New Writing North


A Writing Chance

Challenge: Understanding socio-economic barriers that hold back marginalised writers in the literary industries, and exploring how these obstacles might be overcome.

Working pattern:
Part-time over a year, remote working possible with visits to HQ in Newcastle and industry events in London.

Who we’re looking for:
A Story Expert with Analytic, Investigative and Ethnographic Skills and a Passion for Social Justice. Additional Skills include listening, evaluating, storytelling, writing.

Start date:
Story Associates will join the scheme in early September. They will start by taking part in a Deep Story Training Camp and will then move on to their Host projects and placements.

You might approach this as an investigation into how Story Skills can uncover and communicate social inequalities and help organisations to address them. It could also be an exploration of the role of Story Skills in highlighting intersections between the personal and the structural.

£37,099, pro rata, point 30 on National Spinal Point, or equivalent value fellowship grant (paid on supplier contract basis).

The scene is set…

As you tighten your jacket against the cool breeze coming off the River Tyne you feel inspired and ready for your mission. You’re in Newcastle to meet with the central team at New Writing North. Notebook in hand, you’re ready to start a detailed investigation. You’ll be examining the complex webs of socio-economic barriers that hold back marginalised writers in the literary industries.

New Writing North is a development engine for creative reading and writing. They work to support writers excluded from mainstream opportunities and conversations. Your investigation will follow the progress of 20 working-class and underrepresented writers involved with New Writing North via their programme A Writing Chance. You’ll delve, sensitively and compassionately, into the personal journeys and ambitions of these writers while digging even deeper to unearth the political and economic structures undergirding their stories.

A hero is summoned

This is a mission for a real detective. Someone with razor-sharp analytical skills and a drive to change the world by understanding the barriers to inclusion and communicating how these might be addressed. Get your pen ready and charge up your dictaphone. Your investigation will require undertaking rich interviews with emerging writers as well as high profile project partners like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Audible, Faber and Faber, and the New Statesman. By undertaking a scrutinous, inquisitive and detailed inquiry into the experiences of these writers and partners you will generate new knowledge about marginalisation and pathways to inclusion in the writing industry.

The stories you uncover will help to influence policy and practice and drive progressive change. You will develop intelligence and share learnings by producing narrative essays, case studies for social media, and impact reports.

An adventure gets underway…

Our hero will likely need a year of part-time work to undertake this complex, longitudinal exploration. The journey will mobilise and fortify your ethnographic skills. Having set out with ambition and promise you will return as an adept investigative thinker with deep knowledge of structural inequalities. You will refine the ability to craft a narrative that illuminates injustices while staying true to the voices of individuals and communities. This adventure will establish you on the investigative scene as a rigorous researcher, an eloquent communicator and an advocate for social justice!

This adventure will contribute to the StoryArcs mission to explore the value and uses of Story Skills in life, learning and work. The findings brought back to StoryArcs HQ will be crucial in our development and co-creation of a Story Skill Set.

This is one of eleven projects. You can find out more about the Story Associate opportunity and explore all eleven opportunities.


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Read the New Writing North Role Description

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