Category Archives: CREATIVE CORNER…

The M20 Collective X-mas no. 1 competition with ALL.fm, is back!

Winter is here and Christmas is coming. As the dark winter evenings set in, we all find ourselves looking for things to do with our time (don’t we?). The festive season can often be repetitive; the annoying same ol’ same ol’ especially when it comes to crimbo tunes. So, we’d like to spark some creativity again this year in the name of original music and community collaboration.

We’re going to push a local X-mas no.1! All you need to do is create an original X-mas song and submit it to us for the chance to sing LIVE on local radio station All.fm. This can be comedic, cynical, jolly or otherwise as long as its to do with christmas. The more unique the better, but we’re also looking to make connections with some really great local talent with this opportunity.

Submissions open 21st November 2016 – so get writing!

Terms and conditions do apply as follows: Continue reading The M20 Collective X-mas no. 1 competition with ALL.fm, is back!

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Manchester Literature: David Hartley’s Spiderseed

Manchester is in need of more literature power houses and look-y here, a new one has sprung. This piece by Alex Webb describes the story of Sleep House Press’s latest release by David Hartley

Just over a year ago I sat down with David Hartley to talk about the Manchester writing scene and his first flash fiction collection Threshold. This February sees the release of Hartley’s third flash fiction collection, Spiderseed, and it is an incredible piece of work! This latest release is fully illustrated by the outstanding Emily Ingle, a local writer and illustrator. I was lucky enough to sit down with Hartley again to discuss the journey from Threshold to Spiderseed and the way his writing has changed since we last spoke.

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The collection is named after one of the stories, it came about after he saw a submission call out for Re:Imaginings where he saw an image of ‘branches of a tree that looked like spiders were emerging from them’. Hartley worked this image into a story about seeds that ‘grow trees that produce animals instead of fruit’ and it eventually became ‘Spiderseed’. For anyone who has read Threshold, this origin story will come as no surprise as Hartley has always been an expert at winding the unhinged and the uncanny into the worlds he creates. Whilst both Threshold and Spiderseed give an eerie sense of unease, the former did so by poking fun at superstition whilst the latter is more focused on nature.

What is creepy about nature? What is there to be afraid of? How can it take advantage of us? These are key questions to ask yourself before embarking on your journey into Spiderseed. When I asked Hartley about this transition, he stated ‘I’ve been writing a lot about animals in the past few years. Some of the shorter pieces that have come out of this impulse have ended up in the collection’ such as ‘Trails’ (a personal favourite of mine which sees slugs gather insects to make one unfortunate home-owner suffer). Some of these darker stories stem from his time as a volunteer with the Manchester & Salford RSPCA where Hartley got a clearer insight into how animals are treated. This ‘messy, complex and frustrating situation’ led Hartley to write more and more about the topic, culminating in Spiderseed.

The realm of Spiderseed is best described by Hartley who calls it ‘inherently weird, without being too weird. Of course “spiderseeds” don’t exist but they sound like they could’ve done, somehow, somewhere’. This sense of unreality is best seen in ‘The Librarian’ which sees the titular man turn his library into a time machine. Hartley’s unique narrative brings every aspect of the time machine to life, you can almost smell the old books as you follow the librarian on their next twisted adventure. When asked how he manages to breathe life into his work Hartley noted that the influence of Manchester in Spiderseed, whilst not as obvious as in Threshold, is undeniable. The difference comes about as in Spiderseed Manchester is not the backdrop for these tales and misfortunes, but their catalyst.

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     (Dave Hartley Above)

Manchester is a ‘curious, mercurial sort of place’ says Hartley. ‘In the guts of the city it can get labyrinthine, the cobbles are soaked in shadows and histories but that same ground is incredibly fertile, especially for the creative industries’. It is this rich bed of creativity that developed the ‘weird, nightmarish and urban’ world of Spiderseed, and the frequent intrusion of the natural world as backdrops that ‘somehow tie everything together and keep it all from collapsing’. However, the city was not the only ingredient in concocting the cast of twisted characters. The Manchester literature scene with all its characters was fundamental to writing Spiderseed. Hartley says that this collection was ‘tested out on spoken word stages, particularly Bad Language and First Draft’.

