Simply Cracking Good Stories is a Newcastle University project to create Simply Stories – engaging and accessible fiction books for adults.

This is a collaborative project combining the skills and knowledge of Newcastle University’s Margaret Wilkinson (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing) and Martha Young-Scholten (Professor of Second Language Acquisition).


There are many adults worldwide who rarely read for pleasure. Our readership includes beginners learning a second language, immigrants with little or no schooling in their home language who have never read books in their lives, adults who have suffered a stroke or have a form of dementia and those struggling with reading more difficult books. There is little engaging fiction written in accessible language to meet the needs of these adults.


Ours is a grass roots project. We work with creative writers at Newcastle and elsewhere to produce narratives and linguists make sure the texts are easy to read. We charge for books only to cover our costs.

See also

  • The Extensive Reading Foundation is a charitable organization whose purpose is to support and promote extensive reading worldwide.
  • The foremost promoter of pleasure/extensive reading is Stephen Krashen.
  • Literacy Education and Second language Learning for Adults promotes research, practice and policy relating to adult immigrants with little or no home language literacy and/or formal education.
  • The EU-Speak project, led by Newcastle University, offers free on-line modules (courses) to teachers; these include one on the psycholinguistics of reading in a second language.
  • The Digital Literacy Instructor provides beginning reading software for adults in Dutch, English, Finnish, German and Spanish

For more information, please email us –