With such a rich and diverse history and landscape, it is not surprising that North East England and Scottish Borders are such a source of inspiration for so many writers. This part of the world has produced some great writers, including Pat Barker, Ann Cleeves, Chaz Brenchley, Lee Hall, Matt Ridley, Catherine Cookson and W.T. Stead to give just a small (eclectic) sampling.
Spoken word entertainment website listenupnorth.com has recorded the work of many writers and their radio plays, short stories, poetry, and book extracts are available in audio form to listen online or download.
One such talent is local lawyer turned writer Simon Van der Velde, a recent winner of the Tryangle Short Story Competition, his career has really taken off following the shortlisting of his new novel The Benjamin Exhibition for the prestigious Harry Bowling Prize 2012. Simon hopes to see this novel published in 2014.
Our first featured short story by Simon On Low Newton Beach is based on an excerpt from Simon’s first novel, Denial, and is a tense fast moving tale set on the Northumberland Coast and featuring The Ship Inn at Low Newton.
Here is an except: “I’m walking down from The Ship Inn with a silly grin on my face & plenty of warm Lindisfarne mead sloshing about in my stomach. There’s no-one on the beach, no clouds between me and the stars, just the sharp smell of kelp & the breeze throwing tiny grains of sand at the bottom of my jeans. It’s perfect, meditative.”
Listen to On Low Newton Beach.
Our second featured short story by Simon is called Steady Hands. It is a supernatural spine tingler set in Victorian Newcastle involving the jealousy and the jostling for power & position of between an older and younger physician to become Dean of the city’s new medical school.
“There have been strange noises behind the walls, the sound of scratching fingers & heavy unexplained movement under the floor. This is the story of how they began…”
Click to listen to Steady Hands.
Category: North East England Writers