Northumbrian Association’s nominations are open, giving the opportunity to recognise those who, ‘through bold endeavour’, have done something to significantly benefit or raise the profile of the North East.

It is a fantastic opportunity for the general public to give something back to those who deserve recognition. Individuals or organisations can be nominated for the prestigious Hotspur Award which is named after Harry Hotspur, son of the first Earl of Northumberland, who was famed for his courage and energy.

The annual Northumbrian Association’s Writers’ and Hotspur Awards event will take place on Friday, June 30 at Beamish Museum. It will be an evening full of celebrating the region’s distinct and diverse culture, as well as recognising the creative writing of young and older people as part of the Writers’ Award competition.

The Gillian Dickenson Trust are delighted to sponsor the Writers’ Award, which will be presented by Michael Chaplin who is a North East playwright, author and producer, and local poet Natalie Scott. Young people are encouraged to write ‘descriptively’ and ‘passionately’ about the North East for their chance to win.

Louise Hunter, Corporate Affairs Director at Northumbrian Water said; “We are proud to have supported the Northumbrian Association for over 20 years and are excited to see who this year’s award winners are.

“Previous winners of the Hotspur Award have championed the North East, its heritage, culture and identity which is what it’s all about.

“The Writers’ Awards is a fantastic opportunity for new talent to be recognised so I would encourage anyone interested to get involved and the best of luck to all of the award entries.”

Nominations for the Hotspur Award should be e-mailed to > no later than Tuesday, June 6, detailing the reasons for nomination choice. Additional information about the awards and details of previous winners can be found online >

• Northumbria’, the region of the old Earldom, stretches from the Tweed to the Tees.

• The awards are named after the charismatic Northumbrian hero, Sir Henry Percy, son of the first Earl of Northumberland and known as Harry Hotspur. He was named for his speed in advance and readiness to use his great military and diplomatic skills across the borders of England and Scotland and beyond, to serve his region, his country and his Kings: Edward III, Richard II and Henry VI although he eventually rebelled against the latter.

• These spurs also create a link to another great Northumbrian family, the Charltons of Hesleyside. The folk tales tell that, long ago, if food in the household ran low, when the menfolk gathered at the table for their meal, Lady Charlton would place a large silver salver on the table and lift the lid to reveal not meat as expected, only a spur. The unspoken message galvanised these reiver men to ride out to raid farmsteads across the borders to bring home cattle and thus replenish the Charlton larder.

• That was yesteryear but, today, the Northumbrian Association seeks to acknowledge and celebrate similar traits of resilience, vision, strength of purpose, resourcefulness, creativity, loyalty and a willingness to rise to life’s challenges in those who have specifically promoted and raised the profile of this North East region, even against the odds or expectations.