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Story Comission
Deadline: Mon 16 Apr 2012
Writer wanted to create a new myth for Stockton on Tees

In 2012 the Stockton International Riverside Festival will celebrate its 25th birthday. From humble beginnings, the festival has grown in scale and ambition to become one of the largest street theatre festivals in the country. 

Every year, for one weekend in August, every available space in Stockton town centre is crammed full of the weird and wonderful, with bizarre and curious characters at every turn. Audiences arrive expecting to be amazed and the festival doesn’t disappoint. The festival features street theatre, circus, dance, music and pyrotechnics from world class artists and performers and is very much a combination of the best of British street theatre alongside stunning shows from major international companies.

Stockton Borough Council would like to commission a writer to create a new story in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the festival. The story will be commissioned to celebrate the festival’s positive impact on the town and to acknowledge the community goodwill and support that goes into making the project such an event each year.

The commissioned story will create and establish a myth about how the festival came to take place in Stockton and will reflect historical realities such as the fact that Stockton had a long tradition of welcoming a circus each December and the community involvement that sits at the heart of the festival. The commissioned writer will be expected to undertake research to inform their writing.

In the future the story will be used to inspire and inform other developments in the town such as public art commissions and events at the festival.

The commissioned story must be fun and appeal to a wide variety of potential readers. The expectation is that the story will be between 2,000 and 3,000 words long and that it will feature strong characterisation, a believable historical perspective, and a strong sense of place.


Deadline for expressions of interest: Monday 16 April
Interviews: Thursday 26 April
Delivery of commission: Friday 29 June


The fee for the commission is a total of £2,500. This represents a commission fee of £1,500 and five days’ work to undertake the research and development of the project budgeted at a rate of £200 per day.

How to Apply

Writers are invited to submit a CV and a covering letter in which they describe how they would undertake and approach the commission. This opportunity is aimed at professional writers who have a track record of publication or professional productions of their work. Writers who would like to apply who do not fit the criteria must include examples of their work (ideally a short story) when they apply. No more than 3,000 words of supporting material can be submitted.

Expressions of interest can be sent via email to New Writing North either by email or by post. Entries by email are encouraged.

Send your application by email to Please ensure that your email is clearly titled ‘Stockton Commission’.

By post:
Stockton commission
c/o New Writing North
PO BOX1277
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 5BP

Please note that any submissions received after Monday 16 April will not be considered.

Additional Information:
Stockton on Tees
North East England

Contact Information:
New Writing North
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
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