Events and Courses

Please see below for posts about upcoming and previous events, courses, performances, plus mentoring and tuition services.

For writing for wellbeing events please visit the dedicated Pen Power page.

I’ve been invited to read at many festivals and events including Crossing the Tees, T-junction, Poetry at the Parsonage, Sedgefield Book Festival, Middlesbrough Literature Festival, Darlington Arts Festival, Tees Women Poets organised events, the LSE Library, Warwick University and most recently The House of Commons. In-person gigs are always great, but online works just fine for me, and means I can get to events without the extra travel (or carbon footprint) from NE England.

Seasonal Space to Write

Summer Event: Saturday July 8th 2023 10:00-17:00 ONLINE via Zoom £20

Includes facilitated writing session to start the day, lunchtime check-in and supportive sharing session to close the day. The times in between are free time to write but it’s up to you how you would like to use this time to best support your needs. Please use the contact form to check availability and book a place. One free place is offered for someone who would otherwise not be able to attend. If you would like to be considered for this, please mention it when enquiring.

An excellent day with encouraging and informative input from the facilitator. The programme left plenty of time to develop work in progress but also for around-the-table discussion and input.

Anthony (Seasonal Space to Write attendee)

Mentoring and Courses for Writers

Mentoring Service for Writers

From a single page critique to a full collection appraisal, Natalie offers a mentoring service tailored to meet your individual writing needs. As a qualified teacher and creative writing expert, Natalie has been critiquing written work for many years, offering detailed, honest feedback in a friendly, professional manner.

Natalie says: “This service is offered to new writers of poetry, script or short prose where some precise feedback on their work might provide the support they are looking for and give them some direction. I will note those aspects that are working well and suggest areas that could be improved. My aim is to provide a critical and honest appraisal of the work submitted but in a sensitive way, just as I would wish to receive comments on my own work.”

Mentoring can be conducted in a variety of ways or in combination to suit individual needs and work schedules. This can include contact by email, post, telephone or face-to-face.  The working language for submissions and appraisals is English and distance should not be a disadvantage. In the first instance drop Natalie a message via the Contact button to discuss your mentoring needs.  

I have benefitted so much from this support and I know that myself, in that I notice a quite stark contrast between the poetry I am now writing and what I wrote before.

Jen (poetry mentee)

Poetry First Steps

The idea of creating a poem can seem daunting to many people. Poetry is often perceived as being too difficult or is simply dismissed as a past-time for the literary elite. FIRST STEPS aims to dispel the myths and give you the ‘know how’ to get you writing poetry. Essentially for people who are new to poetry writing, it can also be of help to those who have already been on a course and are looking for some individual direction and encouragement.

FIRST STEPS runs for ten weeks and, as it works via correspondence with Natalie, starts at a time convenient to you. During these weeks you will learn how to use poetic language and forms, as well as aspects of rhythm and rhyme. As the course progresses, through detailed, individual feedback from Natalie, you will be encouraged to find and develop your own poetic voice, using observation, your own life stories and most importantly by learning to see the interesting in the ordinary. By the end of the course you will have crafted a series of poems and poetic responses and be ready to show the world your poetry.

In total there are eight main assignments to complete but you complete as many as you are able, given your individual circumstances. There is no right or wrong amount to complete. However, the poetry assignments are an opportunity to put into practice the writing techniques and skills you are studying, and, as you get feedback each assignment, the more you complete, the more you will get out of the course. Natalie’s students come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, and are all ages. What everyone has in common is an enthusiasm for writing poetry. If you would like to enquire about this course please do so via the Contact button.         

I can’t thank you enough for your help with the course and the excellent advice. But more importantly the confidence you have given someone like me, a shaven-headed football fan (!) to write creatively.

Steven (First Steps student)

English Tuition

Natalie is a PGCE qualified English Language/Literature teacher and examiner, graded outstanding by Ofsted, and has over 15 years of experience in education, including working with SEN students. She is motivational and empathetic in her approach. Fully DBS checked. Qualified Mental Health First Aider.

“My approach is to be friendly, supportive and professional when interacting with students. I encourage them to be proactive and resourceful in their approach to English, guiding them through the processes of learning and problem-solving. Sessions are therefore individually tailored and flexible, so are student-focused rather than teacher-led. I invite students to discuss what they would like to work on each session and establish the ways in which I can best support them. Any materials to be looked at during the session time can be emailed to me or shared via an online platform. I also support students in setting targets over a course of sessions so that they can meet their aims and manage their study time effectively.”

