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Northumbria Professor to take to the stage at festival

12th June 2019

A contemporary literature expert from Northumbria University is to host the Literature and Spoken Word Stage at a pioneering North East festival.

Katy Shaw, Professor of Contemporary Writing at Northumbria, has been announced as the host for Deer Shed’s Literature Stage on Sunday 28 July. Having previously hosted the Poetry Arena at Latitude Festival, she is looking forward to sharing her love of literature with festival-goers of all ages.

Deer Shed Festival, was founded by husband and wife team, Oliver Jones and Kate Webster, who wanted to create a “live music, child friendly utopia” after visiting many cultural events with their children and feeling short-changed by the family friendly tag. 

The festival, which is now in its tenth year, is situated within the confines of Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire and features music, comedy, arts, science and sporting activities and events.

Speaking about her role Katy said: "I am delighted to be hosting the Literature and Spoken Word Stage at Deer Shed Festival 2019. Having such a dynamic and eclectic festival on our doorstep is a great opportunity to hear new work and profile the brilliant writing coming out of our region.”

Explaining how the event fitted in with the ethos of how English and Creative Writing are taught at Northumbria, Katy added: “The stories we tell shape the world, and at Northumbria, we offer a contemporary focus on English and Creative Writing that considers everything from Shakespeare and the classics, all the way through to literary festivals, the modern publishing industry and creative practice. As an established family-friendly festival, Deer Shed offers a vital annual reminder that it’s never too early or too late to pick up a book, or a pen, or both, and engage with our amazing literary culture.”

Professor Shaw was recently invited to give evidence at the Performers’ Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry into the class ceiling in the creative sector. She was asked to speak about her research and its influence on new policy formation, including the use of regional literary awards as a potential model of intervention for addressing regional under-representation in the UK literary industries and publishing.

Deer Shed festival takes place 26-28 July 2019. For more information about the Festival and this year’s line-up please visit:

For more information about the English and Creative writing courses at Northumbria click here.

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