You Should Blog It! Blog Competition 2011

The Commonword blog is having its first ever competition, with not one but TWO £100 first prizes, for writers living or working in the North of England.

Commonword is North West England’s leading writing development agency and has launched the careers of dozens of writers. The blog site was created as a space for writers to get feedback on new work and work in progress.

The blog is free to join and is open to everyone. The competition is free to enter. It is, however, open only to writers living or working in the North of England.

We’re looking for the 6 best posts of the year – 3 winners in the first half of the year and 3 winners in the second half – which can be short fiction, poetry, autobiography, an excerpt from a novel – in fact any kind of writing that works on a blog.

Winners will receive £100 for first place, £50 for second place and £25 for third.

At the end of the competition an eBook of the shortlisted writing will be published by Commonword.

To be eligible for the competition you must:

  • Be a member of the Commonword blog (if you’re not already a member you can sign up for free by emailing us at
  • Live or work in the North of England
  • Must have made at least 5 useful comments on other writers’ work on the blog
  • Leave all your posts on the blog until the competition ends on 31 December 2011.

For full details of the competition click here

Windrush Drop In

Photographs from the Ghosts Drop In at the Windrush Centre. The food went down well! We made some particularly useful contacts and heard a lot about people’s lives and the history of the African Caribbean community in Manchester that will add significantly to the project.

Partnership And Prize To Encourage Diversity In Children’s Fiction

Commonword, Puffin Books and Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency (RCW) are pleased to announce a partnership for the Commonword Children’s Diversity Writing Prize, to be awarded annually from 2012. The prize will be the culmination of fortnightly Commonword writing workshops in Manchester and an annual Puffin and RCW-sponsored masterclass for budding writers who exhibit potential in children’s fiction writing for 7+ to teenage. The winning writer must embrace ethnic diversity either through their own ethnicity and culture and/or within their writing. The winning writer will receive a £500 cash prize, professional mentoring and £100 of Puffin books.

To read the full press release click below.

Commonword Children’s Diversity Prize

Love v Lust – The Tour

We’ll be publishing photos from all future events, so we thought we’d start off with a few photos from events in the last three or four years, to give you a flavour of what we do.

As a lot of our events are indoors in difficult conditions for photography (we tend not to use flash as it can be somewhat off putting for performers) we usually end up with a mixture of unphotoshopped and photoshopped images. Spot the difference!

These images are from the Love Versus Lust tour in 2007, with two teams of poets, one lust and one love, battling it out to win the audience vote. Love generally won, but then it usually does. So we’re told, anyway.

If you want to know a bit more about how the shows went there’s reviews and feedback on the Write Out Loud site here.

Ghosts Project – Volunteers Wanted

The Commonword Ghosts Projects is looking for volunteer interviewers. Ghosts is an Heritage Lottery Fund Project in Manchester centred on the Nile, Reno and PSV clubs that played a key role in bringing together as a community those people who migrated from the Caribbean to Manchester in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.

Volunteers will be paired with young people from the community and will gather anecdotal evidence and memoirs from elders in the Caribbean community. In order to facilitate this you will receive training in audio recording to ‘archives’ standard.

The project will go on to create a publication and website based on the material gathered, highlighting the origins of the modern Caribbean community in Manchester and the richness and diversity of its contribution to our civic history.

For further information please contact us at:


Tel: 0161 8323777