Ahoy there, writing and reading chums. Here's the latest update of reading and writing stuff around and about the merry town of Manchester.
Firstly upcoming events...
It's been promised for a while, and I finally have confirmation that UNSUNG will be holding the launch event for issue 6 on Monday 14 March at 8pm in the Thirsty Scholar. It's two quid on the door, you get a copy of the mag and there are more details on Facebook here.
If your stomping ground is south of the city, there's a new 10-week creative writing course (with an accredited teacher, no less) starting up soon at trendy-old-record-shop-cum-cafe ON THE CORNER on Beech Road in Chorlton. Sessions cost £6 each and take place 6-8pm from Thursday 24 March. Booking is advised: call 0161 881 4841 or drop in to On The Corner (formally Kiss My Feet) to book.
Next up, the BLANK MEDIA COLLECTIVE are running In_Tuition, weekly discussions and workshops open to all creative types based in the North West, at the newly opened BlankSpace in town. The second Tuesday of the month (so I'm guessing it starts on Tuesday 8 March), 6.30-8.30pm, is dedicated to literature and creative writing. "Informal and relaxed discussions of technique in poetry, prose, scripts [...] will mix with debate around contemporary and classic stylings from particular authors and publications of interest. The sessions will incorporate a constructive criticism session of original work from participants within the group." Recommended donation is £1.50 and rumour has it tea and cake will be served. Full details are on the website here or in the latest issue of Blank Pages, a copy of which you can download online here.
Now submissions news...
The aforementioned BLANK PAGES are currently looking for submissions. If you are a writer of poetry (up to 60 lines per poem) or short fiction (1,500-2,500 words), send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any themes are considered; full submission guidelines are here.
Matthew Hull of Blank Pages fame (you may remember him from such Manchester-based publications as Creative Tourist and Bewilderbliss) has yet another new venture feather in his cap, as the editor of IT'S GETTING WORSE. It’s Getting Worse is, and I quote, "a new home for creative cultural commentary". If you’ve got an idea for a feature and you’d like to become a contributor, email email@example.com. Benjamin Judge (you may remember him from such fabulous creations as Ask Ben & Clare and Roy Keane's Lucky Scarf) did.
NEW WRITING DUNDEE, an internationally focused anthology, is inviting submissions for its sixth issue (stories 2,000 words max; poems 25 lines max): the deadline is 2 April. All the ins and outs of what you need to send are on the Literary Dundee website here.
Finally, fun things...
YET TO BE BOOKS is an "online group to read and chat about unpublished but finished books", co-run by local lass Sian Cummins, a well-deserved gong-winner in the most recent Oxfam Short Story Competition. If you leave a comment on the Yet To Be Books blog before 10 March, you will a) be privy to some great new writing and b) be in the running to win the US version of Chris Killen's fantastic debut novel, The Bird Room. Read more here.
COMMONWORD have a Best of Blog Competition 2011 on the go for writers living or working in the North of England. The first round runs until 30 June and will be judged by Shamshad Khan (the second round runs 1 July to 31 December 2011), with winnings of £100 first prize, £50 second and £25 third up for grabs. You need to sign up to the Commonword Blog, which is a "blogspace for placing your creative writing and inviting feedback on it", leave at least five useful comments on other writers’ work and, obviously, post some of your own stuff. "Posts can be of short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, autobiography, excerpts from a novel, a traditional blog post – in fact any kind of writing that works on the blog." Check the conditions here.