Word fest online

Programme 2020


Another Evening with author David Nolan

1st October (Thursday) 7:00-8:00 on Zoom

Local writer, broadcaster and ‘King of Manc Noir’, David Nolan, was a big hit last year when he discussed his first novel ‘Black Moss’ and his other writing with David Prior of Altrincham Today. David Nolan is back for 2020, this time to talk about his ‘difficult’ second novel. It’s finished but will it find a publisher? All will be revealed on the 1st of October! Free event. Register here

Carolyn O'Brien school visit

Historical fiction with Carolyn O’Brien, author of ‘Song of Peterloo’

2nd October (Friday) 7:00-8:00 on Zoom

Carolyn is an Altrincham resident and ‘The Song of Peterloo’ is her first novel. It was published last year, the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, and received great reviews. Carolyn will be reading from her novel and talking about researching and writing historical fiction. Free event. Register here.



Finding the Voice: poetry writing and performance with Reshma Ruia

3rd October (Saturday) 10:30-12:30 on Zoom

 Reshma Ruia is an award winning writer and poet, also a regular performer at spoken word events in the Manchester area. Her first novel, ‘Something Black in the Lentil Soup’, was described in the Sunday Times as ‘a gem of straight-faced comedy.’ Her writing has appeared in many publications and her stories have also been commissioned by and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A poem from her latest poem collection ‘A Dinner Party in the Home Counties’ will feature in the GCSE and A Level curriculum. In this writing workshop Reshma will help you to find your creative voice and prepare you for sharing your work with a larger audience. The workshop will employ writing prompts on a wide variety of poetic/short story themes. Reshma will discuss techniques used to enhance performance, such as intonation, tone, tempo, and volume. Tickets on Eventbrite here.

Neil Campbell


Writing workshop : ‘Autobiographical Fiction’ with Neil Campbell

3rd October (Saturday) 3:00-5:00 on Zoom

Neil Campbell is an acclaimed Manchester writer and creative writing lecturer who recently published ‘Lanyards’, the last in his Manchester trilogy. Neil’s novels are examples of autobiographical fiction and he will be delivering a workshop for writers interested in this genre. Tickets on Eventbrite here.

C. D. Rose


Dancing About Architecture-Writing through music, with C. D. Rose

4th October (Sunday) 2:00-4:00 on Zoom

 There’s an old saying (attributed to Frank Zappa, or Elvis Costello, or Thelonius Monk, or none ofthese people) which  goes ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ It doesn’t actually matter who said it, because it’s not true! Writing about music can be a wonderful thing, a pleasure as great as the music itself. This workshop will look at how it can be done. We’re not going to look at reviewing records (though that may be part of it), or remembering your favourite concerts (though that may be part of it, too), or musical analysis (though I wouldn’t entirely write that off, either) – we won’t be writing ‘about’ music, as such, but around it, or through it, or – even – against it. We will have a look at a few short texts, and you will have a go at a number of short activities – in prose and verse – to experiment with writing on music. You will get a chance to share what you come up with, and get suggestions on how it can be developed. Tickets on Eventbrite here.


Sarah-Clare Conlon landscape June 2017. By Gwen Riley Jones


An Evening of Flash Fiction with Sarah-Clare Conlon

6th October (Tuesday) 7:00-8:30 on Zoom

Sarah-Clare Conlon is writer-in-residence at Manchester’s Victoria Baths and an award-winning creator of flash fiction. Sarah-Clare will perform some of her short-short stories of no more than 500 words and invite the audience to share their own ‘micro’ writing. Free event. Register here.


Love Bites book pic


Writing on Music :Love Bites – An anthology of short stories inspired by Buzzcocks

8th October (Thursday) 7:00-8:30 on Zoom

Love Bites is a book which set out to be about the music of the Buzzcocks, but ended up becoming much more – it’s about growing up, getting old, being in love, being out of love, and the joy and mystery you can find in old 7 inch singles. It is fiercely experimental, and fantastically accessible. Love Bites will be our starting point for an evening discussing music, writing and everything else in between. Guest writers, Tom Jenks, Sarah-Clare Conlon will be talking about the role of music in their work, and reading excerpts. You are invited to bring along your own pieces from the Dancing About Architecture workshop

The evening will be hosted by author and Buzzcocks fan, C. D. Rose, who was the driving force behind ‘Love Bites’ an anthology of short stories inspired by Manchester band, ‘ Buzzcocks’. Free event. Register here.



Independent publisher week Online

End of October

High street bookshops are full of books from a small number of large mainstream publishers, most based in London. However, the North West is home to a great variety of small independent publishers producing great work by little known and emerging authors. Our independent publisher week will feature some of these smaller publishing houses for local people to discover fantastic work by them.