It takes a lot of bad writing to get to a little good writing ... Truman Capote

Hartlepool Historic Quay - Ian Pudsey
Hartlepool Historic Quay - Ian Pudsey

Hartlepool Writers (HWG)

The Home of North East Story Tellers'

Welcome to the Hartlepool Writers

Scroll down - stay up to date

with HWG news, meetings

and events.

NFFD 2024 Anthology

We are delighted to welcome Sara Hills to the National Flash Fiction Day team as this year's guest editor for the 2024 National Flash Fiction Day anthology. She'll be joining NFFD's Anthology Editor Karen Jones in putting together this year's anthology of flash fiction from around the world. You can read more about this year's editors here.

The theme for this year's anthology is THE CLASSICAL ELEMENTS – AIR, EARTH, WATER AND FIRE. You can use any combination of the elements, just one or all four, which should give you plenty of space to play around with ideas. Will you take us flying in the air, bring us down to earth, set us alight with your words or plunge us into the watery depths? We can't wait to find out.

Feel free to interpret the theme however you wish, in 500 words or fewer. Selected flashes will be published in National Flash Fiction Day's 13th Annual Anthology. Payment is one contributor's copy of the anthology. Two pieces will be chosen for an Editor's Choice Award which comes with a £50 prize.

The submission window is 1 December 2023 to 15 February 2024. Please see our submission guidelines and submit work via Duosuma, our submission manager.

Click on the image to find out more.

Poetry School

You've just completed a Poetry School course and have written and edited a few new poems, so what now? Here are some places to publish and submit your poetry.

Submitting your poems to a magazine, journal, or press is the first step to sharing your work with an audience and building up a readership, which is crucial if you're looking to publish your work in a pamphlet or collection later down the line. To help you in this process, we have compiled a list of places to submit your wonderful poems for the rest of 2023 and 2024!

Click on the image to find out more.

Meet The Local Author

Crossing the Tees Book Festival invites writers from the Tees Valley region to apply to appear on a Meet the Local Author panel event. The event will take place on an evening during the festival period of 8 to 16 June 2024.

The panel event will allow writers the opportunity to introduce themselves and their books to an audience and sell copies of their book (commission free). There will also be time for questions from the audience. The event will be promoted in the festival brochure, on the festival website and social media. Writers will be able to claim travel expenses.

Writers can work in any genre but the books must be for an adult audience. Books can be self-published or traditionally published. Writers must live in Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool or Redcar & Cleveland. Up to six writers will be selected for the event.

Crossing the Tees Book Festival is curated by the library authorities of Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland and supported by Arts Council England. The panel event will take place in a library in one of the five authorities.

Click on the image to find out more.

Closing Date: Monday December 11th.

A Writing Chance

A Writing Chance is all about giving writers from under-represented backgrounds a voice. A Writing Chance is open to new and aspiring writers from working-class and lower-income backgrounds, and those who face intersecting challenges. You must be aged over 18 and based in the UK. Sound like you? We'd love to hear from you Successful applicants will receive a package of personalised support, consisting of: One-to-one mentoring over 12 months with an experienced writer or editor from one of our partner organisations, the Daily Mirror, Faber & Faber or Substack Participation in a writers' network A residential writing retreat Industry insight events A bursary of £2000.

Click on the image to find out more.

Apply on this link by 10am, 8 January 2024

The Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words.

Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham's definition of what makes a great mystery story.

Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English. Deadline for 2024 entries is 29th February 2024.

Click on the image to find out more.

Next HWG meeting will be: Wednesday, December 13th, 18:30.

Do you live local to Hartlepool and have an interest in all things to do with writing? Are you a budding Author, Screenplay Writer, Poet or Short Story Writer? Would you like to bounce a few ideas across some like-minded individuals? Would you like some pointers from experienced authors when diving into the murky world of Traditional Publishing and Self Publishing? Well, the Hartlepool Writers Group may just be the place for you. Mail us through our contact page if you would like to attend our next meeting. You might enjoy being there … and we would certainly enjoy meeting you!


