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Commonword is a writer development organisation based in Manchester, providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent and potential.


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Haram by Vijay Medtia

Posted on Feb 12 by

Vijay Medtia’s short story – Haram, has been accepted by Haram By Veijay Medtia The work began at the back of the house; the length and width measured and wooden pegs knocked into the ground. With a white can, we sprayed the lines so that the men could see where they had to dig. The access was difficult for a JCB machine and so this was going to be hard manual dig. One man rolled up his sleeves and spat into his hands, before he gripped the wooden handle of the pick. Lifting the pick back over his head, he brought the sharp metal point onto the ground and sunk it into the soil, loosening it. The other men now dug their shovels into the ground, scooping up the soil and filling a wheelbarrow.   The digging was going to take the best part of a week or so, and that was without hitting any difficulties. Mr Ali, a tall man with a black beard came out every morning at eight-thirty to chat with the men and to ask,...


Jennifer Makumbi New Story

Posted on Jan 7 by

As part of our forthcoming Surveillance anthology, If Africans Kicked Things Every Time They Got Frustrated is Jennifer’s latest short story. Working with the familiar background of displacement the story takes as its interest the community’s habit of watching and regulating itself, viewed through the eyes of a thirteen year old...


Tangled Roots

Posted on Sep 30 by

Unique Event Celebrates Manchester’s Mixed Race Families Tangled Roots comes to Manchester on 25th October offering FREE life writing workshop and FREE live performance On Saturday 25 October Tangled Roots is to stage a unique live theatre workshop and performance at Commonword and 3 Minute Theatre in Manchester. The event is in two parts: During the afternoon there is a free life-writing workshop at Commonword, led by life-writing expert Dr Katy Massey, PhD. The workshop will be followed in the evening by a live performance at 3MT by Tangled Roots writers and actors which focusses on the mixed race experience in Manchester. The writing workshop (2-5pm) is open to adults who wish to learn how to write about their own life experiences or anyone else’s. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE MIXED RACE TO ATTEND! The workshop themes will be “Home” and you must book your place at Eventbrite. The evening performance (7pm doors, 7.30-8.30pm show) is open to young people and adults (but is not suitable for under 12s). It is free and lasts approximately one hour. However,...


Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize 2014

Posted on Jul 2 by

Shortlisted entries for Commonword’s 2014 Diversity Writing for Children prize are:   Dale Hannah – The Multiple Lives of Haroon Patel Devon Black – Wild Isle Honey Stavonhagen – Hope Grayling, The Blind Detective Jenni Foley – Pufferfish Joanne Wesley-Williams – The Soul Child Extracts from the shortlisted entries will be posted shortly.  Go to the competition website       To find out more, visit the official prize website:   The Prize welcomes submissions from writers whose writing embraces ethnic diversity either through their own ethnicity and culture in their writing.   The winner’s prize will be as follows: £500 cash, to be paid by cheque. Professional mentoring will be from Catherine Pellegrino & Associates – this will consist of a full manuscript assessment and an initial meeting to discuss representation potential. There is no obligation for Catherine Pellegrino to agree to professionally represent the winner. Puffin books of the winner’s choice to the value of £100 (based on RRP). To be chosen from titles available on the website.   The runners up will be offered detailed...


Commonword Diversity Writing For Children 2013 Prize Winner Announced

Posted on Jan 25 by

Congratulations go to   Gill Haigh   for her novel Out of Water   winner of the Commonword Diversity Writing For Children Prize 2013   Commonword Children’s Diversity Prize_WINNER 2013_Press Release Final       The following entries were shortlisted, congratulations to all of them: Barefoot Target by Annie Giraud. Wallace’s Brat  by Milethia Thomas. The  Dodgettes  by Amma Priscilla  Mante. Out of Water by Gill Haigh. Shifting Sands by Deborah Cooper....


Extracts from the Writing for Children shortlist 2013

Posted on Nov 7 by

All extracts are works in progress. To view the extracts a PDF viewer is needed.   Gill Haigh – Out of Water WINNER   Amma Mante – The Dodgettes (shortlisted) Milethia Thomas -Wallace’s Brat (shortlisted) Deborah Cooper – Shifting Sands (shortlisted) Annie Giraud – Barefoot Target (shortlisted)    ...


6th Cultureword National Black Writers Conference

Posted on Mar 7 by

Saturday 24 March 2012 The 6th National Black Writers and Publishers conference: an informative and thought provoking day drawing on published writers and industry professionals from the UK’s most innovatory publishers and agents. Full programme for the day Tickets available from Quay Tickets Get an in-depth look at how key black and Asian writers got publishing deals, and how major spoken word artists developed their careers. The day’s programme includes panels, Q&A and informal ‘salon’ sessions looking at social media and writers, and Reading Habits of Writers, as well as lots of opportunities to network. Followed by an evening’s entertainment featuring the Speakeasy band, Young Authors and Poets and special guest Kei Miller. Find us on facebook here Venue: Zion Arts Centre 335 Stretford Road Hulme Manchester M15 5ZA Summary as follows: 11-12pm Spoken Word: What Next? The Way Forward Poetry Futures 12pm-1pm The Book is Dead. Long Live The E-Book Ebooks and social media 1pm – 2pm Salon Session Salon Host: Segun Lee French 2pm-3pm Writing For Children & Diversity: Why Are So Few BME Writers Published In...


How To Weave Time – Photos

Posted on Feb 3 by

The launch of Anwen Lewis’ debut collection of poetry How To Weave Time took place at the Green Room on 26th February 2011. There were two readings, both well attended and  well received. Anwen’s  reading told the story of how she found her birth family – and was given added poignancy by her younger brother, Chris Williams (who plays with Led Bib) accompanying her on saxophone and...