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Teesside Literary Society: Inaugural Anthology Launch

“Hanging with humanity in all its pungent glory, this inaugural anthology from Teesside Literary Society is a burst of pure creative energy as well as a brilliant testimony to the role that literature plays in the way we see and shape our world. A rare collector’s piece indeed.” Irving Rappaport, Co-Producer of the 2016 Olivier Award-Winning West End Production: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

We are delighted to inform you that the inaugural anthology of the Teesside Literary Society will be officially launched this Friday, 15th April, at 4.00-5.30pm in Room T1.10 of The Curve, as part of the T-Junction International Poetry Festival supported by the Arts Council England, Teesside University and Middlesbrough Council. The writers will be reading from their works and raising a glass in celebration. The invitation to attend is open to everyone, so please come along and show your support.frontCoverForBlog

The anthology comprises a carefully interwoven collection of tales of loss and longing, and the hope that seeps in through the cracks. These personal accounts of lives both ordinary and extraordinary take the reader on a journey through the tragic loss of family and friends, broken relationships, messed up heads, war, murder and absurdity, to tales from the heart of Teesside, and finally out into the wonders of the world and the wild expanse of space.

“This is the first publication from the new Teesside Literary Society, produced by students of Teesside University, including material from students, alumni, local writers and associate members. This is a landmark publication in the thriving Teesside literary community heralding new voices as well as more established writers who have emerged from the live scene in the area at events like The Electric Kool-Aid Cabaret, The Black Light Engine Room and Folk Lines. The material within ranges in style, subject matter and form, reflecting the different levels of writers’ development, and showcases the unique and dynamic nature of the Teesside Scene.” Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie, Senior Lecturers in Creative Writing at Teesside University

Members of the society will be gathering outside The Dickens from 1pm on Friday and everyone is welcome to join us there prior to the official launch.

The Teesside Literary Society’s Inaugural Anthology – the deadline is just hours away


The Inaugural Anthology

This is Teesside Literary Society’s final call-out for the forthcoming anthology. Please make your submissions via email to by midnight tonight.

We have received an impressive array of work over the past few months and weeks – poems, plays, short stories and monologues – from current BA and MA students, former students, and Associate members. Submissions are streaming in tonight and we offer our sincere gratitude to everyone who has submitted their writing. It’s a brave step but one that we need to take if we are to become writers of the new future.

The launch date for the anthology is Friday 15th April 2016, as part of the T-Junction Festival, so make sure to keep that afternoon and evening free in your diary.


Our Next Meeting

Our next gathering is one week today, Friday 26th February, 4.30-7.30pm, in room T1.03, The Curve (the heart of English on Teesside). We will be making important decisions at this meeting, including setting the title for the anthology and reading through all submissions. Please make sure to come along if you want to contribute to this first stage of the editorial process.

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T-Junction Festival

A reminder that members of the Literary Society can volunteer to work at the T-Junction International Poetry Festival, 14-17th April, by emailing (please cc

Once again, thanks to everyone who has submitted work so far, and we hope you can join us next Friday.

The Teesside Literary Society: Call for submissions for the inaugural anthology, date for the next monthly meeting (Friday 29 January), and information on volunteering for the T-Junction Festival

The Teesside Literary Society is delighted to announce that we have been awarded £600 by the Student Union for designing, printing, and promoting our inaugural Anthology. We invite submissions of creative writing in any form, including poetry, playscripts, short stories, flash fiction, and screenplays, together with inspiring and thought-provoking works of non-fiction. Extracts from novels and novellas are also welcome (max 1,500 words). We warmly invite you to submit your work to us via email by Friday 19 February 2016. We have already received some really impressive work in a variety of forms, but please keep it coming. Submissions prior to the cut-off date are most welcome.

The Anthology will be officially launched on Friday 15 April in the Stephenson Lecture Theatre, as part of the T-Junction Festival. We have the honour of a one-hour slot, warming up for the magnificent Tony Harrison. If you would like to perform at the launch event, or have your work performed by an actor/actors on your behalf, please note this on your submission.

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Anyone who wants to volunteer for the T-Junction organising committee can leave a message on our Facebook page or send an email to This is a great opportunity to get involved with a prestigious Poetry Festival and we encourage as many of our members as possible to get on board.

