The line-up for this year’s Darlington Arts Festival events for writers provides opportunities for new and established writers to develop their craft.

The four-day festival takes place from 17th to 20th May at various venues in Darlington and it will be a showcase of all types of arts activities going on in the town. The overall theme is ‘Follow Your Art’ and aims to encourage people to try something new or support creative groups.

And a large part of the programme this year is dedicated to writers.

Opening the festival on the 17th May is Ann Cuthbert with her poetry workshops that will inspire writers to see everyday small things in a new way, and Susan Chapman will show how to take ‘slices of life’ and write them into existence in reflective ways.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, festival-goers can take their pick from a range of events including the popular crime-writing workshop of award-winning author John Dean who returns to the festival this year. Multidisciplined writer Tracey Iceton will be drawing on her experience of writing a book series to advise on writing a big story that rivals the length of well-known epics such as Game of Thrones and Lord of The Rings.

Also available will be a ‘Show, don’t tell’ workshop by writer and regular contributor to Darlington for Culture’s monthly Open Mic night Peter King. Local author Michael Jarvie’s ‘The art of the novel’ will explore the depths of research and how to develop story ideas.

On Sunday, it’s John Dean’s ‘Introduction to crime fiction’ along with ‘And the meek shall inherit the storyline’ workshop and talk where writers can learn more about plotting crime fiction and how conflict informs the modern age of crime stories. Both of John Dean’s events are also part of National Crime Reading Month which promotes the development and readership of crime fiction.

On Sunday evening, there will be an Open Mic for Writers which invites writers to become readers and share their stories, poems, prose or scripts. On the final day of the festival, Bennet House Writers will be holding an open meeting for their regular writing group. On the Monday afternoon, Waterstones Darlington will host a book signing by north-east writer Stan Abbott, for his book The Episode.

Darlington Writers Festival is on from 17th to 20th May at various venues in Darlington town centre including Hash, Dr.inks, Hatch, and Crown Street Library.

Tickets are available from individual workshop/talk organisers, booking required for most events. Contact details can be found on the Darlington for Culture website via the festival link. For details about the main programme, visit the website Darlington Arts Festival 2019 or email darlo4culture@gmail.com