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Writing Commission 2022: Open Call

Open Call Writing Commission - deadline 11/08/22

The Women Artists of the North East (WANE) Library are seeking to commission an artist or writer to develop a new text work that responds to the library collection, histories of women artists in the North East and archive practice.

The WANE Library was founded in 2017 to document, archive and celebrate the legacies and creative practices of women artists in the North East. It is a growing, nomadic project that brings together research and donated material to form a cultural resource.

Our collection includes publications, audio, images and other forms of documentation that record historic and current artistic practice and programming across the North East of England. It is open to donations and works collaboratively with artists, communities and cultural organisations to expand and share its collection.

October 2022 marks the 5th anniversary of establishing the library. Since its beginning, the library has aimed to offer a re-appraisal of artists less visible in current narratives, and to recognise who and what shapes the region’s cultural history and identity.

In 2022 we would like to commission an artist to create a new piece of writing that critically engages with the WANE Library and its collection. The text may take any form and be informed by any artistic practice, but will be written for publication and an event in December 2022, in print and online.

The successful applicant will be interested in learning more about the library’s current and previous activities (public programming, research, collecting) related to women artists associated with the North East of England. They will have an interest in archival methodologies and a desire to engage with histories of artistic practice, exhibition history or pedagogy of the region. The commission might respond to the WANE Library’s content, its aims or the wider context of revisionist work.

The commissioned artist/writer will be supported with a fee of £1,500 to research and produce a new piece of writing, to be launched as part of our public events programme. They will also receive support accessing the collection and making contact with WANE Library networks, editorial support from the WANE Library team, and design support to create a final publication of the work. There is an additional budget for print, public programme and travel.

Artists who identify as women, transwomen or nonbinary and have a relationship with the North East are eligible to apply for this commission. You do not need to currently live in the North East to apply.

The selected artist will be chosen by a panel that includes WANE Library Project lead, Holly Argent, Library Producer Tess Denman-Cleaver, Programme Coordinator Taryn Edmonds and archivist and Cinenova working group member, Charlotte Procter.

How to apply

To apply please send us the following as one PDF:

  • an example of previous writing [max word count 1500] – this does not need to be published writing
  • artist CV
  • A 500 word proposal describing how you will approach the commission


Applications should be sent to with examples of past work and commission proposal attached as pdf documents or links to published writing.

  • Deadline for applications: Thursday 11th August, 17:00 GMT
  • Successful applicant will be notified by the 26th August
  • The successful applicant will be expected to deliver the final commissioned writing by end of November 2022.

About the Library commissions

This commission runs in parallel with a programme of ‘Open Library’ events and roving residencies 2021-22 at sites across the North East, including MIMA in Middlesbrough (July – Dec 2021) Northumbria University in Newcastle (Jan – April 2022) and Visual Arts in Rural Communities in Tarset, Northumberland (May – Aug 2022).

Through our Design Commission 2021 the WANE Library commissioned artist Sally Pilkington to design a new Library Donations card, a flyer and posters for the library. From 2021-2023 the library is running a Co-commission with MIMA of new work by artist Fiona Larkin, responding to the history of women’s creative work in the Tees Valley and Middlesbrough Collection. The Writing Commission 2022 will be our 3rd Commission and our first via an Open Call.

These commissions and our public programme has been funded by an Arts Council Project Grant supporting development of the library and growth of our collection and networks 2021-2023.