Autumn/Winter 2015

The 10th anniversary edition of Manchester Literature Festival was a grand affair that stretched through October into November and filled the city with an eyewateringly impressive slew of poets, fictioneers, short storyists and nonfictionistas. This year I hosted more events than ever before, including (deep breath) May-Lan Tan and Mai al-Nakib, Jami Attenberg and Liza Klaussman, doing three in a day at Rising Stars Day (Louise Stern/Benjamin Wood then Mary Costello/Stuart Evers then Sunjeev Sahota/Stephen Kelman), laughing to a borderline unprofessional extent onstage with Tim Key and Jesse Armstrong and hosting two more panels at the ace Northern Lights Writers’ Conference.

These were all wonderful. But my favourite event was the in-conversation with Carrie Brownstein (above), whom I have long loved in both her Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia incarnations. Her new memoir Hunger Makes me A Modern Girl (Virago) is astonishingly good and talking with her about writing, music and being a dork was heaven. I continue to be delighted that talking to interesting people about writing I love is my job.

Our Manchester creative nonfiction project The Real Story has been cracking along, with four live events this year and a move into posting audio of the stories we publish. I’ve also been reading my own work at events all over Manchester. I’ve had three stories published in Neon, a story published and recorded on MacGuffin, and a story included in the Tapes and Tales podcast. On the nonfiction side, I’ve had an essay published in Caught by the River and another is forthcoming from Litro. I was also featured in the first End of All Things podcast talking about nonfiction, women writers, writing about sex and making a living (or not) as a writer. You can listen here.

With all this creative writing my journalistic output has slowed down somewhat. I’ve recently ended my long association with Creative Tourist, a great publication which will, I hope, continue to prosper. I continue to write occasional food and drink columns and reviews for Time Out Manchester, however.

I’ve enjoyed lecturing at Salford University on the online journalism MA this semester, where we’ve been venturing into the outer limits of digital storytelling (and even took an actual ‘field trip’ to Pomona Island. ) I’ve got a couple of guest lecturing gigs coming up, discussing writing about place with MMU’s architecture students and visiting Edge Hill’s creative writing programme to preach the gospel of creative nonfiction.  Another thing I’m preaching about to anyone who will listen are some wonderful books I’ve read lately: Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett, I Love Dick by Chris Kraus and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Go read them. No really, I insist.

Spring/Summer 2015

It’s been a busy time. Yeah, I know I always say that.  But come on, really, cut me some slack here:  Check out this  rundown of some of the projects I’ve been working on in the last six months (plus.) (Oh god, has it been that long since I updated this?) (Yes.)

For my own writing it’s been a pretty eventful year: I’ve read short fiction and nonfiction at lots of live literature nights. I won the last  Flashtag Short Short Story Slam in Manchester. I was commissioned to write a shory story for the brilliant Re/Place project, about the  Longford Cinema in Stretford. And I was paid to perform my fiction for the first time  at the Royal Exchange as part of the Bad Language Special FX showcase.  Three of my flash stories will be published in Neon next month.

I’ve launched a new live creative nonfiction night in Manchester, The Real Story, in conjunction with co-editor Nija Dalal-Small. We’re hoping to raise the profile of the form a bit in the Northwest, and are working with some brilliant writers to polish pieces for performance and publication.

I’ve become an associate lecturer on the Digital Journalism MA at the University of Salford, and  will be a visiting lecturer on the  Creative Writing course at Edge Hill University on the subject of creative nonfiction.

I’ve continued to work with the mighty Manchester Literature Festival, doing a number of things including copywriting, social media, digital content and hosting events and talks with authors. Our tenth anniversary festival is coming up October 12-25, and it’s a corker.

I’ve appeared on panels at the Writer’s Toolkit writing conference in Birmingham and Page Talk young writers’ festival in the West Midlands, hosted the Northern Lights Writers Conference in Sale and spoken about careers in writing at The University of Cumbria.

I’ve delivered writing/social media workshops for Cancer Research UK,  Bolton @Home and Castlefield Gallery and I’m working on a series of flash fiction workshops for young people involved in the Text Adventure Time project taking place in libraries across the north. Here’s a blog post I wrote for that.

