE Festival – one of the region’s leading literary events – is returning to South Shields in May for its third incarnation and featuring a programme packed with wordy goodies.

Since it first opened a few years back The Word in South Shields has proved a real boon for the region and it’s the perfect venue for the WRITE Festival, which continues to go from strength to strength. Whether you’re a reader or an aspiring writer – or you simply enjoy engaging performances – there is plenty to get stuck into over its jam-packed fortnight run.

I’m a huge crime buff (reading about it; I don’t garrotte vicars) and am really looking forward to an appearance from ‘Vera’ creator, Ann Cleeves (pictured). She will be joined by her fellow Murder Squad members – six crime writers from the north – for a weekend of criminally good fun with workshops and talks.

Other highlights include South Shields journalist Kevin Maguire who will be in conversation with the brilliant Michael Rosen – the author, poet and broadcaster.

On the performance front Gerald Dickens, the great-great-grandson of the, yep, great man, will star in a play based on the life of his famous forebear.

There will be plenty of north-east writers in attendance including Adam Bushnell and John Grundy; and Baroness Joyce Quin and Moira Kilkenny will be discussing their book celebrating notable women from the region. Former world champion boxer Glenn McCrory will be in conversation with local playwright Ed Waugh and local improv troupe The Suggestibles will be providing the funnies.

There will be more crime (yay!) with best-selling authors Mark Billingham and Erin Kelly, as well as a Silent Book Disco, poetry, family-themed interactive storytelling events and workshops by the score. What else to say, but book early.

WRITE Festival, 11-24 May, The Word, Market Place, South Shields. Full programme and booking information: theworduk.org