Discussing what he did differently with Spiderseed compared to Threshold Hartley says ‘it’s not an exact science, but I certainly get a better feel for a flash fiction piece when I’ve road-tested it on a spoken word stage a few times. I owe a heck of a lot to this city and its creatives’. This is testimony for Manchester’s literature scene. Hartley gave a huge thanks to his writing group for testing and developing his style. Some of the pieces in Spiderseed come with a more performative aspect which Hartley credits to Bad Language’s Fat Roland, ‘the master of prop usage and stage littering’. Another key influence is David Gaffney (one half of the hilariously unsettling Les Malheureux) and his flash fictions which have left Hartley eager to ‘emulate the precision and economy of the best Gaffney stories’.

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Moving away from his influences, I spoke to Hartley about the actual process of writing Spiderseed and how this differed from Threshold. ‘The process is more fine-tuned and I’m not as precious as I used to be’, says Hartley, ‘if a story hasn’t worked I’m much happier to ditch it and move onto something new, I’m slightly less concerned about experimentation and more with story and truthfulness now I think’. In Spiderseed there is more a direct connection with the stories, giving a clearer message to be heard/read by the audience. Even the more ridiculous stories, such as ‘Most Haunted’, ‘have something to say about various evils, even if that’s not immediately obvious’. This is what is so strong about Hartley’s new collection. In the world he has constructed things are not always what they seem, your first visit to Spiderseed will be nothing like your next. However, you will keep coming back for more.

Spiderseed is out on 25th February, published by Sleepy House Press and fully illustrated by the outstanding Emily Ingle. Check out Sleepy House Press’ Facebook page for details.Like Sleepy House Press on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SleepyHousePress/?fref=ts

Follow David Hartley on twitter: https://twitter.com/DHartleyWriter

Check out the launch party for Spiderseed: https://www.facebook.com/events/1515540278750798/

Story told by Alex Webb

JOIN THE BBC THREE PLAYGROUND

BBC3 and Latimer are looking for you creative lot to get involved with this exciting collaborative project. M20 collective love this idea and are supporting the project by giving our followers the news. The team at Lorimer got in touch so we could spread the word on how to get involved, its your last chance with 48 HOURS TO GO. So read below to find out more and show them what Manchester have to offer!

It’s time to have fun and #JoinThePlayground.

Are you eager to have your voice heard, ideas seen and the chance to get your content commissioned? Then you need to #JoinThePlayground. The Playground is BBC Three and Latimer’s pioneering creative network, set up to help young creatives, all sorts of talents included, develop their work and put it out for the world to see.

In the Playground you’ll be set weekly live briefs based on content broadcast on BBC Three, to which you should respond with complete creative freedom. Upon receipt of your content, you will get weekly feedback from BBC Three and Latimer.

So, whatever your talent may be, we’re looking for it:

Film
Fashion
Comedy
Music
Tech
Design
Content creation
Writing

and everything in between!

If your application is successful, you will gain unprecedented access to a national youth network of brilliant young minds, have the chance to be mentored by industry professionals, and get your voice heard, all whilst co-creating the future of content for BBC Three.

We welcome applications from young people from all social and economic backgrounds, regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation or religion we want to hear from you. So if you think you can rise to the challenge, the gates are now open for YOU to share your ideas and get the feedback and creative mentorship you deserve.

To apply, please send an email with the following:

Name

Age

Gender

Location

Main interests

Ethnicity 

Social media

Contact number

We also require a response to one simple but open-ended phrase:

“I am me because…”

You have creative control over how you respond to the statement above – we want to see videos, photos, print designs, the whole sha-bang. So think big, creative and surprise us!

Send applications to talent@latimergroup.org

You must be between the ages of 16-25 and based in the UK.
Application deadline: 18th December 2015

If you are successful you will be required to attend an exclusive launch event at the BBC in London on Monday 11th January.

M20 Christmas Song competition with all.fm

Every year we hear the same songs over and over again, so maybe it’s about time we started to get creative with Christmas. We’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit by trying to invoke come creativity in the local people…

…so we’re running a Christmas song competition in collaboration with all.fm!

This is your chance to write your very own Christmas song and have it played on local radio.

Song brief:

  • The song can be comical, cynical, melancholy or just pure joyful, but most of all original.
  • It could be drum and bass, folk or reggae…whatever you feel!
  • Song must be 2-3 minutes long
  • Recorded at an audible quality – not necessarily professional!

