Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019 – tickets available now

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) is running its popular Northern Lights Writers’ Conference for a sixth year, at Waterside in Sale, a short hop by tram, bus, car and bike from Manchester city centre.

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

Northern Lights Writers Conference 2019

The day-long event for emerging and established writers includes one-to-one advice sessions on writing, editing and submitting short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction; workshops on creating scripts for TV and collaborating on graphic novels; talks and panel discussions on funding, training and development opportunities for writers, pathways to publication, and diversity in the publishing industry; networking possibilities and book signings, plus a keynote speech and ‘in conversation’ session looking at different genres, platforms and adaptations by bestselling author Jane Rogers.

Saturday 21 September, 11am–5pm (registration from 10.30am), Waterside, Sale, £35 (£25 concessions). Book online or call 0161 912 5616. More here.

Plug into FaxFiction

Old technology – we all used it, and it’s still there: cassette tapes, floppy discs, videos, 35mm slides, overhead projectors, Ansaphones, games consoles, View-Masters, faxes, Dictaphones, reel to reel, Ceefax… How did we function with these ancient machines, these relics of the future?

Hopefully these six writers hold the answer: Writer-in-Residence at Manchester’s Victoria Baths Sarah-Clare Conlon, Sawn-off Tales author David Gaffney, John Rylands Library Writer-in-Residence Rosie Garland, Creative Writing lecturer Valerie O’Riordan, Bad Language host Fat Roland and Nicholas Royle, series editor of Best British Short Stories.

FAXFICTION 2019

FAXFICTION 2019

In FaxFiction, six brand-new short stories will focus on old technologies, and will each be performed using artefacts gathered especially for the event. Made uniquely for the Refract:19 festival, which takes place annually at Greater Manchester arts centre Waterside, this unique show on Saturday 27 July will also feature the live premiere of an installation commissioned from sound artist Gary Fisher.

Tickets cost £8 (£6 concessions) – book here.

Dive in to Weekend of Words

Manchester’s iconic Victoria Baths is open for writing business on Friday 7, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019, when the heritage pool and washhouse complex will be echoing with original voices thanks to a brand-new festival, Weekend Of Words.

As well as writing workshops – including flash fiction with Some Of Us Glow More Than Others author Tania Hershman at the helm – immerse yourself on Saturday with six brand-new short stories, specially commissioned for the event and taking the Baths as their jump-off point.

Grab a drink and a deckchair, sit back and enjoy a backdrop of magical projections and the writers in your midst: Victoria Baths’ inaugural Writer-in-Residence Sarah-Clare Conlon, Kate Feld, co-host of literary podcast The End Of All Things, Sawn-off Tales flash fiction master David Gaffney, Phil Olsen of Sabotage Reviews, Somerset Maugham Award-winner Joe Stretch, and Lara Williams, author of short story collection Treats and novel Supper Club.

All the ticketing links for Saturday’s events are here; wade in.

Weekend Of Words also marks the official launch of the Victoria Baths Splash Fiction Competition, complete with cash prize. Anyone can take the plunge – find out more here.

 

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT), in partnership with Manchester Literature Festival and Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, and supported by Arts Council England, is running a third Northern Lights Writers’ Conference, on Saturday 14 November, 10am-5.30pm, at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale. The one-day event for emerging and established writers this year focuses on the craft of writing, and keynote speaker Louise Doughty and other guests will explain how to tell a story across different mediums – page, radio, theatre or screen.

Described by Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing as “A brilliant writers’ conference”, Northern Lights includes two panel discussions: ‘Storytelling across different platforms’, with award-winning authors Kerry Hudson and Emma Jane Unsworth and writer and theatre-maker James Varney; and ‘The Path to publication’, with literary agent Juliet Pickering and editor Susannah Otter. Delegates can choose from three hands-on workshops: ‘Writing for radio’ with Made In Manchester director Ashley Byrne and BBC Radio 4 writer and producer Gary Brown; ‘Writing a successful blog’ with award-winning blogger Len Grant, and ‘Performance and the spoken word’ with DaDa Award Performance Artist of the Year Rosie Garland. The day closes with a networking session when delegates can meet the speakers and writers.