I continue to work as a freelance journalist, doing restaurant reviews and occasional features for Creative Tourist and have recently started writing a regular food and drink column for Time Out. I added Vice’s food site Munchies to my publication list, among other new clients. Here’s one of my favourite recent pieces: Ten things you learn when you move to Manchester. Yeah, it’s a listicle. I hate listicles, so I tried to make it as non-listicleish as I could. Did I mention I hate listicles?


Winter 2013/14

kate feld with neil gaiman

So I skipped summer again. I’ve just checked back through my archive and I haven’t managed to write a quarterly autumn update since 2009.  It’s no surprise given how busy my autumns usually are; most of the organisations, clients and projects I’m involved with have something big happening at that time. But it’s good to see that I’m being disorganised in a consistent way.

From Summer to Autumn was a big blur. We had the Manchester Literature Festival. I got to meet one of my literary heroes, Neil Gaiman, who was just as kind as he could be (that’s us up there. This is the only time I have ever had my photo taken with a famous person, and my friend Sarah Jane ambushed me into it, and I felt like a dork but I’m secretly glad she did). The Blog North Awards was capped off by a funny and moving new story from one of my favourite Manchester writers, Chris Killen. The literature fest was genuinely the biggest and best ever, and if you want to get a taster of what happened you can scroll through our little Storify page. For a more detailed account of what I actually do as MLF’s Digital Engagement Coordinator, here’s a case study about our digital marketing campaign.

Now, this time of year is my favourite. I can do stuff like attend conferences (like The Story in London next month), take online writing courses (thanks LitReactor) and plan and deliver a writer development programme for bloggers and emerging writers with Openstories. I’m working on that right now. The best bit is hearing all the good things that befell writers after winning Blog North Awards. Books published! Publishing houses started! Work commissioned! Ahhhh.

I’ve really enjoyed doing lots of work for the Arts Marketing Association on CultureHive, especially my latest project which has been to track down innovative thinkers working in libraries and get them to talk about the cool things they do, like putting books on bikes and lending out works of art.

I’ve done some social media strategy work for Greater Manchester Museums Group, who are about to launch an exciting project spreading the word about the treasures in our local museums called Our Connected History.

Openstories’ creative nonfiction project, The Real Story, has emerged from hibernation with Max Dunbar’s excellent essay about being institutionalised, Notes from the Smoking Garden.

My  workshops and speaking gigs have taken me  to Cardigan in Wales, where I led a blogging workshop at the gorgeous Do Lectures farm as part of their new workshops series, and vowed to return for Do Lectures one day. They do lots of interesting things, including publishing books. I had fun hosting and facilitating the Northern Lights Writers Conference in Sale. And I always enjoy hanging out at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, where I led a session on blogging and social media for artists as part of their CG Associates network.

Writing: My work for Creative Tourist lately has focused mainly on restaurant reviews (recent faves include Lucha Libre and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium), but I also enjoyed writing a profile of Cumbrian art world provocateurs Grizedale Arts. I’ve also had a small essay (essaylet?) published over at Contributoria, a newly-launched site that has a fresh approach to community supported journalism. It’s about fish and chips and becoming slightly more British.

On the horizon, I’ve got  blogging workshops with Cornerhouse’s Digital Reporters this week and in Chester for WayWord festival on February 18, a panel about careers in writing at the University of Cumbria later this spring, and the launch of an exciting new identity and website for Openstories crafted by the amazing folk at Mark Studio. Shhh.

Non-work things: I’m reading Angela Carter right now and am in awe of her sharp writing and sly humour. I’ve also read  two good nonfiction books, Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan and Gossip From the Forest by Sarah Maitland.  I also re-read some great music criticism:  In Love With Those Times: Flying Nun and The Dunedin Sound by Dave McGonigle writing in the sadly-long-departed Stylus in 2005. Clearly a labour of love, it uses the evolutionary theory of speciation to explain the way this genre emerged.Watched the first series of Girls which I hated at first but liked by the end. I’m apparently running a 10K in April. And I’m putting spicy red peppers on everything.

Summer 2013

DSC_0079As usual, I’m just getting around to writing this quarterly post at the turn of the season. The summer is most definitely over, and what a fantastic one we’ve had, with bountiful sunshine and lots of long, lazy days outside. We managed to get to Suffolk for a week just before school started, and fell in love with the utterly beautiful coast around Southwold. Now I’m ready for crackling fires, woolly jumpers and picking blackberries and apples to make into crumble. Bring on the fall!

