Monday, July 23, 2007


The nomination period is now open for the

2007 Manchester Blog Awards.

Cash prizes will be awarded in five categories: political blog, personal blog, arts and culture blog, best new blog and a new category recognising the best creative writing on a blog.

To nominate blogs, send URLs for one entry in each category to mancblogawards at by September 7th 2007. (In order to qualify, writers of the blogs must live within reasonable commuting distance of Manchester. And yes, you can nominate your own blog. ) Manchester Blog Awards Director Kate Feld (The Manchizzle) will draw up a shortlist after the close of the nominating period, and the winners will be selected by a judging panel that will include Richard Fair of BBC Manchester and Dave Carter of Manchester Digital Development Agency.

The winners will be announced at:

The Manchester Blog Awards 2007
at MohoLive, Oldham Street
on 7pm Wednesday 10th October

Last year’s event was such a hit, we’ve decided to get bigger and better for 2007. We’ve organised a star-studded gala affair in the brand new MohoLive venue on Oldham Street. The evening will be a riotous celebration of new and engaging online writing, with readings from Manchester bloggers and music from the city’s mp3 bloggers.

We’re delighted to be able to host a reading from blogger and MMU graduate Caroline Smailes, whose debut novel, In Search of Adam, was recently published by Friday Fiction, the new fiction imprint from The Friday Project, the innovative publishing company that specialises in putting blogs in print. Caroline’s blog was hugely instrumental in getting her book published, and we’ll talk to her about that too.

Manchester writer and blogger Elizabeth Baines (The Tart of Fiction / Fictionbitch) will be reading the final installment of her Festival commissioned Blog Story, What Would You Do?, a tale set in Manchester that she’ll be writing in six sequential posts on a blog – with readers voting on what turn the plot should take. To find out more about this project, visit

The Manchester Blog Awards is a free event, but please book tickets in advance. The Manchester Literature Festival box office goes live mid-August. To book tickets,
Call: 0870 428 0785 or book online:

Get Blogging Workshops

This year, Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Digital Development Agency are also delighted to offer two blogging workshops on Saturday 29th September:

Blogging for Writers 11 am -1 pm
With writer and blogger Elizabeth Baines and Kate Feld of The Manchizzle
Putting your work online gives you a chance to flex your creative muscles and reach a whole new readership. This workshop aimed at writers will take participants through starting a blog; explore fiction, poetry and nonfiction blogs; and look at how some writers have used blogging to their best advantage.

So You Wanna be a Blogstar? 2 – 4 pm
With Kate Feld of The Manchizzle and and Chris Horkan of Mancubist.
What makes a blog work? In this workshop, we’ll look at the elements that go into successful blogs, and discuss the finer points of style, design, focus, and attracting readers. Perfect for a blogger or aspiring blogger who’s familiar with the basics but needs a little inspiration.

Workshops will be held at MDDA, Portland Street, £2. Computer stations and wireless internet available. Each workshop limited to ten, so book early. The Manchester Literature Festival box office goes live mid-August. To book tickets, Call: 0870 428 0785 or book online:

To find out more visit the MLF website at; or The Manchizzle blog at Contact Kate Feld, on 07960 285891, or via email: kate.feld at

Manchester Blog Awards is supported by the Manchester Digital Development Agency and is part of the Manchester Literature Festival, October 4-14 2007.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Urban Myths Re-told

Manchester Literature Festival is pleased to announce the launch of this national flash fiction writing competition and performance installation project, coordinated in association with Urbis and the Interactive Arts Course at MMU.

We are inviting submissions of micro fictions that tell or retell an urban myth. The micro fiction or flash fiction genre forces writers to dispense with the excessive, superfluous and unnecessary elements to convey a succinct idea or story. This format is particularly suited to the Chinese-whisper characteristic of Urban Myths, where partial truths are laced with fantasy as they pass from teller to teller. We invite you to create your own version of what happens in the dark alleys and night clubs of cities and towns. You can use horror, science fiction or comedy to pack your punch.

You can submit up to five short fiction works of no longer than 250 words each on the theme of Urban Myths. Participants can be any age, and must live in the UK. Entries will be accepted in hard copy by mail only (see details below). All entries must be accompanied by a covering page which details the writer’s name, mobile phone number, email address and mailing address in order to be eligible.

The deadline for entries is Friday August 17th at 5pm. The submissions will then be judged by a literary panel including Katherine Beacon (BBC writersroom) and flash fiction author, David Gaffney, who will select the ten strongest entries. Students from the Interactive Arts degree at MMU will then interpret the successful ten flash fiction pieces and use the work as inspiration for the creation of new artworks in various genres (i.e. film, photography, sculpture, performance). This will result in a promenade performance installation piece, featuring all of the successful selections of micro-stories as interpreted by the Interactive Arts students.

The event will take place at Urbis on October 11th at 6pm as part of the Manchester Literature Festival 2007. The audience will be led around the Urbis building as darkness falls…. and the Urban Myths are re-told again.

The overall winner of the competition will receive a complimentary night for two, including dinner, bed & breakfast, in one of City Inn’s stylish contemporary hotels. City Inn is the hotel partner for Manchester Literature Festival. Check out their website for hotel details: and watch this space for special deals for festival goers to be announced in August. (* This prize is subject to terms and conditions.)


Writers are asked to submit their flash fiction works by sending them along with a covering page detailing their name, mobile phone contact details, email address and mailing address.
Please post to:

Creative Programmes
Cathedral Gardens
Manchester M4 3BG