Short Stories on the Skerne

The Discover Brightwater Creative-Writing Project comprises a series of free creative-writing workshops, a short story competition with a £1,000 first prize, and the publication of an anthology. The project is being led by Groundwork North East and Cumbria on behalf of the Discover Brightwater Landscape Partnership and supported by The Northern Echo.

This new, ambitious and visionary literary initiative will encourage, engage, train and help to discover local literary talent in the region of the River Skerne in County Durham, celebrating the Skerne and it’s people and countryside.

Laura Waugh, Community Project Manager for Groundwork North East and Cumbria, said:

“By giving people the skills to write short stories, promoting the competition and finally publishing the anthology we hope to connect local people and visitors to our landscape, our heritage and our communities.”

Short Story Competition

The Discover Brightwater Short Story Prize will award a local writer £1,000 for the best short story in competition. The winning story will form the title of in The Discover Brightwater Anthology, to be published by Paper + Ink in Autumn 2022.

Four runners-up will each receive £100, and their stories will be included in The Discover Brightwater Anthology as well.

The short story competition will open on March 1 and close on May 31. Entries must be a maximum of 5,000 words and feature a reference to the Skerne and the landscape around it.

To find out about entry to the short story competition please visit the publishers website Paper + Ink:

What is Discover Brightwater?

Discover Brightwater is a £3.3m landscape partnership based around the River Skerne, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and made possible by people who play the National Lottery. Discover Brightwater is a programme of events, projects and activities over the next couple of years to restore, reveal and celebrate life around the River Skerne.

Free Creative-Writing Workshops

Award winning poet Harry Man will be running the workshops.

Participants on the Brightwater Short Story course will receive a basic grounding in the art of the short story, with examples drawn from some of the finest works in the form, from around the world. In addition to reading and discussing these stories, they will be guided in their own writing, through journals, group work and assignments. Each participant should emerge from the course with a short story draft, or a structural departure point for the development of an idea into a short story. Each course consists of four two-hour workshops.

Details of the courses, beginning in March, are available on the publishers website Paper + Ink

Discover Brightwater

Harry Man

He won the 2014 Struga Poetry Evenings UNESCO Bridges of Struga Award, and his pamphlet, ‘Lift’ was shortlisted for the ‘Best Pamphlet’ in the 2014 Saboteur Awards. He was commended in the Resurgence Prize 2016 and a Northern Writers Award winner in 2021.

The Anthology

The anthology, featuring the winning story plus four runners-up, will published by the end of the year.