Work-wise it’s been a pretty busy summer, dominated by the best Manchester International Festival yet, which I covered for Creative Tourist, and wrote about on my blog. In the end I think my favourite thing was The Old Woman. I really didn’t know what to expect from this play but the performance was electric, with Baryshnikov and Dafoe playing off against each other brilliantly.

I’ve now edited or written several pieces of content for the Arts Marketing Association’s free CultureHive resource site, all relating to best practice in Press and PR in arts marketing. You can read them over here. Just got a few left to finish, including a simple guide to blogging for cultural organisations and an interview with the folks behind MOMA’s excellent Open Space blog, so look out for those on the site soon.

I’ve been doing Digital Marketing work for Manchester Literature Festival, helping them launch a lovely new website and create a show-stopping brochure. I’ve set up a new blog for the organisation called Chapter & Verse, which is intended to be a little bit more of a year-round destination for literary news and happenings around Manchester, and in the run up to the festival will be featuring new content aimed at introducting the festival team and sharing what it is that we do all day. And during the festival (7-20 October) we’ll be drafing in a team of volunteer bloggers to write about MLF events. Can’t wait for it to get underway – the programme is especially good this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, Patrick Ness, Deborah Levy, Sarah Hall and Iain Sincair.

I’ve run successful blogging workshops at Castlefield Gallery and with Cornerhouse’s Digital Reporters group. And earlier this summer I ran a full day’s training on blogging for staff at the Bolton Museum, Library, Archives and Aquarium. This is a single glorious old building housing a bewildering array of services, artefacts and cultural programmes, and it’s entirely run by the council. It was inspiring to spend time with the staff, who are filled with enthusiasm about the work that they do. And I’ll get a chance to think about these things again this Autumn when I work on social media strategy for  a related Greater Manchester Museums Group initiative to spread the word about  the treasures that await in places like this.

I’ve done lots of writing for Creative Tourist on food and art. Some of my favourite pieces have been reviews of the awesome Aumbry in Prestwich, and BrewDog in Manchester. I’ve also written a couple of creative nonfiction essays which will be appearing in anthologies/online soon, but haven’t been published yet.

On the horizon is lots of work on the Blog North Awards. This week will consist almost entirely of reading blogs, as entries close this evening and I have to do the shortlisting, which I moan about a lot but secretly love doing. After that I’ve got to supervise the judging/public voting processes, and then it’s dragooning in readers and organising details for the big night.  The event is happening 16 October at Gorilla and should be great fun; come on down! Openstories (the literary organisation I run, which produces the Blog North Awards for MLF) was successful in getting grant funding for the awards that will also allow us to set up a small associated writer development programme, which is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while. So once the awards are over I’ll be doing a lot of work on that.

I’ll also be running blogging workshops in Manchester in early November and possibly in Cardigan later in the month; both being confirmed but will post links here and on Twitter when they’re live.

Finally, cool stuff I’ve discovered lately: The book Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, which also turned me on to ace publishers & Other Stories. Also Aeon magazine, and especially this tremendous essay Cities Belong to Us, on how we live in public space.  I’m also listening pretty much non-stop to the new Neko Case album, The worse things get the harder I fight, the harder I fight the more I love you. She’s coming to Manchester in December, too. Hooray!

Spring? 2013

3067353638_57112cda13_zIt may be mid-May, but is it really spring? There’s snow on the forecast as I write this. NOT FAIR.

So here’s my news. I’m running a blogging workshop at Castlefield Gallery on Tuesday 28 May at 6:30pm and at time of writing there are a few places left.  It’s for beginners and more experienced folks who are in need of some bloggy inspiration and guidance. For more info and booking head over here.

My work spreading the gospel of blog continues. Recent workshops  have included sessions with the Haelo team at Salford Royal Infirmary and for Creative Industries Trafford, as part of a course on social media marketing with the ace Mandy Martinez. Future plans include sessions for Bolton Library and Museum and a session specifically for artists at Castlefield Gallery (date tbc). If you’re interested in having me set up a workshop for your organisation, get in touch.

