Altrincham Word Fest is a two-week celebration of writing taking place in the town this month. The aim is to inspire people to take up their pens – or their keyboards – to create their own great works of literature.

A series of creative workshops and events on offer include poetry, advice on how to get published, short stories, life writing, Manc Noir crime fiction and blogging.

And if you find the thought of writing daunting, start small. A flash fiction workshop with Manchester writer and master of the form David Gaffney will look at how to write the shortest of short stories, in just 150 words.

Full of practical exercises, this session will leave you wondering why anything has to be  longer than a side of A4.

Or be inspired at an evening with Dave Haslam. A DJ during the Hacienda’s headiest days, his memoir Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor documents his years at the iconic club and memories of the Manchester music scene with Tony Wilson, Terry Hall, Neneh Cherry, David Byrne and many more.

You can discover Alan Turing‘s Manchester with Jonathan Swinton.

His new book is about the Manchester that Turing experienced on his arrival in 1948 and what it was like to make new friends and lovers in the bombed-out, post-war city and its suburbs, including Altrincham.

Or learn how to write your own story with Kate Feld, whose workshop is suitable for total beginners and experienced writers alike.

You’ll be able to discuss examples of inspiring short-form memoir and personal essays, learn about different writing techniques and start work on a piece based on your own life experience.

You can also pick up tips from the king of ‘Manc Noir’ David Nolan, who will be discussing his career as a journalist, documentary maker and now writer of gripping Manchester based crime thriller, Black Moss.

Other highlights include an evening with Cath Staincliffe, creator of TV series Blue Murder and award winning writer of the Sal Kilkenny private eye series.

She will discuss her ‘life of crime’ and her latest novels which deal with issues such as transphobic hate crime and an adoption that goes very wrong indeed.

And for younger writers, poet and author Shirley May is running a poetry workshop is for young people aged between 16 and 21.

Shirley has worked for 25 years to promote a culture around performance poetry by mentoring and supporting new writers in schools and community groups.

Whatever you’re interested in, there are plenty of events during this two-week literary celebration to inspire the next generation of local writers.

Altrincham Word Fest runs from the 11th to the 26th of May 2019.

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