Arvon Award 2019

At the end of June 2019 I flew back from an incredible three week cycling trip around the Westfjords of Iceland, had a shower and jumped on a train to Newcastle. I was determined not to miss the Northern Writers’ Awards ceremony. It was lovely to catchup with new Writing North people and fellow writers, […]

Read Regional: Middlesbrough

I have enjoyed every one of my Read Regional events, but I was particularly looking forward to this one in Middlesbrough. I grew up in nearby Guisborough and Redcar, and the Dunnakey family have long standing connections with Middlesbrough itself. I remember visiting my Great Grandparents – Nana and Grandad Pop – there when I […]

Read Regional: Doncaster

A combination of a train strike and a signal failure meant that I almost didn’t make it to my Read Regional event in Doncaster on time. Which would have been sad, and ironic as the city has a strong connection with the railways.  Sir Nigel Gresley designed some of his most famous locomotives there, including […]

Read Regional: South Shields

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Having grown up by the gorgeous sands of Redcar and now living too far away from the sea, I relish any chance to sit on a beach and watch the waves.  So I made sure that I arrived at South Shields in South Tyneside early so […]

Read Regional: Birtley, Gateshead

My Read Regional visit to Gateshead included the opportunity to sit at the feet of an angel. I’ve seen the Angel of the North many times from the A1 (as have 33 million people every year) but when I realised it was just up the road from my event at Birtley Library, I knew I […]

Read Regional: Hexham, Northumberland

Hexham Book Festival kicked off on Thursday and my Creative Writing workshop was the first event in the programme. Twelve keen writers had signed up for the session in the lovely Queen’s Hall, which is also home to Hexham library. In the workshop we explored ways of creating and developing characters, drawing on  a selection of […]

Read Regional: Hull

This week The Companion‘s Read Regional visits started in Hull.  I arrived early as it’s years since I’ve been to the city and I wanted to have an explore. My wander around the streets took in the stunning architecture of buildings such as the Guildhall, Town Hall and Minster and lots of seafaring imagery including […]

Read Regional: Kirkby, Merseyside

Another sunny Read Regional day. I was greeted by birdsong as I stepped off the train at Kirkby in Knowsley and by these glorious Storytelling Thrones when I reached the library. As well as the above Golden Eagle and American Eagle there is also a lovely white Osprey. A sign next to one of the […]

Read Regional: Wideopen, North Tyneside

I was North East bound again this week for my Read Regional author talk at Wideopen, Library in North Tyneside. Train to Newcastle (on which I started reading ‘The Bricks that Built the Houses’ by Kate Tempest, which I need to finish in time for Book Group the following evening) and then a short bus […]

Read Regional: King Cross, Halifax

My second date on my Read Regional tour was close to home at King Cross Library in Halifax. It’s a lovely library and I received a very warm welcome from the librarians and other staff. Halifax was a centre of the cloth trade from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and the town is steeped […]