I’ll be doing digital marketing for the lovely Manchester Literature Festival. It’s a pretty spectacular programme with more than 80 (!) events this year so I should be pretty busy. Some of my favouritest writers ever are reading there and I wish I could tell you who and when, but you’ll all have to wait until the full programme gets announced in a month or so (bwa ha ha…)

The past couple of months have been very busy. On the Openstories front, we’ve submitted a bid to the Arts Council that would cover our literary activities for the next 18 months. We’ll need to keep shtum until we hear back on our grant (fingers crossed) but we have big plans for our old friend Rainy City Stories.

Planning is also underway for the 2013 Blog North Awards. Right now I’m currently talking to sponsors for this year’s event (email me for details if your company might be interested in being a sponsor. This year’s sponsorship package is pretty freaking awesome if I do say so myself.)

The Blog North Network’s fourth event, a food-centred gathering of bloggers in Leeds, was a big success, and I’m already planning the next one along with my co-conspirators Susie Stubbs and Emma Bearman. It’s going to have a feminist theme and will take place in  Manchester this Autumn.

I’ve been writing lots. Totally enjoying the food writing I’ve been doing for Creative Tourist lately, like this review of improbably-named Tex-Mex joint Luck Lust Liquor and Burn or this review of Simon Rogan’s new restaurant at The Midland, The French – a meal I’m still daydreaming about. I also enjoyed writing this profile of Manchester Art Gallery/Whitworth Gallery director Maria Balshaw .

And I’ve been reading some great books: The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken and my former professor Cynthia Zarin’s beautiful essay collection, An Enlarged Heart. Both highly recommended.

Image by The Giant Vermin via Flickr

Winter 2012/13


Once again, I’ve been so busy that a whole season has escaped me. Autumn 2012 whooshed past in a blur. It was a good kind of blur, with lots of interesting stuff happening inside it, but the blur didn’t leave much time for blogging. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to since last summer:

  • I organised the first ever Blog North Awards, which were a big success. We had 543 bloggers from across the land enter and ended up with a pretty amazing bunch of winners, who were revealed at a packed event during the Manchester Literature Festival, which featured readings that ranged from funny to touching, from thought-provoking to hell-raising. Basically, the whole experience reaffirmed my love for blogging and for doing the sometimes strange work I do spreading the gospel of BLOG.
  • I ran two all-day blogging workshops for the Arts Marketing Association in London and Birmingham. I met some lovely people, and everyone seemed to get a lot out of the day’s work. I even made them write in longhand but they were very good sports. Here’s some nice things they said about the workshop:

“Great blogging workshop with Kate Feld and the AMA yesterday. Feeling inspired – watch this space!”

“Buzzing with ideas after today’s ‘Art of Blogging’. Cheers for an insightful day!”

“Huge thanks to Kate Feld and the AMA for such a stimulating & inspiring training day on ‘the art of blogging’ today. Highly recommended.”

  • In February I ran a 2-hour workshop on Creative Nonfiction in Lancaster as part of Litfest’s fascinating Castle Park Stories project, which aims to uncover some of the hidden stories of this historic place and bring them to life. It was a great session with a really diverse and enthusiastic group of writers. And I got to revisit what is probably my favourite form of writing, the much misunderstood format of Creative Nonfiction, which I previously explored in The Real Story project. It’s inspired me to go back and read one of my favourite collections of reportage (Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. That’s him up there.)
  • I’ve recently moved to the post of contributing editor at Creative Tourist, as the ever-capable Susie Stubbs was ready to return to editing the site. While out of the role, she was busy overseeing a complete redesign of the site and a pretty exciting restructure of Creative Tourist generally. Once part of the Manchester Museums Consortium, it has now become an independent entity and has moved into new geographic areas, covering culture in Liverpool and Cumbria as well as Manchester. Another change is the creation of a cultural tourism consultancy firm, CT Consults, which I am now a part of along with the whole amazingly talented team behind Creative Tourist (go on, hire us!) I’m still writing a lot for the Creative Tourist site, and some of my favourite recent pieces include this review of the Jane and Louise Wilson exhibition at Whitworth Art Gallery, and this review of new Manchester restaurant Neighbourhood.

