Byline: By David Whetstone
Over the years, Newcastle upon Tyne has made an impact in far-flung places for all sorts of reasons with football, coal and shipbuilding probably heading the list.
But for Penny Smith, the city registered for its literary associations.
"I knew about Newcastle when I was a student in Australia from reading Stand magazine," she recalls.
"It made me think that Newcastle must be a really great place for writers.
"Other students were reading Chairman Mao and I would be clutching this avant garde magazine about writing and on the back was this weird address: Newcastle upon Tyne.
"It went into my head that this was the place for writing in England."
Years later, she is talking in a campus cafe at Northumbria University. Penny Smith ( Dr Penny Smith, to be precise ( is now the leader of the increasingly popular and highly regarded MA Creative Writing course at the university and her first serious work of fiction, Tree Of Angels, is to be launched during the inaugural …