Search begins for north of England's next great writer

The launch of the Northern Book Prize at Dina in Sheffield. Tara Tobler, Stefan Tobler, Nichola Smalley and Saba Ahmed of And Other Stories.
The launch of the Northern Book Prize at Dina in Sheffield. Tara Tobler, Stefan Tobler, Nichola Smalley and Saba Ahmed of And Other Stories.
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A top publishing house celebrated its move to Sheffield by launching a contest to find the north's next great writer.

And Other Stories has set up the Northern Book Prize to recognise the region's writing talent as part of the Northern Writers' Awards.

The firm recently relocated to the city and the launch took place at Dina in Cambridge Street on Thursday, tying in with this year's Off The Shelf literary festival.

And Other Stories found Stefan Tobler said the event was a way to say 'thank you to the literary and cultural community across the North for welcoming us with open arms'.

"The independent, innovative spirit of Sheffield is part of what attracted us here, and we want to celebrate our move.

"The city has such a rich cultural heritage, and there is an enormous amount happening in the arts - in the theatres, the music scene, in fine arts and poetry. We hope to complement this with own unique approach to publishing fiction.”

Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole chats to Stefan Tobler.

Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole chats to Stefan Tobler.

The Northern Book Prize will form part of New Writing North’s Northern Writers’ Awards, which have supported hundreds of writers to develop creatively and connect with the writing industry since 2000.

The Awards are supported by Northumbria University and Arts Council England and are open to writers based in the north of England.

The Awards open for submissions on November 16 and close on February 1 next year. The winning writer will be revealed at the Northern Writers’ Awards ceremony, to be held in Newcastle in June. And Other Stories aim to launch the winning book during Off the Shelf 2018.

Tara Tobler, Joanna Walsh, Catherine Taylor, Deborah Smith and Megan Kenny

Tara Tobler, Joanna Walsh, Catherine Taylor, Deborah Smith and Megan Kenny

Katherine Cox and Charles Mundye, both of Sheffield Hallam University's English Department, with Maria de Souza, Off the Shelf.

Katherine Cox and Charles Mundye, both of Sheffield Hallam University's English Department, with Maria de Souza, Off the Shelf.