Projects

 poor souls light coverPoor Souls’ Light: Seven Curious Tales
Poor Souls’ Light is the latest short fiction anthology published by Curious Tales. I contributed a story, ‘Dinner For One’, which was reprinted in the Big Issue. I was one of the co-editors and arranged a winter performance tour for the publication including events in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Art School and Lancaster Castle.  
The Poor Souls’ Light webpage is here.

The Babarrowrrow Rapture
I worked with Tom Fletcher, Brian Baker and Beth Ward on a collaborative, geolocated interactive story (or maybe a game?) set in Barrow-on-Furness. We’re developing the project with Tom Stables from 3ManFactory (who designs this website). You can enjoy the interactive fiction by clicking here.
This is a Curious Tales project.

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The Writing Squad: In The Bank
Over several weeks towards the start of 2014 I worked with a team of new writers from The Writing Squad and led a residency programme in HSBC bank, St Anne’s Square, Manchester. The project was supported by the Manchester Literature Festival.
You can read more about it here.


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The Longest Night: Five Curious Tales
In December 2013 I published, along with the writers Tom Fletcher, Richard Hirst, Alison Moore and Emma Jane Unsworth and the artist Beth Ward, a limited edition illustrated anthology of ghost stories written in the tradition of M. R. James. We accompanied the publication with a series of performances and readings throughout the North West, a launch at the Portico Library, an in-the-round performance at the Harris Museum and a candle-lit reading in a former morgue. The book sold out in three weeks.
You can visit The Longest Night website.


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Jerwood / Arvon Mentoring Scheme – 2014
As a regular Arvon tutor, this year I am delighted to be working more closely with three new writers, all working on novels, as part of the Jerwood  / Arvon mentoring scheme. This is an annual scheme which gives writers fully funded intensive mentoring, a masterclass Arvon week, a retreat week and professional support as they launch their careers as writers. 
More about the scheme here.


Station Stories
Developed by David Gaffney and The Hamilton Project, in partnership with the Bury Text Festival, six writers (me, Tom Fletcher, Peter Wild, Nicholas Royle, Tom Jenks and David Gaffney himself) wrote and performed six stories to a captive audience in Manchester Picadilly Train Station. This was one of the most rewarding and exciting projects I’ve worked on – possibly ever! 
To see some pictures, click here.

Manchester Letters
Manchester Letters
Sponsored by the Manchester Literature Festival and the Istanbul Tanpinar Festival, I participated in a bi-lingual exchange with the Turkish writer Nermin Yildirim. The project, conducted via letters which explored our writing, creative and cultural contexts, culminated in visits to Istanbul and Manchester. The letters can be read online in both Turkish and English here.

Bad Language
Bad Language at Manchester Museum
Funded by the Arts Council England, I worked with Helen Mort and the Manchester based writing development organisation Bad Language to develop new work inspired by Manchester Museum. This work was performed at a special event in the Living World gallery in August 2012.
There’s a great video of the readings which you can watch online.

Out on a Limb
Out on a Limb
Working with artist and project manager Elaine Speight, and funded by the Liverpool Biennial, I delivered a series of workshops to a group of beginner writers in The Wirral. Together they used blogging, scrapbooking and storytelling in order to examine The Wirral through a series of linked fictions.
You can read my project diary and find out more about the workshops by clicking here.

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Rainy City Stories – Writing and Place workshops.
Rainy City Stories is an ‘interactive literary cityscape’ by project editor Kate Feld and site designer Chris Horkan and works by geo-locating user-submitted stories on a map of Manchester. The site is funded by the Manchester Literature Festival’s Freeplay programme, which straddles the intersection of literature and technology. You can read my Rainy City Story, ‘I boycott American Apparel’ here. In May 2010 I was out and about at various locations in Greater Manchester teaching workshops on writing and place for Rainy City Stories.

Too Much Information
Too Much Information – a cynical spoken word entertainment
Jo Bell is a poet, poetry professional, blogger and performer extraordinaire. And then there’s me. We got together and combined her poems with my short fictions and created Too Much Information, a spoken word entertainment that takes a cynical look at love. And by ‘love’, we mean stalking, origami flowers, competitive wanking, bitter sex therapy, voices from beyond the grave, bin bags full of rotting leaves and a little bit more stalking. We’re doing shows during April May and June at the Kendal Brewery Arts Centre, Hexham Books Festival, Birmingham Books Festival and the Liverpool Bluecoat.

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Sidetrack – collaborative flash fiction at HMP Garth
Funded by the very excellent Writers in Prisons Network and working in collaboration with writer-in-residence and snappy dresser Jane Gallagher, I spent four months in and out of HMP Garth – a category B men’s prison in Leyland, Lancashire. I planned a series of workshops around the idea of fate, choice and what might have beens and using the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost as inspiration, helped an established creative writing group put together a group anthology of linked flash fictions and collage which they entered together for the 2010 Koestler Awards.

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Word Soup and the Lancashire Writing Hub
Working as an Associate Artist and then as the Writing Development Co-ordinator for Preston based arts development company They Eat Culture, I founded and developed Word Soup and the Lancashire Writing Hub. Word Soup is still going strong in Preston and elsewhere and features a monthly dose of the region’s best established and emerging writers including Steven Hall, Joe Stretch, Chris Killen, Sophie Hannah and Robert Shearman. You can see Word Soup performers in action at the Lancashire Writing Hub You Tube Channel – developed by poet and Hub volunteer Norman Hadley. You can get up to date with current events and network with the Lancashire literati by going to the Lancashire Writing hub site, here.