The Lake Poets helps Sunderland youngsters pen their own work

new talent: Martin Longstaff, back standing, with youngsters from the Cuckoo Young Writers.
new talent: Martin Longstaff, back standing, with youngsters from the Cuckoo Young Writers.
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ONE of the city’s most promising musical talents has been helping young people put pen to paper.

The Lake Poets, aka Martin Longstaff, has caught the attention of Dave Stewart for his haunting folk lyrics inspired by his hometown.

However, before he jets off from his home in East Herrington to record his album in Nashville with the Eurythmics star, he’s found the time to work with young people on a writing project.

He’s been meeting fortnightly at Pop Recs, in Fawcett Street, with youngsters aged 12-19 as part of the Cuckoo Young Writers’ programme, run by New Writing North.

Visitors to the store will be able to view the resulting exhibition, Precious Things, a display of written work and sketches, which is running until the end of January.

Martin said: “Over the past eight weeks I’ve been overawed by the group and their literary talents.

“I’m very excited for the future of North Eastern literature! It’s been a privilege to work with such talented young writers.”

As well as writing down their ideas, the young people have recorded their own songs at The Bunker, which they performed at Split Festival earlier in the year.

They’ve also been given the opportunity to work with other North East writers, including Amy Mackelden of poetry magazine The Butcher’s Dog.

Amy Mitchell, programme manager at New Writing North, said: “Our Sunderland group is full of really promising writers.

“It has been fantastic seeing their work develop and watching them become more confident as writers and artists.”

l The next term for the group begins on January 10, led by John Challis. Newcomers aged 12-19 years old are welcome. Sessions are free. For more information email Amy at or visit .