Literature in Manchester
Manchester has a rich and thriving literary tradition.
MediaCity, the new home of the BBC is four stops on the tram from Piccadilly and looks like a mini-Shanghai. There is the Manchester Museum of Art, and the Whitworth Gallery if you enjoy art.
Manchester is a great city for music. From the University's own venue the Academy, to the Apollo half a mile away from the Learning Commons, to the pubs around Oxford Road station to the Northern quarter, the Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall, music is everywhere.
But the city of Manchester also has a rich and thriving literary tradition.
Below you'll find a wealth of places, people, publishers, traditions and resources that are helpful to know about if you write, research or just love books.
Each autumn, the biggest and newest names in writing give readings, talks, tours and workshops across various Manchester venues.
Bad Language is a twice Saboteur Award-winning spoken word night based in the Northern Quarter dedicated to live poetry and fiction.
Verbose is a spoken word night that takes place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow Cafe, featuring three headliners and ten open mic slots.
Still in its original 1806 building, the Portico Library and Gallery celebrates both the historic and contemporary culture of Manchester, welcoming the public, researchers and members to its unique 19th century book collection and 21st century literary, scientific, educational and artistic events and exhibitions.
International Anthony Burgess International Foundation
Established in 2003 by Liana Burgess (1929-2007), and directed by Dr Alan Roughley between 2003 and 2010, the Burgess Foundation is an entirely independent charity that welcomes all individuals and institutions interested in Burgess’s work.
Elizabeth Gaskell's House
This museum devoted to the work of the woman whose novels brought Manchester and its crushing poverty to life houses the Gaskell library.
One of the most influential small theatres in Britain, since 1999 focusing on theatrical and multidisciplinary work for young audiences. Part of the University complex.
Chetham's Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It is a national treasure, preserving books dating back to the 17th century. It is technically free of charge to use, but a donation is suggested.
The Royal Exchange Theatre
Plays staged in a framework structure in the middle of the old Cotton Exchange, which is worth a visit in itself.
A great bookshop, fine art exhibitions and every interesting new movie release. HOME houses five cinemas, two theatres and a large gallery space. A merger of former organisations Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, HOME was officially opened to the public by patron Danny Boyle in May 2015.
Publishers, prizes and collectives
Not just a Manchester institution, this publishing company is a national resource for the publication of poetry, and texts about poetry.
Comma Press is a not-for-profit publishing initiative dedicated to promoting and developing new writing (within and beyond formal educational settings), with an emphasis on short narrative forms.
Commonword is a writing development organisation based in Manchester, providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent and potential.
Here be Dragons ... and novels, anthologies and conference papers - any thing to do with the gothic, the fantastic or the subliminally uncanny. This local publisher enlivens Manchester life with conferences on Alice, Oz, and soon to come true crime and 1980s film. They also publish Manchester Alumni Beth Daley's latest novel.
Manchester Blog Awards
The Manchester Blog Awards were established in 2006 in response to the growing numbers of writers, artists and photographers in the Manchester who use blogs to publish their work online.
Blank Media Collective
Blank Media Collective is a not-for-profit arts organisation that seeks out emerging artists, supports them and shares their work with the wider Manchester community. It publishes fiction on its website and organizes exhibitions, workshops and live events at its creative hub BLANKSPACE at 43 Hulme Street or at other Manchester venues.