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21 March 2016

Read Regional 2016 authors to visit Cumbria Libraries

Read regional logo

Read Regional, an annual campaign that introduces readers to writers from the North of England, is coming to libraries in Cumbria.

Northern writers Ian Clayton, Carys Davies, Crista Ermiya, Chris Killen, Rachel McIntyre and Caroline Roberts will be appearing in libraries around the county, as part of the literary campaign which runs from March to June (see venues, dates and times below).

Read Regional was launched by New Writing North in 2008 with the aim of connecting writers and readers in the North of England through their local library services. The successful campaign has previously promoted authors including Melvin Burgess, Ann Cleeves, Mari Hannah and Gavin Extence.

Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive, New Writing North, said: “Read Regional encourages readers across the North to celebrate our home-grown talent through reading books and attending events by Northern authors. We know that being selected for the campaign can make a real difference to authors, and that readers very much enjoy the opportunity to meet authors in their local libraries. We’re delighted to take Read Regional on the road again, visiting 22 local authorities with more than 80 events.”

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member responsible for Libraries, said: “I’m delighted Cumbria Library Service is once again supporting this annual celebration of Northern writers and their work. This is a great opportunity to meet published authors and take part in workshops led by award-winning writers in our libraries. I’d encourage people to come along to these events and at the same time see the amazing range of library services we offer local communities.”

Titles by authors taking part in Read Regional will be stocked in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal, Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington libraries in Cumbria, giving readers access to a wealth of new northern literature to borrow from their local libraries.

Events in Cumbria:

  • Wednesday 6th April, 6pm - Caroline Roberts: Author talk at Workington Library

  • Tuesday 12th April at 7pm - Ian Clayton: Author talk at Penrith Library,

  • Saturday 16th April at 2pm - Carys Davies: A writing workshop followed by a reading at Barrow Library

  • Tuesday 19th April at 3pm - Chris Killen: Author talk at Kendal Library,

  • Wednesday 27th April at 11am - Rachel McIntyre: Author talk at Carlisle Library, (Please note this is a closed event, for an invited audience of year 10 students and is not open to the public)

  • Friday 3rd June at 2pm - Crista Ermiya: A writing workshop followed by a reading at The Daniel Hay Library, Whitehaven

Tickets for all the events are available from the appropriate libraries and cost £1 to include refreshments.

Author biographies for the 6 writers appearing in Cumbria

Ian Clayton,Song for My Father(published by Route)

Ian Clayton has written on subjects as varied as the environment, homelessness, jazz and rugby league. His stories are about making sense of where we come from. He has written three memoirs:  Song For My Father about his lifelong search for a father figure; Bringing It All Back Home about his love of music; Our Billie about loss. A prolific story gatherer, Ian has edited countless books of people’s stories, including the bestselling When Push Comes To ShoveVolumes I & II and most recently, Wisdom of Our Own: Living and Learning Since the Miners’ Strike, the story of an education centre in Castleford which grew out of the Women Against Pit Closures movement.

Ian’s recent work took him to Changchun in the northern Chinese province of Jilin where he spent two months as visiting scholar in creative writing at North East Normal University, one of China's prestigious seats of learning for teachers. He has a regular weekly column in his local newspaper. He is a keen advocate of local libraries and often writes and speaks in support of the important role they play in community life. In his spare time, Ian likes the odd pint or two in tap rooms. He travels widely and is passionate about blues, jazz, folk and global music. Ian still lives in the town where he was born, with his partner Heather, a social worker and artist, and his son Edward, a musician.

Carys Davies,The Redemption of Galen Pike(published by Salt)

Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush (Salt 2007) and The Redemption of Galen Pike (Salt 2014), which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize and a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, and was shortlisted for both the Wales Book of the Year and the Edge Hill Prize. In 2013 she received a Northern Writers’ Award for its development. She is the recipient of the Royal Society of Literature's V. S. Pritchett Prize and the Society of Authors' Olive Cook Short Story Award and has been nominated for many others, including the Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award and the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Prize.

Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, published in Granta New Writing, Prospect and The Dublin Review, and widely anthologised, including, most recently, in Love, Loss and the Lives of Women, 100 Great Short Stories, edited by Victoria Hislop and New Zealand in a single volume, The Travellers and Other Stories. Born in Wales, she worked for many years as a journalist, mostly in New York and Chicago, and now lives in Lancaster.

Crista Ermiya,The Weather in Kansas(published by Red Squirrel)

Crista Ermiya was born in London to a Filipino mother and Turkish-Cypriot father. She left school to work in the Post Office, and later went to university in her 20s as a mature student, working full time in various jobs while studying in the evenings at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she graduated with a First Class degree in English, followed by an MA (with distinction) in Medieval Literature.

She moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2002, where she lives with her husband and son. She has worked for small poetry and fiction presses in the North East, including as co-editor for Other Poetry magazine, and ran her own poetry press dogeater. She has worked for regional newspapers curating a digital wiki-archive, and currently works as Editorial Assistant for the journal Landscape Research, which is based at the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield.

She has won the Decibel Penguin Short Story Prize and was Writer-in-Residence for Crossing Border Festival in The Hague, The Netherlands, as part of a British Council translation project called The Chronicles. The Weather in Kansas is her first collection of stories.

Chris Killen,In Real Life(published by Canongate)

Chris Killen was born in 1981 in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and currently lives in Manchester. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester, and returned as the University's Writing Fellow at the Centre for New Writing in 2009. He has lived in Manchester for just over 10 years, and worked as a bookseller at both Waterstone’s and Blackwell University Bookshop. 

His first novel, The Bird Room, was published in 2009 by Canongate Books. In 2012, alongside the novelists Joe Stretch and Socrates Adams, he co-wrote, co-directed and acted in the comedy feature film Wizard's Way, which won best comedy feature at the London Independent Film Festival and the Discovery Award at LoCo (The London Comedy Film Festival). Remake rights have been purchased by Jack Black's production company. His second novel, In Real Life, was published (again by Canongate) in January, 2015. 

Rachel McIntyre,Me and Mr J.(published by Egmont)

Rachel McIntyre grew up in Wakefield in West Yorkshire and now lives with her partner and son in Cheshire. She has worked as an English teacher in New York, Spain and the UK, most recently teaching English Literature in a sixth-form college in Huddersfield. Rachel now writes full-time and teaches creative writing evening classes to adults.

Rachel lived in Spain for almost ten years and during that time worked as a freelance features writer for numerous travel magazines and as a monthly contributor for a variety of in-flight magazines, including EasyJet and Virgin.

In 2013, Rachel was offered a three-book deal with Egmont Publishing and with a number of international publishers. Her first book, Me and Mr J, was published in February 2015 and her second, #1 Rule for Girls, was published in February 2016. All Rachel’s books are YA contemporary and set in the north of England.

Caroline Roberts,The Torn-Up Marriage(published by Harper Impulse)

Caroline enjoys writing about love, loss, betrayal, and family; stories that explore the emotions, showing how complex and yet beautiful our relationships can be. She also likes to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of fun too! She believes in following your dreams, which after ten years of writing and submitting, finally led her to a publishing deal with Harper Collins. Family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book make her smile.

Her first taste of the North East was coming up from Cornwall to study English Literature at Durham University. She spent a fabulous three years there, many moons ago. Northumberland is now her home - sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired her writing, and provide a wonderful setting for her novels.

For more information, visit: http://www.readregional.com

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Read Regional, an annual campaign that introduces readers to writers from the North of England, is coming to libraries in Cumbria.