What am I working on now? Well I’m planning some more bloggy/literary events with Creative Industries Trafford and others. I’m helping sort out the next Blog North Network event (probably happening in Leeds, in April.) But now I’m mostly around talking to people about Rainy City Stories, Openstories’ Manchester-based writing project that is fixing to emerge from its long hibernation this spring. Planning and plotting; brainstorming, budgeting and grant writing.  All will be revealed soon.

Summer 2012

It’s been a busy (and wet) summer, but it hasn’t been all work around here, as you can see from this photo of St. Lunaire, Brittany. But when I haven’t been chasing my kids around tidepools, I’ve been busy working on a very big project. I started The Manchester Blog Awards seven years ago, and this year it becomes the Blog North Awards, in partnership with Creative Tourist, Leeds’ awesome Culture Vultures, and my own writing organisation Openstories. Entries are now open until 7 September at, we’ve lined up a gratifyingly awesome judging panel, and the winners will be revealed at an evening event 17 October at The Deaf Institute in Manchester, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. Between now and then I will be spending much of my free (hah!) time putting blogs into spreadsheets, reading blogs, longlisting and shortlisting. It’s a good thing I enjoy reading blogs so much, isn’t it?

In other news:

I’ve been asked to serve on the board of directors of a new digital publishing organisation that is currently in the planning stages. I can’t say much more than that right now, but I’m very excited about working with this group.

I’ll be teaching some blogging workshops targeted at arts organisations and  professionals for the Arts Marketing Association in London and Birmingham in early 2013. It’s early days, but the workshops are up on their website and booking already.

After a long break I’ve returned to writing restaurant reviews, for Creative Tourist’s newly expanded restaurant coverage, and I’m really enjoying it. Here’s one I recently did for The Alchemist New York Street. I’m still writing the (very occasional) post for Manchizzle, too, like this one about two new gastropubs in town.

I’ve read some great books this summer: Alice Munro’s The View from Castle Rock, John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and George RR Martin’s entire Game of Thrones series (read in a back-to-back frenzy) probably top the list.

Spring 2012

Hello! I’ve suddenly got lots of interesting things happening this spring. It’s so good to be getting out and about after the long dark winter, which is still looking very dark and glowery from where I’m sitting, but it surely can’t be here for much longer. Right?

Putting my Openstories hat on: On March 27th I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion about new writing communities at the National Association for Literature Development’s spring conference, The Space Between Us, at The Tabernacle in London. Really looking forward to this one; the two days of the conference are packed with interesting talks, workshops and readings. I’ve done a post on the NALD website on the topic of how working online has changed what writers and editors do.

I’m running another public session on The Art Of Blogging at Cornerhouse in Manchester on 17 April. Will add link as soon as the booking is up. I’ve also just done a mammoth new blogs update on Manchizzle. It’s great to see so many wonderful new Manchester blogs about.

I’m also reading my creative writing at the Prestiwch Festival on May 17 at The Church pub at 7:30pm – more details on that as I get them. Trying to decide between reading an essay or a short story, depends what’s ready first. (And if none of them are I shall be forced to stand and silently  stare at my shoes in public. Oh dear.)

Lots of exciting developments on the Creative Tourist front, but nothing I can share yet. In the meantime, I’ve been commissioning, editing and  even occasionally writing content for Manchester’s finest cultural web magazine. I really enjoyed doing this little piece about Manchester’s independent record shops, and this chat with artist Leo Fitzmaurice just before he won the Northern Art Prize.

I’ve also reviewed Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road over on the excellent For Books’ Sake blog.

Winter 2011/12

So we just went right from summer to winter? No, time doesn’t work differently in my world. It was such a busy autumn that I was ahem, remiss in updating this blog about what I’m up to at work. Because I was up to too much. Ah well, here I am now, with loads to catch you up on.

My main client, Creative Tourist, had a very busy few months programming, producing content and preparing for the 2011 Manchester Weekender festival, which was a roaring success. October’s always crazy in Manchester, what with five or six festivals sharing the city; The Weekender gets them all together for a few delightfully frantic days of cultural gluttony. This year, I especially loved Lip Service’s Hysterical Historical Walking Tour, the Manchester Camerata and poet Michael Symmons Roberts teaming up for A Portrait of Music and Words, and the Beating Wing Orchestra’s fantastic gig at Castlefield Gallery. For a great roundup of the festival, check out our Weekender page on Storify, a new multimedia curation tool I am loving right now.