Please visit Natalie’s registered profile page on First Tutors.

Natalie is very professional, punctual & an inspiration to those that do not find the English subject naturally as clear as other academic topics. My daughter’s confidence not only in English but across other subjects that involve essay writing/answers has improved significantly under Natalie’s expert tutelage.

Kevin (First Tutors)

Past Events

Workshops, presentations and performances (2017 to present)

08/03/22 Curated and hosted AUB Creative Writing Presents a Celebration of International Women’s Day online via Zoom

11/12/21 Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

08/10/21 Facilitated workshop at Evolve school for Ripon Poetry Festival

07/10/21 Hosted AUB International Poetry Prize Celebratory Event for National Poetry Day

09/07/21 Headline performance for Live Canon’s Friday Lunchtime reading series

29/05/21 Hosted book launch for Joe Williams – The Taking Part online via Zoom

26/05/21 Hosted The Papery Nest: poetry performance and open mic online via Zoom

08/05/21 Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

01/03/21 Reading for Wordspace organised by Amina Rose and Hannah Stone

30/01/21 Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

06/12/20 Reading for Runcible Spoon organised by Kathleen Strafford

15/11/20 Reading for Whirlagust anthology launch organised by Yaffle Press

14/11/20 Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

01/10/20 Reading for Places of Poetry anthology launch

31/07/20 Headline performance at Word Club, online

25/07/20 Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

20/06/20 Headline performance at Words on the Wall, online

25/04/20   Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write’ online via Zoom

08/03/20 Performance as part of the launch for Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison, Middlesbrough Town Hall

12/10/19    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

05/10/19    Workshop for National Poetry Day at Acklam Library, Middlesbrough

17/05/19    Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison Performance, Soho Theatre, London

21/03/19    Poetry Reading for World Poetry Day at The Whitby Bookshop, Yorkshire

08/03/19    Reading and presentation of Rare Birds for Family Help IWD at Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington

23/02/19    Poetry Reading for Word Club at The Chemic Tavern, Leeds

11/02/19    Poetry reading for Beehive Poets at The Beehive, Bradford

02/02/19    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Winter Weekend Retreat’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

03/01/19    Reading and presentation of Rare Birds for the Sashes and Suffrage exhibition launch at ARC, Stockton-on-Tees

24/11/18    Poetry Reading with TWP at The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Hartlepool

27/10/18    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Autumn’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

06/09/18    Poetry Reading for Free as a Bard at Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay

04/08/18    Poetry Reading for North East Enemies Project at Missing Piece Arts, Stockton-on-Tees

08/08/18    Poetry Reading with Harry Gallagher at Newcastle City Library

29/07/18    Reading for Poetry at the Parsonage Festival 2018, Bronte Parsonage, Haworth

25/07/18    Reading and presentation of Rare Birds at the LSE Library, London

13/07/18    Attended Middlesbrough Council Team Awards for which My Town My Future project was shortlisted

27/06/18    Reading for Feminist Book Fortnight at Drake the Bookshop, Stockton-on-Tees

26/06/18    Reading and presentation of Rare Birds for Warwick University

09/06/18    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

26/05/18    Reading and presentation of Rare Birds with TWP at Darlington Arts Festival

15/05/18    Private reading and presentation for Rare Birds at Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington

27/04/18    Reading at the launch of My Town My Future anthology, Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough

26/04/18    Attended the launch of Endeavour children’s anthology for T-junction Poetry Festival

09/02/18    Reading with Harry Gallagher at Hartlepool Library

21/01/18    Appointed as a Poet in Schools as part of the T-junction pre-festival schools programme

20/01/18    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Winter’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

16/10/17    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Autumn’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

28/09/17    Reading for National Poetry Day with TWP at Drake the Bookshop, Stockton-on-Tees

30/07/17    Appointed as Creative Writing Tutor for the Middlesbrough: My Town My Future project

15/07/17    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Summer’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

30/06/17    Judged the Northumbrian Association Writers Award 13-16 categroy, hosted by Beamish Museum

21/06/17    Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison: Presentation and Script-in-hand Performance at Acklam Library

10/06/17    Rare Birds – Voices of Holloway Prison: Poetry Workshop at Middlesbrough Central Library

18/05/17    Guest Poetry Reading at Stanza at The Exchange, North Shields

22/04/17    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Spring’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

18/03/17    Facilitated Poetry First Steps – Taster Session for Beginners at ARC, Stockton-on-Tees

14/01/17    Facilitated ‘Seasonal Space to Write – Winter’ at Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington

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