10 May 2019

It's all going swimmingly

Got to say, 2019 is panning out quite nicely, creativity wise. My secret New Year's Resolution to try and write and submit pieces every month isn't going so badly, and as well as finding a home for a 250-word short-short story Feet In A Yard in the lovely-looking anthology Story Cities, out next month on Arachne Press (with a launch event at the shiny new Manchester Blackwell's bookshop on 27 June), a longer piece, possibly even creative nonfiction, The General Synopsis At Midday, harking back to life on yacht Hedhyu as we traversed the Irish Sea, has made its way into Dunlin Press's upcoming Port collection of poetry, prose, paintings and beyond.

Sticking with the water theme, and remember that funding application I mentioned earlier in the year? Well, I'm over the moon to say that it was successful, so now I'm immersed in a new role as Writer-in-Residence at Victoria Baths. As part of this (but not exclusively - more on life as a Writer-in-Residence very soon... watch this space!), I'm helping to put together the first-ever Weekend of Words festival, running over three days from 7 to 9 June 2019. (What the heck, read my write-up for Creative Tourist here.) As well as inviting some great writers on board to run writing workshops in flash fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction on Saturday morning and join the Poetry Panel on Saturday afternoon, I've also had the privilege, once again, to commission brand-new stories in the third iteration of the Re/Place project, to be performed on Saturday evening. 

Re/Place(s) - with "s" for "swimming" - invites you to dive into the public places and secret spaces of Manchester’s Water Palace via six specially commissioned site-specific short stories performed by established and emerging writers against a backdrop of magical projections. Alongside me, there's: Kate Feld, recently spotted in Jon McGregor's The Letters Page and also Hotel, no less; David Gaffney, currently polishing his third novel and working on his second graphic novel with comic book artist Dan Berry; Phil Olsen, the brand-new Fiction Editor of Sabotage Reviews (so be nice to him); Joe Stretch, whose third novel The Adult won the Somerset Maugham Award and who's working on his fourth, he tells me, and Lara Williams, the author of short story collection Treats and also the novel Supper Club, which is due for UK release in July with a very snappy cover. 

Grab a drink and a deckchair and enjoy the evening! I'm planning some surprises, but I'm hoping it will be ace anyway - and, let's face it, sitting in a swimming pool is pretty special.

More details of the event and info about the contributors over on the Re/Place website here, and - roll up, roll up! - get your tickets here.

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