Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Don't miss out on new literary festival

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Tickets are still available for a brand new literary festival for book and poetry lovers in Stockton and Middlesbrough.

Crossing the Tees celebrates reading, writing, poetry and the spoken word and will take place in the towns’ libraries from Friday 6 June to Saturday 21 June.

Tickets are still available for a number of sessions taking place at Stockton Central Library:

Black Light Engine Room
7pm – 10pm, Friday 6 June
Cost: Free

An energetic evening of live performance poetry. One of the North East's longest running live poetry gigs takes place for the first time here in Stockton, featuring some of the region's best poets in performance. There will be open mic slots available for anyone who comes along and new performers are welcome. Poet and editor of the Black Light Engine Room magazine, p.a. morbid is our host for the evening.

An Evening with Stephen May
6.30pm – 8pm, Tuesday 17 June
Cost: £3.00

Stephen is a witty and engaging speaker and utterly absorbing as a reader of his own work. His second novel ‘Life!Death!Prizes!’ was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Book Award and his latest novel ‘Wake Up Happy Every Day’ was published in March.

Afternoon Tea with Elizabeth Gill
2pm – 3pm, Thursday 19 June
Cost: £2.00

Elizabeth Gill has been writing historical novels about the North East of England for twenty years. She was born in a mining village on the fells of Durham and now lives in Durham city. Her latest novel 'Miss Appleby's Academy', a story about the setting up of a dame school, sold over 70,000 copies on Kindle and 'The Fall and Rise of Lucy Charlton' which came out in February was an Asda Mothers’ Day promotion. 'Original and evocative – a born storyteller' – Trisha Ashley'.

Create your own dystopian world with Author Joe Kipling
11am – 2pm, Saturday 21 June Suitable for 13 to 16 year olds
Cost: Free

Join Joe Kipling, author of 'Blinded by the Light' for an interactive session that explores world building for dystopias. At the workshop we’ll discuss tips and tricks for building your new reality and learn techniques to create a believable world that comes alive for the reader. Each participant will receive a free Kindle e-book of Blinded by the Light.

Good Enough to Publish? Writing workshop with author Karen Charlton
6pm – 9pm, Thursday 12 June
Cost: £5.00

A practical hands-on workshop aimed at aspiring novelists who would appreciate guidance on the opening chapters of their manuscript. The course will offer help to avoid some of the common pitfalls, exercises designed to help improve writing skills and a chance to showcase your work to the group for peer assessment. Karen Charlton is an author and literary consultant with Famelton Writing Services and her latest historical novel is 'The Heiress of Linn Hagh'. Karen has led writing workshops across the North of England.

Stockton Council is working together with Middlesbrough Council to deliver the new festival. There will be a range of workshops, family fun days, diverse talks and readings to enjoy in both towns’ libraries.

The following events will also be taking place in libraries across Middlesbrough:

An Evening with Joanne Harris
7pm – 9pm, Tuesday 10 June
Middlesbrough Central Library
Cost: £7

International best-selling author of Chocolat, Joanne Harris, talks about her new epic fantasy novel the Gospel of Loki, a book inspired by her passion for Norse mythology. Joanne’s books have been published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and International awards.

• An Evening of North East Crime
7pm-9pm, Monday 16 June
Acklam Library
Cost: £5

Join North East crime writers Sheila Quigley and John Nicholson as they discuss their novels. Sheila is the best-selling author of the Seahills crime series and the DI Mike York trilogy. John’s first novels Teesside Steal, Queen of the Tees and Teesside Missed were published to huge acclaim in 2013.

• An Evening with Gervase Phinn
Thursday 19 June
Middlesbrough Central Library
Cost: £7

Enjoy an evening with one of Britain’s most popular comic writers and best-selling authors as he tells hilarious tales of his life as an HMI Schools Inspector in the Yorkshire Dales.

To find out more, pick up a programme, and book tickets visit

Alternatively contact the Rediscover Stockton shop on (01642) 528130 or call in to any library across Stockton Borough or Middlesbrough.

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