Our next monthly meeting is on Friday 29 January in room T1.03 (1st floor of The Curve). We will be gathering from 4.30-7.30pm. Andy Willoughby will be running a free creative writing session from 6pm. The best work generated by the workshop will feature in our inaugural Anthology. We will also be discussing the T-Junction Festival, and Diva will be coming along to give feedback on the scripts our members wrote for the animated short she is producing with other animation/VFX students. There will be the usual blend of updates on competitions and events; sharing work through readings and screenings; and hatching plans to create a new literary movement blazing out from the heart of Teesside.

Whether you have work to share, or you just want to come along, meet other creative folk, and see what the Society is about, you will be made very welcome.

As usual, there will be free food and drink provided, and we will inevitably adjourn to The Dickens to round the night off. Do come and join us.

Forthcoming Teesside Literary Society Events

The Teesside Literary Society has two events coming up this week.

On Thursday 3 December, members are being invited to join current MA students for their module on Writing For Life And Work. The seminar will be led by Sheila Wakefield, Founding Director and Editor of Red Squirrel Press, who will offer advice on submitting work to publishers and discuss the practicalities of running an independent publishing house.


On Friday 4th December, is the third monthly meeting of the Literary Society which will a mix of screenings, readings, sharing work, forming collaborations, and working towards their first printed anthology which will be published in April 2016. This meeting will be held at the slightly later time of 5.30pm (in room T1.03).


The Second Meeting of the Teesside Literary Society – Friday 13th November

The Teesside Literary Society will be bringing together creative individuals on campus once again next Friday, 13th November, meeting at 4.30pm in Room T1.03 (1st Floor, The Curve).

The inaugural meeting was very well attended and a positive, welcoming atmosphere was generated which allowed writers to open up and share work publicly for the first time. It was very encouraging to see Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6 English Students in attendance (both Purists and Creatives) as well as Associate Members from the realms of poetry, design and archaeology.

Once again there will be an open forum for the sharing of work but no obligation to share (spooky tales for Friday The 13th may be particularly appropriate). If anyone has a short screening they would like to show, please email the Society on

Food and drink will be provided and the meeting will inevitably adjourn to The Dickens.

If you would like to develop your skills as a writer, share work in development, gain confidence as a performer, or you’d just like to meet other writers, the Teesside Literary Society is the ideal creative space in which to do so.


Membership for the year costs £5 and entitles you to discounts on workshops run by Senior Lecturers in Creative Writing at Teesside University. You will also have the opportunity for your work to be performed at the Society’s biannual public performance events, and published in their annual anthology. Both Students and Associates are welcome to join.


The Body That Speaks Through Elements and a triple Book Launch (Wednesday 14th October)

Tomorrow will be an inspiring and prestigious day on campus for some of our Senior Lecturers in the English Department.

Bob Beagrie
will be running a mindfulness, Tai Chi and poetry workshop ‘The Body That Speaks Through Elements‘ from 1-3pm in the Endeavour/Resolution rooms (2nd floor of SU building). The session will explore the body in stillness and in motion through time and space, and draw upon the traditional elements of water, earth, wood, metal, wind and fire as metaphors for the ways we experience change. The movement and meditation activities will be interspersed by intervals of creative writing, contemplation and discussion of selected poetry. The session costs £5 for Teesside Literary Society members, £7.50 for non-members. A second session will take place on Wednesday 28th November (venue TBC).


This will be followed by the first of this year’s English Research Seminars, heralding the launch of three impressive new works written by Dr Helen Davies (Neo-Victorian Freakery), Dr Rob Hawkes (War And The Mind) and Dr Sarah Ilott (New British Postcolonial Genres). The event will take place at 4.30pm in Room T1.03 (1st floor, The Curve) and will be followed by celebratory drinks in The Dickens.




The Inaugural Meeting of the Teesside Literary Society


The Teesside Literary Society will be meeting for the first time this Friday in Room T1.03 (1st floor, The Curve) from 4.30pm. This will be an informal gathering for everyone to meet each other over some free drinks and nibbles. Anyone who would like to bring work to share, or would like to suggest any short screenings, is encouraged to do so.