Tickets cost £30 for the day (£25 concessions), and can be booked in advance by calling the Waterside box office on 0161 912 5616 or by emailing info@creativeindustriestrafford.org. Full details of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference can be found on the CIT website: www.creativeindustriestrafford.org.

Northern Lights Writers Conference with Will Self at Sale Waterside Arts Centre and Creative Industries Trafford. Picture: Jaosn Lock Full credit always required as stated in T&C's. Specified use only, no further reproduction without prior permission. Picture © Jason Lock Photography +44 (0) 7889 152747 +44 (0) 161 431 4012 info@jasonlock.co.uk www.jasonlock.co.uk


(Photo: © Jason Lock Photography)

Verbose: bringing words to the ‘burbs

Critically acclaimed live literature night Verbose brings more words to the ’burbs on Monday 26 October, with ten open mic acts and headliners Sarah Butler, Kate Feld and David Gaffney.

The three critically acclaimed writers collaborated on the popular Arts Council England-funded Re/Place writing project commissioned by Chorlton Arts Festival earlier this year, along with Verbose host Sarah-Clare Conlon. Sarah Butler’s novels Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love and Before The Fire are out on Picador, Kate Feld is founder of Openstories, which runs The Real Story and the Blog North Awards, and David Gaffney has published four collections of micro fiction and short stories and the novel Never Never, and has just launched graphic novel project The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

The Re/Place project saw six writers who share an interest in psychogeography and urban exploration pen pieces about ghost places and the re-appropriation of spaces in and around south Manchester suburb Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and at Verbose we’ll go behind the scenes in Longford Cinema, explore Chorltonville, hear about the Chorlton Park paddling pool and get spooked by the Chorlton Green churchyard.

Verbose was recently named by The Skinny as one of the best spoken word nights in Manchester while Manchester Evening News said: “From literary heavyweights to emerging talents, this monthly night has them all.” So far the night has welcomed acclaimed writers including Jenn Ashworth, Elizabeth Baines, John McAuliffe, Nicholas Royle and Emma Jane Unsworth, and Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Alison Moore.

Taking place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow café in Fallowfield (2a Landcross Road, Manchester, M14 6NA), Verbose is free entry and doors are at 7.30pm. See http://verbosemcr.wordpress.com. Email verbosemcr@gmail.com.

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(Photo: Ged Camera)

Critically acclaimed Verbose is back with more words in the ’burbs

“From literary heavyweights to emerging talents, this monthly night has them all” – Manchester Evening News

Live literature night Verbose is back from its summer break on Monday 28 September, with special guests from the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester: Ian McGuire, John McAuliffe and Geoff Ryman – “a stellar line-up”, according to the current issue of The Skinny.

Ian’s much anticipated second novel is out in spring 2016 while John’s fourth collection of poetry is launching at Manchester Literature Festival in October, so this is an opportunity to get a sneak preview of both artists’ new work. The September event will also be celebrating the launch of this year’s edition of The Manchester Anthology, a showcase of the work produced each year by students of the Centre for New Writing’s Creative Writing MA, some of whom will be reading on the open mic.

Now on its seventh outing with its popular new look, Verbose was recently named by The Skinny as one of the best spoken word nights in Manchester. Verbose invites writers who collaborate on projects and publications, and so far the night has welcomed acclaimed writers including Jenn Ashworth, Elizabeth Baines, David Gaffney, Nicholas Royle and Emma Jane Unsworth, and Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Alison Moore.

Taking place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow café in Fallowfield (2a Landcross Road, Manchester, M14 6NA), Verbose is free entry and doors are at 7.30pm. See http://verbosemcr.wordpress.com. Email verbosemcr@gmail.com.

