WRITE ON: Creative writer David Napthine will lead five online sessions to create an epic tale of Teesdale and its people
WRITE ON: Creative writer David Napthine will lead five online sessions to create an epic tale of Teesdale and its people

CREATIVE folk are being invited to put pen to paper and help create “an epic tale of Teesdale and its people”.
Officials at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, have teamed up with writer David Napthine to launch It Is, And It Is Not, True.
The first of five virtual creative writing workshops led by Mr Napthine will take place at 2pm on Tuesday, June 2.
Those behind the project say the aim is to create a “multi-layered and innovative work full of delight and surprise”.
Mr Naphine has written extensively for BBC Radio drama, touring shows and site-specific theatre, and librettos for opera and oratorio.
His present work includes Writer in Residence for the Hearing the Voice research programme at Durham University and commissions for Headway Arts and Drama, in the dale. Organisers say no previous creative writing experience is required to participate.
Up to ten participants will enjoy five virtual workshops, each lasting 40 minutes.
The Witham’s Sarah Gent said: “Each session will build writing skills, provide inspiration and help the overall story evolve into an epic story of Teesdale and our people.”
Aimed at adults who are aged 55-plus years and resident in Teesdale, the project has been funded by Enriching Later Life and is free to participants.
Ms Gent added: “We are working hard to provide people with creative outlets while The Witham doors are closed. It’s excellent to be working with practitioners of David’s calibre and enable people to access these workshops from home. I can’t wait to read the results.
The sessions will be hosted using the Zoom app and participants should sign up by visiting www.thewitham.org. uk and selecting the link to It Is, And It Is Not, True. It will be listed on the home page so people can simply click to book from there.
Participants will receive instructions and the invite links to the workshops after booking.
It is hope to present the finished work to the public in the autumn.
In addition The Witham is working with Mr Napthine to publish weekly writing challenges on the website and on The Witham’s Facebook page. He will then work to then weave the responses into an epic story to be shared at a later date. You can share responses by emailing them to info@thewitham.org.uk or posting to The Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY.
For full details, go to www.thewitham.org.uk.