New Writing North runs a network of book groups across the North East region for keen readers who like to read and discuss contemporary fiction. Most of our groups are run by dedicated volunteer co-ordinators.
The groups are free to join, flexible to attend, and are all run by facilitators who manage the meetings to ensure that everyone gets to join in. The books that are read are chosen by the group facilitators and New Writing North in seasonal bursts and reflect a range of interests. We tend to choose books that are literary in nature, by new writers, are in translation or are overlooked classics. We also sometimes create special events for our book group network members and Book Group Summit events at Hexham Book Festival and Durham Book Festival.
If you would like to join any of the groups below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are signed up you will receive a membership card which will allow you to access special offers from a number of book retailers and from some of the venues that the groups meet in. Once a member you will also get access to our monthly book group newsletter which previews books and often has special offers for events and book purchases.
Our book groups
Below is information on all of our networked groups. Each group has a blog, where you can preview what books are coming up, when meetings are and find out more about the group itself.
Berwick Book Group
The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at The Barrels Ale House, Bridge St, at 6.30pm. The group is lively and fun and in the past has created special events including readings on the beach with literary inspired food!
Darlington Book Group
The group meets at 6.30pm at Sloan’s Bar in Grange Road, Darlington and is facilitated by Jo Colley. The group has been known to have Christmas parties alongside its regular meetings.
Durham Book Group
Meetings are held from 6pm-7.30pm on the second Monday of every month at Leonard’s Coffee House. This group is facilitated by Jo Colley and often reads poems alongside novels.
Hexham Book Group
This busy group is facilitated by Susie Troup, the director of Hexham Book Festival, and meets at 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of every month at The Forum Cinema in Hexham. Chosen books often tie in to events with authors at the book festival.
Affiliated group LitPop is a book club for lovers of books, music and books about music. It meets at 7pm-8.30pm every second Tuesday of the month at the Sage Gateshead and is convened by Rachel Carroll (Teesside University) and Adam Hansen (Northumbria University).
The Newcastle Book Groups
Our two Newcastle Book Groups meet at The Carriage pub in Archbold Terrace, Jesmond, on the first Tuesday of the month at. The lunchtime group is run by group members and meets at 12.30pm, while the evening group meets at 6.30pm and is facilitated by journalist and writer Caroline Beck..
New Parents Book Group
The New Parents Book Group was created to address the needs of parents with young children who want to find an arena in which they can discuss books (but also not feel guilty if they didn’t get the end of the book!). The group meets at 10.30am on the second Friday of every month at the Quay Education Area at BALTIC. This is at the back of level 2 and easily accessible with buggies, and has toys and space for the babies to play.
The Poetry Room Book Group
The Poetry Room book group ran from 2008 to 2013, and was run by Anna Woodford and Linda France. Unfortunately, due to funding cuts, the group no longer meets, but you can read extracts of the poetry collections they discussed on this blog and get some inspiration for your poetry reading.
Sunderland Book Group
Facilitated by avid reader and journalist Laura Brewis, the Sunderland Group meets at the Serendipity tea room, Sunderland, on the second Tuesday of every month from 6.45pm-8pm (pop along from 6.30pm). Laura’s blog covers a range of subjects to do with reading.
The Tees Valley Book Group
The Tees Valley Book Group meets in the convivial surroundings of Stockton Central Library. The group is facilitated by Stephanie Roundsmith and is attended by readers of all ages.
Whitley Bay Book Group
The Whitley Bay Book Group meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 7.30pm-9pm at the Windsor Hotel, South Parade, Whitley Bay, with reader in residence Cathy McCracken. The group reads contemporary work intercut with occasional classics.