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Re/Place – stories that are right up your street

As part of Chorlton Arts Festival 2015, six critically acclaimed and award-winning writers each sharing an interest in psychogeography and urban exploration have penned pieces about ghost places and the re-appropriation of spaces. Sarah Butler, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Claire Dean, Kate Feld, David Gaffney and Nicholas Royle will perform their site-specific short stories and present postcards from the past at this special event, Re/Place. Supported by Arts Council England. The event will also include a screening of private home movies shot in Chorlton in the fifties and sixties, provided by the North West Film Archive.

Proof, Manchester Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9PH. Wednesday 20 May 2015. Doors 7.30pm. Free entry.

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Verbose brings words to the ’burbs with live literature in Fallowfield, Manchester

Live literature night Verbose is being relaunched for the new year, with a new host and new format. Taking place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow café in Fallowfield, the event will feature performances by special guests from the worlds of flash fiction, short stories and poetry, along with an open mic, when audience members are encouraged to take to the stage and read their work. It’s free entry and doors are at 7.30pm. Fallow café is at 2a Landcross Road, Fallowfield, M14 6NA. See also http://verbosemcr.wordpress.com.

or8 design - vebose 2

Confirmed for the first Verbose of 2015 on Monday 26 January are members of the Inklings writing group: critically acclaimed and Johnny Vegas-endorsed “master of flash fiction” David Gaffney; award-winning novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Baines; Salt Modern Voices poet Adrian Slatcher; fiction author Sian Cummins, launching her new book, The 2p Pusher, and Salt Prize winner in the flash fiction category Sarah-Clare Conlon, also the event’s host.

David Gaffney More Sawn Off Tales cover copy

Northern Lights Writers’ Conference welcomes Will Self

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT), in partnership with Manchester Literature Festival and supported by Arts Council England, is running a second Northern Lights Writers’ Conference on Saturday 25 October, 10.15am-4.30pm, at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale. The one-day event for emerging and established writers features talks, workshops and panel discussions with award-winning authors, acclaimed publicists and leading literary agents.

Following 2013’s successful Northern Lights – described by Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing as “A brilliant writers’ conference” and by The Art of Fiction blog as “A fascinating and stimulating day” – the theme of this year’s event is “making writing pay”. Hear how Orange Award for New Writers winner Joanna Kavenna and Canal Laureate Jo Bell make a living; get advice on fundraising from flash fiction writer David Gaffney; learn the secrets of marketing with Louise Rhind-Tutt (LRT Publicity), and join literary agents Juliet Pickering (Blake Friedmann) and Louise Lamont (LBA Books) for tips on finding representation. Northern Lights closes with a networking session when delegates can meet the speakers and writers, and this year’s keynote speech will be delivered by author and journalist Will Self.

Creative Industries Trafford Coordinator Richard Evans says: “We’re delighted to have such a great selection of speakers from the worlds of writing and publishing for this year’s conference, with support from our partners at Manchester Literature Festival. We’re building on the great success we had with the inaugural Northern Lights in 2013 and look forward to welcoming delegates to the newly refurbished Waterside Arts Centre which, alongside CIT, is celebrating its tenth year of operation in 2014.”

Tickets cost £30 for the day (£25 concessions), with an optional bagged lunch available for an extra £5, and can be booked in advance by calling the Waterside box office on 0161 912 5616 or by emailing info@creativeindustriestrafford.org. Full details of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference can be found on the CIT website: www.creativeindustriestrafford.org.

Will Self and Maglorian credit ChrisClose

(Photo: Chris Close)

Short Short Story Slam at Lancaster Litfest

After successful Short Short Story Slams in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Didsbury, writing collective Flashtag Manchester (comprising Sarah-Clare Conlon, David Hartley, Benjamin Judge, Tom Mason and Fat Roland) are taking their flash fiction fight to Lancaster.

The special LitFest slam takes place on Saturday 18 October, 8pm, at The Storey. It’s £4 (£2 concs) on the door for audience members; free for competitors. Brave writers do battle with short but sharp stories and the audience decides the winner. Cash and glory to be won. Blood and ink to be spilt.

