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Calling all aspiring writers: Faber Academy has arrived in Newcastle

Googles “creative writing courses near me”.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 19.01.2023

The Common Room in Newcastle upon Tyne has become the first place outside London to host Faber Academy’s creative writing courses.

This is big news for any aspiring writers out there – and a huge coup for the city.

‘We’re delighted to welcome Faber to Newcastle, and its arrival is both a cause for celebration and a milestone on our journey to making the North East the best place in the country to develop your craft as a writer,’ says Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North.

‘For Faber to choose Newcastle as its first outside-of-London location speaks a great deal to how buzzing the city is with writers, aspiring writers and the publishers and organisations that support them.’

The prestigious writing programme – led by leading independent publisher, Faber – will launch in the North East in February, with an accompanying scholarship programme to offer free places to students who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Working in partnership with New Writing North, Faber Academy will host a variety of creative writing courses at The Common Room: the former Mining Institute in the heart of Newcastle. It seems only fitting that a building with such a rich history in innovation will become a creative hub for the next generation of writers in the city.

These writing courses will include the flagship, six-month Writing A Novel course with lead tutor Preti Taneja, winner of the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize.

‘Learning and creating is built into the fabric of The Common Room,’ says Liz Mayes, its Chief Executive. ‘This is a place for learning and for community, and an inspiring location for Faber Academy’s creative writing courses.

‘The building is available for all sorts of events – from weddings to gigs – and we’re really looking forward to adding these creative writing courses to the selection of events we’re hosting next year.’ 

Having launched in London back in 2008, Faber Academy can now boast both award-winning and bestselling alumni a mere 14 years later. Authors such as SJ Watson, Alice Feeney, Rachel Joyce, Joanna Cannon and Ali Land, alongside recent Booker long-listee Maddie Mortimer and Sunday Times bestseller Saara El-Arifi, all honed their craft on these courses.

Natasha Brown – whose debut novel Assembly was shortlisted for the Folio, Goldsmiths and Betty Trask prizes and saw her named as one of the Observer’s 10 best debut novelists of 2021 – is also a Faber Academy graduate. The courses also helped to launch the career of one Gail Honeyman: of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine fame.

Over 170 alumni have secured publication deals so far.

‘As a writer and a northerner myself, being able to bring Faber Academy to the North is perhaps the most exciting initiative of my career to date,’ explains Joey Connolly, Director of Faber Academy.

‘Newcastle and the North East have such a vibrant literary culture already, so to be able to find ways to work within that, and to contribute to it, is a genuine source of personal pride as well as an exciting new chapter for Faber Academy.’

The first of Faber Academy’s creative writing courses at The Common Room is Start to Write with Richard Skinner, which begins on 18th February. Online writing courses are also available.

Other in-person writing courses planned for The Common Room include:

  • Getting Started: Beginners’ Fiction with Margaret Wilkinson
  • Writing Poems with Pippa Little and John Challis
  • Writing Crime with Trevor Wood
  • Memoir and Life Writing with Lucie Brownlee

To apply to a creative writing course, visit Faber Academy’s website 

And discover what else is on at The Common Room by visiting their website

The Common Room, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE

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