December Meeting - December 13th 2023

Our Location: Hartlepool Hub Central: 124 York Road, TS26 9DE:

Writers Monthly Prompt From Denise

Each month Denise will provide us with some Writing Prompts that will either make your teeth itch or send you into spiraling revolutions of exctacy. Whichever way it grabs you, email us the result on the contact page form and try to limit the content to about 300 words ... if you can. You never know, your literary offering might very well end up being the subject of one of our discussion groups. Whatever the outcome, the prompts will be testing, that's for sure ... so sharpen your lucky pencil ... and break out the Chardonnay!

This Month's Writing Prompt from Denise.


When you are in a busy place you often can't help overhearing other people's conversations, and they can offer a wealth of inspiration for stories. What might have happened, to who, and why?While you are out and about this month listen out for interesting snippets from conversations around you and then weave an imaginary back story! 

Be discreet of course - we're only looking for an intriguing comment to make note of, not pulling up a chair and recording an entire conversation... Cafes, buses, trains, are all good places for a spot of eavesdropping.


For those of you who would like a 'first liner' to kick off your story, you can find two suitable ones below. These are the very first lines of your new book so treat them with care as they may launch you into a flurry of writing acitivity you never thought possible. Email us with the result using our Contact Form. No more than the first 300 words please.

First Liner Prompt 1: Inky darkness turned to light ... and then the audience began to cheer!

First Liner Prompt 2: If he missed this flight, he knew for sure, there would be no other.

Notes on our Meeting – Wednesday 09/11/23

Once again, our thanks go out to all who attended our November meeting. It was a 'busy' discussion night and we were pleased to welcome Peter as a new member with an interest in all things 'writing'. The object of focus this month was 'things washed up in a storm' or 'things discovered in unexpected places'. At first hearing, this sounded like a fairly straightforward task but one that produced some pencil-sharpening results. It's difficult to say whose work might attract the most praise as every single story interpreted the challenge in a completely different way. Our thanks go out to Denise for being out facilitator and setting such an interesting task. Next month will be our last meeting of the year, so let's see as many members as possible and help spread a little bit of good cheer in preparation of the new year ahead. Don't forget, if you want to see some of your work in print on this website, use the form on our Contact Page or mail direct to It goes without saying that any work submitted follows the rules of normal decency, is properly constructed, displays acceptable levels of spelling and grammar and comes in at around 500 words … or very near. Have fun!

Notes on our meeting – Wednesday 11/10/23

Thanks to everyone who attended our October meeting. In the absence of the leader of our group, Denise, we worked an exercise built around 'The Opening Sentence'. This was a subject that grabbed everyone's attention and became the focus of a lively written exercise. The interpretation of each offering was discussed in some detail and all in all everyone thought this to have been a very worthy exercise. A specific mention would need to go to Colin and Roberta for producing some interesting work. The final part of the evening was taken up with a general discussion relating to an on-going writing project authored by Terry. Observations, genuine critique and helpful development advice are always welcome at the HWG and we eagerly wait to see how Terry has moved forward with his project at the next meeting. We also send our congratulations to Max Wrigley, a member of HWG, who has had his premier childrens book published this month. We wish him every success with it.

Notes on our Meeting - Wednesday 13/09/23

A lovely meeting of the group; back after the summer break in August. We kicked off with a discussion relating to the new website layout and one or two writing issues concerning motivation, the age old writers enemy called 'time' and the ambitions of some to expand their writing horizons. Denise then led us through two interesting exercises. They both involved the fine tuning of a writer's 'senses'. Exercise One required the group to study a sentence describing a particular situation then re-write it with emphasis on the writers 'sense' of everything that happened, demonstrating how the same scene might be viewed bringing different senses' into play. Exercise Two asked the group to write a short piece using their 'senses' to recall a time in their childhood; a particular moment or scene that held some level of impact for them. The standard of work proved satisfyingly high and particular mention must be made of Tony who wowed us all with his second piece.