The Common Room

Iconic Newcastle building will be first place outside London to host creative writing courses from Faber Academy
December 23, 2022

An iconic Newcastle city centre building will be the first place outside London to host a prestigious writing programme run by Faber Academy, the creative writing school at leading independent publisher Faber.

A partnership between The Common Room on Westgate Road, New Writing North and Faber Academy will see a new programme of courses launching in Newcastle in 2023.

Courses taking place at The Common Room will include novel writing, crime fiction, poetry, and memoirs.

Liz Mayes, Chief Executive of The Common Room, commented: “The Common Room is a place for learning and for community, and a fitting location for Faber Academy’s courses, which have already helped launch the careers of writers including 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' author, Gail Honeyman, and Booker Prize nominee, Maddie Mortimer.”

The Common Room is a Grade II listed building which was built between 1869 and 1872 as the headquarters for The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. It is the place where some of the world’s greatest innovators have gathered over the years and has played a central role in the North East’s history.

“Learning and creating is built into the fabric of The Common Room and it will provide a really inspiring location for writers taking part in Faber Academy’s courses,” said Liz Mayes.

“The building is available for all sorts of events, from weddings to gigs, and we’re really looking forward to adding Faber Academy’s courses to the selection of events we’re hosting next year.”

The Common Room On Westgate Road

Spaces available to hire within the building include the spectacular Wood Hall with its stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling, which will be used for some of the Faber Academy workshops.

Joey Connolly, Director of Faber Academy, said: “The spaces in The Common Room feel tied into the rich heritage of the North East, and it's an honour to be able to partner with them to bring Faber Academy to the region.”

Chief Executive of New Writing North, Claire Malcolm, said, “New Writing North is delighted to welcome Faber to Newcastle, and its arrival is both a cause for celebration and a milestone on our journey to making the North East the best place in the country to develop your craft as a writer. For Faber to choose Newcastle as its first outside-of-London location speaks a great deal to how buzzing the city is with writers, aspiring writers and the publishers and organisations that support them."

Faber Academy launched in London in 2008 and its award-winning and globally bestselling alumni includes S J Watson, Alice Feeney, Rachel Joyce, Joanna Cannon, Ali Land and Gail Honeyman, alongside recent Booker longlistee Maddie Mortimer, Sunday Times bestseller Saara El-Arifi and Natasha Brown, whose debut novel Assembly was shortlisted for the Folio, Goldsmiths and Betty Trask prizes and saw her named as one of the Observer’s 10 best debut novelists of 2021. Over 170 alumni have secured publication deals so far.

You can find out more about the Faber Academy’s courses at The Common Room by clicking HERE