“Unique and radical, a real stand-out event” – Didsbury Life.

“The Flashtag team were experts at wringing the maximum entertainment from the experience” – The Manchizzle.

Full details and how to sign up: http://www.shortshortstoryslam.co.uk

short short story slam lancaster litfest

David Gaffney’s Sawn-off Tales turned into artwork

As part of Manchester Literature Festival 2014, author David Gaffney has collaborated with “one of the city’s most keenly watched contemporary artists” (Manchester Evening News), Alison Erika Forde. Alison has responded to short-short stories from two of David’s critically acclaimed collections – his first, Sawn-off Tales, and his most recent, More Sawn-off Tales – creating a unique exhibition of paintings, Men Who Like Women Who Smell Of Their Jobs (The Lost Language Of Hairgrips, pictured).

The show runs from 1 October 2014 until 31 January 2015 at The John Rylands Library on Deansgate in Manchester city centre, with a free launch event on Thursday 9 October, 6-8.30pm. This special evening will feature an introduction to the work by Alison, a reading from David, performances by short fiction writers Socrates Adams (“impressive” – Huffington Post) and Anneliese Mackintosh (longlisted for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize and nominated for Edinburgh Book Festival’s First Book Award), and specially commissioned music based on the texts and artwork from electronic/ambient two-piece O>L>A (described by music site The Line of Best Fit as “simply beautiful, even breathtaking”).

Lost language of hairgrips

Short Short Story Slam

After the success of Manchester Northern Quarter’s first-ever Short Short Story Slam in April, writing collective Flashtag Manchester (comprising Sarah-Clare Conlon, David Hartley, Benjamin Judge, Tom Mason and Fat Roland) are bringing their flash fiction fight back to the bright lights of the city centre for a second bout.

The next slam takes place on Tuesday 8 July, 7.30pm, at Gullivers on Oldham Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It’s £1 on the door for audience members; free for competitors. Brave writers do battle with short but sharp stories and the audience decides the winner. Cash and glory to be won. Blood and ink to be spilt.

StorySlam

Kate Feld praised April’s Slam on her Guardian-endorsed blog The Manchizzle: “The Flashtag team were experts at wringing the maximum entertainment from the experience while also maintaining a friendly and supportive vibe throughout.”

Meanwhile, Simon Sylvester, winner of the Short Short Story Slam April 2014, and author of flash collection Marrow and brand-new novel The Visitors, said:  “I won’t forget the sense of community I experienced at the slam – an amazing crowd; events like the slam are a howl of affirmation that stories are alive and people are hungry to share them.”

Flashtag’s July Short Short Story Slam is now open for competitors to apply – slots are limited to 12 and are allocated on a first come-first served basis. Competitors are required to bring with them three separate stories of no more than 200 words each to read out in a maximum of three rounds (depending how far through the competition they progress!). Full entry details are at http://www.shortshortstoryslam.co.uk.

Flash fiction masterclass and competition

Micro-fiction trailblazer David Gaffney is running another of his ever-popular masterclasses in the form, at Creative Industries Trafford at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, near Manchester, on Wednesday 4 June, 1-4pm (£5; click here to book). David is the author of four critically acclaimed micro-fiction collections, including More Sawn-Off Tales, published last year through Salt Publishing and recommended by Johnny Vegas. The Guardian
 said: “One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others.”

David Gaffney More Sawn Off Tales cover

The workshop marks the launch of CIT’s second flash fiction competition, judged by David, and open to anyone over the age of 18 on Saturday 25 October 2014, when the winner will receive their prize of £50 book vouchers, at the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference 2014. CIT are looking for stories, in any genre and on any theme, of up to 500 words long. Entry is free and you may enter more than once. Submissions must be emailed, by 5pm on Monday 15th September 2014, to info@creativeindustriestrafford.org – full entry details are on the CIT website here.

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