I’ve also enjoyed doing some more writing for the Creative Tourist site, like this feature on the excellent Picturing Politics poster exhibition at People’s History Museum. In other news, I’m very happy that Susie Stubbs has  returned from maternity leave and is now sharing editor duties with me. It’s a wonderful project to be involved in, and there’s lots of great stuff planned for 2012.

Openstories, the literature organisation I run, also had a busy fall. Rainy City Stories, our long-running locative creative writing project, went on hiatus (sniff) so we could concentrate on The Real Story, a creative nonfiction project that will serve as our main focus for the next year or two. Over the summer we ran a very popular life writing course and a personal essay competition as part of the project. The five winners’ essays were published on The Real Story website, which launched with a reading at The Deaf Institute during the Manchester Literature Festival. I am proud to be publishing such a fine collection of essays, and am happily plotting our activity for 2012, which looks to feature more creative nonfiction workshops and another publishing project, very possibly focusing on long form narrative writing. I’ve also been reading lots of wonderful nonfiction; most recently Jackie Kay’s winning memoir Red Dust RoadIn Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction, and this amazing essay in The New York Times by Cynthia Zarin, one of my favourite professors at Columbia Journalism School. I can’t wait to read the book it’s extracted from.

Oh yeah. Openstories was profiled in a Blankpages feature about creative writing organisations in Manchester. Check it out here: it’s called A Community Speaks.

For the sixth year in a row I coordinated the Manchester Blog Awards in October, which attracted more than 200 entries and showcased a really engaging and wide-ranging group of blogs this year. The event, held in conjunction with The Real Story launch, went well and featured a very professional group of Manchester writers reading their work to an attentive, full-capacity crowd. I’m constantly amazed at how much writing talent there is in this city. Head here for links to the shortlisted and award-winning blogs, which cover everthing from short movie reviews to psychogeography to scary junk food.

I have developed a nice relationship with Cornerhouse, and will continue to work with their Digital Reporters training scheme delivering regular sessions on blogging. I also ran a sold-out workshop for the general public called The Art of Blogging, and have plans to do a similar one there in the new year. Follow me on Twitter (@katefeld) if you want to hear about this one in time to get tickets!

I’m not actively seeking new clients for major (ie long-term and time-consuming) projects as I’m currently working just two days a week, but if you have a short term project you’d like to get me involved in, get in touch. I’ll be back on here in the spring with another update. Well, unless I don’t manage to get on here until summer. That could happen, I suppose.

All best wishes for a joyous 2012.

– Kate

Summer 2011

Hello and happy summer. The big news is that Openstories, the nonprofit arts group I run with Chris Horkan and Cathy Bolton, has launched a new project. The Real Story is a celebration of creative nonfiction, and will publish new writing in the genre on a website to be launched at Manchester Literature Festival 2011. We’re kicking things off with a life writing workshop I’m teaching at City Library July 30, and a writing competition that closes at the end of August. I’m really happy to be doing this project, I’ve been interested in creative nonfiction for a very long time, and have been lucky enough to do some work with Lancaster Litfest that has expanded my love for this under-appreciated field of writing.

The Manchester International Festival is just starting, and I’m gearing up to do a ton of blogging and livetweeting about this year’s jam-packed programme. I’m most excited about Bjork and Music Boxes going in, but if this year’s anything like previous fests, it’s often something unexpected that turns out to be your favourite.

Creative Tourist has been busy – our brand new family city guide, Six Whole Weeks? is online now, stuffed with great things to do over the summer in Manchester. It was a lot of fun to write and research this one (thanks to my daughters Molly and Bella, who should probably share research credit.) Work is already underway on CT’s Manchester Weekender, a full weekend of amazingly cool stuff that happens when five festivals concurrently going on in the city overlap and cross-pollinate.

I recently moderated a panel about approaching agents and publishers for Creative Industries Trafford. We had a full house and the event went very smoothly, thanks to our lovely panellists Oli Munson, Sophie Buchan and John Jarrold who came up from London to give Manchester writers some very sound advice.