David Whetstone is a journalist who has been writing about the arts in the North East since the 1980s. For more than 30 years he was Arts Editor of The Journal, the regional morning newspaper, and from 2005 to 2017 he also edited the monthly Culture magazine which covered the region’s cultural scene in depth. He now works as a freelance journalist, specialising in arts and culture, for newspapers and online publications. He has interviewed many writers, in print and on stage at book festivals, and has reported on the Northern Writers’ Awards since their inception. He has been delighted to see winners’ writing careers develop. Having been a judge on several writing competitions, he is always excited to see new talent emerge and understands how the encouragement and validation that comes with a prize, to say nothing of a little financial support, can help that to happen.