Poet in Residence Commission – Crossing the Tees Book Festival 2019

Crossing The Tees Book Festival is looking to commission a poet in residence to document the festival in 2019 and to deliver workshops and activities as part of the festival. 


Crossing the Tees Book Festival returns for its sixth year in June 2019 having grown from a collaboration between Middlesbrough and Stockton library authorities to encompass the five Tees authorities of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland. The festival is hosted in libraries across the region and includes author events, writing workshops, children’s authors, historical costume presentations, poetry, murder mystery evenings and family events.

2019’s programme will include authors LJ Ross, Stephen Booth and Jodi Tayor, performance poetry from Kate Fox and Rowan McCabe, children’s authors Ross MacKenzie and Sufiya Ahmed, plus History Wardrobe, the Ultimate Book Quiz for Schools and Henry Jeffrey’s Empire of Booze. 

The festival will be promoted from April with a festival brochure, produced by ARC, Stockton Arts Centre, social media and traditional press communications.


We are looking to commission a Poet in Residence to support the Crossing the Tees Book Festival 2019. This will include delivering a series of poetry workshops within schools across the Tees Valley, attending library poetry groups as Guest Poet and the creation of a collection of poetry that captures the essence of the Festival. We expect you to gather inspiration for these pieces from your attendance at a selection of events and activities during the Festival period. There is also potential for collaboration with our Illustrator in Residence to develop an illustrated pamphlet of your Festival poems, which will be sold in libraries and local independent bookshops.
The Poet in Residence will be asked to:

• Plan and deliver a series of poetry workshops within schools across the Tees Valley, both primary and secondary. Support will be given by the library service on securing interested schools and audience numbers.
• Plan and deliver poetry workshops at established library poetry groups throughout June
• Plan and deliver one poetry masterclass.
• Capture the essence of the Crossing the Tees Book Festival in poetry form, inspired by attending a minimum of 5 events or activities from the Festival programme, across the Tees Valley.
• Create a portfolio of work that can be developed into a printed pamphlet, with potential to work in collaboration with the Illustrator in Residence.
• Support the promotion of the Crossing the Tees Book Festival in a range of formats, including social media, radio interview, contributing a blog or vlog piece to the website.

We will provide:

• Access to schools. We will secure interested schools using established contacts and will liaise with you regarding timetabling and audience numbers.
• Access to established poetry groups within library settings.
• The opportunity for the work you create during the Crossing the Tees Book Festival to be published in a pamphlet, which will be distributed across the Tees Valley.

You will need to provide:

• All materials and resources to deliver workshops
• Timesheet of hours worked
• A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (payment of £26 will be reimbursed if required)


The fee for this project will be £2,000 including travel expenses and materials. This will cover a period of work from 1st June to 31st July 2019.


The fee will be paid in two instalments by Stockton Borough Council within 30 days of a dated invoice. £1,000 will be paid at the start of the project and £1,000 will be paid upon the completion of the final piece, no later than August 2019.


Your proposal should include:

• A written outline of what the workshops will involve
• Details of any experience of community work, both with school aged children and adults
• Details of your experiences as an poet and what you hope to gain from this residency
• Two work related referees

Proposals should be sent to Emma Tennant [email protected] Tel: (01642) 526520 by Friday 8th March 2019