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Events aimed at ambitious writers and keen readers

Published: 13 May 2019

Arts Derbyshire has been awarded £14,950 from Arts Council England to run a project for writers and readers with us.


The project, called Writing Ambitions: Commissioning, is a partnership between Festivity, Writing East Midlands, Junction Arts and ourselves.

It will commission five writers to work with a Derbyshire-based arts festival during 2020 to produce and perform pieces of writing in the local community.

All of the festivals selected are members of Festivity, which is the arts festival forum for Derbyshire, and a part of Arts Derbyshire. It includes:

  • Tapton Lock Festival
  • Melbourne Festival
  • Erewash Festival of Light
  • New Mills Festival
  • Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Discovery Days Festival

Each writer will also have the opportunity to collaborate with a local Derbyshire library.

A networking and information day will launch the project this autumn.

The writers will be supported with workshops and mentoring by well-established and award-winning writers and poets Cathy Grindrod, Jo Bell, Matt Black and River Wolton.

Workshop places are open to all writers and will offer support to those interested in working to commission, in other words, being paid to complete a special piece of work.

The commissioned writers will also collaborate on a piece of work providing advice to writers hoping to be commissioned in the future.

Councillor Barry Lewis, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for experienced or budding writers to take their writing further. Not only will the project foster local talent but it will boost local events and communities as well.”

The project will also deliver the LoveLit series of literature events and writing workshops for readers and writers held in Derbyshire libraries.

Events kick off with an opportunity to meet translator Richard Dixon at Ashbourne library on Thursday 23 May 2019.

On Tuesday 18 June 2019 at Chesterfield library social historian and broadcaster Hallie Rubenhold will talk about her new book ‘The Five’ which looks at the lives of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper.

Writing workshops with Mike Gayle, Professor Joe Moran and Joanna Courtney are among the other events being held.

And the first Derbyshire Noir Book Festival on Saturday 17 August 2019, celebrating crime and psychological thrillers, will feature panels, talks and a chance to network for crime readers and writers at Chesterfield library.

To find out more or book places at events and workshops please visit the Derbyshire Arts Eventbrite page or ask in your local Derbyshire library.