A NORTH East crime writer has launched a year-long initiative to celebrate the arts, boost literacy, drive tourism and support business in the region.

LJ Ross, the international bestselling author of the DCI Ryan series, has announced the launch of Read, Write, Walk North East – with LJ Ross.

A new initiative celebrating, promoting and supporting her beloved birthplace and the inspiration behind her novels.

The initiative features writing prizes, photography competitions to support the creative arts, reading challenges, literary trails, and community grants of up to £50,000 to help local businesses.

LJ Ross said: “Read, Write, Walk North East was inspired by my readers. I’ve been so fortunate during my career to have garnered a loyal and generous fan base, many of whom come from the North East, where my DCI Ryan series is set and where I was born, and grew up.

“It covers a host of different prizes, grants and wellbeing projects launching over the coming months designed to support creative arts, literacy and local enterprise – as well as spotlighting some of the incredible people, landscapes, talent and hard work.”

The initiative will include the following events:

The Literary walking trails, a series of literary walking trails developed so readers can retrace the footsteps of DCI Ryan in each of LJ Ross’s novels.

The curated ‘Walk with Ryan’ routes, which are linked to smartphone GPS navigation, will enable fans to discover the stunning scenery.

The trails are available at:ljrossauthor.com/book-trails/

The Dark Skies Northern Photography Prize, which starts next week, and winners receive a £1,000 for best landscape image and a £1,000 for best portrait image.

The Dark Skies Publishing Community Fund, a £50,000 fund, in which local businesses in the North East can apply for grants of up to £10,000, for proactive purposes.

Other prizes in the initiative include: The Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, the Lindisfarne Prize for Children, and the Lindisfarne Reading Challenge.