There will be a chance to win a year’s free membership in the 101 novels collage competition – with the 101 novel titles being released on the night. Whether you’re a writer, actor, animator, artist, film-maker or designer, you’ll be made very welcome.

The meeting will adjourn to The Dickens around 6pm, for those in need of further libation.

For more details email or see the Society’s Facebook page.

Teesside Literary Society at the Returners’ Fair – 30 September 2015

The Teesside Literary Society will be holding a stall at the Returners’ Fair today in the Student Union building.

The Literary Society is a welcoming and mutually-supportive group for developing writers. If you would like to leave Teesside University as a published author or a seasoned performer of your own work, the Literary Society can help you achieve your aims.


The LitSoc will be running their ‘pin the tale on the novel’ competition today, with free membership for whoever identifies the most out of the 101 novels featured in their collage.

If you can’t make it along to the stall today, Like the Society’s Facebook page to find out more and keep up to date on all their activities and workshops.

Their first meeting will be held on Friday 9th October at 4.30pm in the Dickens. This will be an informal get-together as members get to know one another. Subsequent monthly meetings will be a mixture of screenings, performances, free workshops run by Senior Lecturers in Creative Writing, and plenty of chances to share and develop your work. After the meetings the Society adjourns to the pub for a social.

The Intercity Flow Anthology Teesside Launch Event – 28 September 2015

“This anthology bristles, not with tamed and well-behaved, respectable poems, but with work that raises its spines, bares its claws, growls and whines with ‘exquisite realisation’. As Walt Whitman says, ‘…these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, Oh I say now these are the soul!‘” Dr Chris Thurgar-Dawson

Preceding the event at The Royal Festival Hall on 7 October, Teesside University is proud to announce the launch of the new Ek Zuban anthology ‘Intercity Flow‘ featuring work by poets from Teesside, London, France, Finland, Holland and Denmark.


Featuring readings by Teesside poets: Andy Willoughby, Jo Colley, Bob Beagrie, Carmen Thompson, Serena Rana-Rahman, Will Dixon, Laura Anne, Rea Tilbrook and Lauren Dye.

Followed by a full performance of Sampo by Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby with The Electric Kool-Aid Ensemble (both supported by Arts Council England).

Live music from The Electric Kool-Aid Ensemble and Peg Powler.

Plus limited Open Mic.

At: Tuned-In! Majuba Road, Redcar, TS10 5BJ
7.30-10.30pm on 28 September 2015
Entrance: £4/£3 concessions/Teesside Literary Society Members

Photographs copyright Kev Howard

Flags: Kanye And Kayne – by Salena Godden

Some time ago we wrote a review heralding the release of Salena Godden‘s first published works – a book of poetry and an autobiography. This is her latest poem, written at Glastonbury this weekend, plucking depth and meaning out of a questionable abyss.


So no, he didn’t name check Bree Newsome,
Or burn the flag she ripped down from the sky,
He didn’t ask for prayers for Charleston,
An end to police brutality, gun violence and crime,
No. He didn’t seem to notice it was gay pride,
Nor draw a rainbow on his cheek,
He didn’t make us take a minute’s silence,
For the American black churches burnt down this week.

He paused. And I thought he’d say just one thing
For social justice, for peace on the street,
But instead he said “I’m the greatest living rock star”
Like Muhammad Ali, hip-hopping on two left feet.

“Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee
My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really be.”

No. Nothing for equality
And no peace prayer,
I watched racists on social media,
Debating his right to even be there.
Kanye and Kayne trending,
As the debate gets convoluted,
Glastonbury all chanting nigger
As though the toxic N-Word is diluted.

Strange Fruit. Strange Fruit.
That song rang true as a bell through the night,
That was one bright clear moment,
I felt he got it so right, alright.

Blood on the leaves,
Blood on the roots,
We’ve still got a long way to go,
And that’s still some strange fruit.

See him singing nigger in a fruit picker,
To a white crowd filled with expectation, privilege and goals,
I don’t see any of your greatest living rock stars,
Climbing flag poles.

 (c) Salena Godden / Glastonbury June 2015
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