2020 Programme


Writing workshop ‘Food in Fiction: Writing for the Senses’ with Lara Williams

Lara Williams is a novelist and freelance writer. Lara’s novel ‘Supper Club’ was published in 2019 and won The Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’. The novel explores the dynamics of female friendship, anger, loneliness, food and eating. Lara will be delivering a writing workshop called ‘Food in FIction: Writing for the Senses’, giving an insight into writing with an authentic sensuality.

 Independent publishers book fair   

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 book fair will provide an opportunity for local people to discover fantastic work by the poets, short story writers and novelists who are championed by these smaller publishing houses.

 ‘Autistic and Unapologetic’ with James Sinclair

James Sinclair is an autism advocate and blogger. James is an influential voice for adults with autism and often speaks at literary and scholarly events , including the University of Cambridge. James will be talking about the extraordinary strengths that some people with autism may have and about his own journey and his blog, ‘Autistic & Unapologetic’, an autism awareness website.

  Another Evening with author David Nolan

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. The two Davids are back for 2020, this time to talk about David Nolan’s ‘difficult’ second novel. It’s finished but will it find a publisher? All will be revealed on the 5th of May!

‘Song of Peterloo’ Author’s talk with Carolyn O’Brien

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.

An Evening of Flash Fiction with Sarah-Clare Conlon

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.

‘Shining Molly: The Ten Loves of Molly Harrower’  with Jonathan Swinton, Emma Anderson and Whatsthesketch

Dr Molly Harrower was a free-spirited psychologist and poet who was a pioneer in clinical psychology. Her private life was no less fascinating. Jonathan Swinton and Emma Anderson have trawled the archives relating to Molly’s life and career. This dramatised reading of her letters was created with Altrincham’s own ‘Whatstheketch’ and it provides an insight into a life full of complicated and passionate relationships between Molly and a cast of real-life characters.

 ‘Starve Acre” with Andrew Michael Hurley

Andrew Michael Hurley is a novelist in the increasingly popular folk horror genre. His novels include ‘The Loney’ – winner of the 2015 Costa Prize for a first novel – and ‘Starve Acre’. Andrew is based in the North West and he’s going to  talk about his novels and their deep connection to place.

 ‘Manchester’s Lost District’ with Keith Warrender

The Arndale was built in the 1970s, replacing a warren of streets largely unchanged since the 1700s. Keith will be talking about his book and about the Manchester hidden behind the city’s modern façade.

 ‘Love Bites’ – An anthology of short stories inspired by Buzzcocks

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’. He will be reading stories from the anthology and inviting audience members to share their own stories of this iconic band.

Writing workshop : ‘Autobiographical Fiction’ with Neil Campbell

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.

 Writing workshop ‘Writing for Mental Health’ with Jane Bradley

Jane Clare Bradley, writer, poet and therapist worked with us last year on a spoken word event ‘That’s What She Said’. This year Jane will be delivering a workshop on how writing can support mental health.

 Poetry/Short story workshop for Performance with Reshma Ruia

Reshma Ruia is a published poet and short story writer. Reshma is a regular performer at spoken word events in the Manchester area and also an editor of online literature journal This writing workshop 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.