The rules:

  1. Write an original Christmas song
  2. Tweet the song link to all.fm and m20collective to ensure it gets seen by both organisations – soundcloud links preferable
  3. If you prefer email to m20collective@gmail.com
  4. Based on a combination of social media response by the public as well asall.fmand M20 HQ heads – the winner will be decided revealed 16th December

The winner will get the chance to perform their song at all.fm with Fiona Ledgard’s drive time show on 18th December 2015

T’s & C’s

  • You must be available between 5-7pm Friday 18th December for the live performance
  • Soloists, producers and groups welcome to enter (maximum 4 members for the live performance).

And that’s it so get writing your song, for the chance to play live on radio!

 

Local Literature: #HumanityWashedAshore

Inspired by the media outcry regarding the death of Aylan Kurdi and his family, this piece interrogates Britain’s response to the world’s immigration crisis. Specifically it questions why David Cameron only acknowledged the situation after it was too late

 Last night on the shore
harsh realities washed up with their sons,
some say they got lost on the way to Canada,
others say Cameron drove them there.
A Daily Mail poll reads “SHOULD BRITAIN AGREE TO TAKE MORE REFUGEES?”
YES:NO
1:3
ALIVE:DEAD,
three quarters of a family taken whilst
gasping for hope:

1:3
Father: Abdullah, servant of God;
forsaken by a godless nation
forced to suffer by politicians
who’d rather play god than help Him save them.

3:1 Mother: Rehan, a flower;
desperate for a chance to bloom in
safe nations,
safe havens.
Places to take refuge with those who condemn:
modern day colonialists not ready to pay their
overdue overdraft
with added interest.

Son: Galip, the winner;
maybe he was trying to win the race,
someone should have told him
in England, the only race worth winning is White.

And then there lies Aylan,
face down in the sand,
becoming a national symbol for change
because Cameron couldn’t stomach it.

3:1 NO:YES
David, the beloved,
beloved assailant of those who
made his Britain great.
How much more will he take
leaving innocents to pay the price?

He raises Aylan as a promise for change.
The Metro tells us
“as a father,
he felt deeply moved by the sight”
well David,
as a human, I felt disgusted by your Conservative resilience.

When will you let it wear down?

by Alex Webb

Do you have something to share about our current global situation? why not submit a literary piece and share your feelings to: them20press@gmail.com

Local Literature: ‘List of Lists’

Allegorical piece by Fandango Hack; a list of the weird, the beautiful and the atrocious things that make up the world

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The bath, the stainless shovel, the mask, the cat, the bastard and the brothel

The sloth, the slowly sinking, the dogman in the doghouse drunk and slowly drinking

The cot, the dripping tap, the cobra and the Bearn with cradle cap

The nag, the reigns of brass, the hands retracting from the chance to clasp

The mole, the focal point, the oil slick and dripped drawn to anoint.

The eldest, dead and dying, the trier God would love giving up trying

The prayer, the prongs of forks, the damsel in distress popping the cork

The window, the tubby fucker, the golden punishment for copper suckers.

The world, and all its raging wrong, the sorrow in the truth of every song.

The tape, the worm escaping, the lacerated shapes, the plates that Greeks be breaking

The sand, the flooded earth, the man, the battle and the bloody birth

The heart, the tumour clock, the startled pecker pecking and the strangled cock

The news, the bloated leader, the reader of bad blues, the filthy minded bleeder

The grass, the meadow strung with deaths own tinsel, the tooth, the biter of the bitten pencil

The fruit, the guardian of all unknown, the beauty bought and battered cloaks a clone

The worms, the worms that guide us to the core, the claws that burrow, the bully come a bore.

The gas, the flame, the poisoned budgies feather, the world that went to war over the weather.

The world and all its rarest rights, the joy found in the truth of every fight.

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read more at:www.fandangohack.tumblr.com

CREATIVE CORNER… Myles Bagnall

Protesters Manchester Center 2014

Who are you in Manchester’s Eden?
Longing for justice, protesting for freedom.

Tarpaulin shelter and tales of woe,
banners of facts of crimes we should know.

Holding vigil for those who are lost.
Discussions of politics, counting the cost.

Displaying disturbing photographs of terror.
Carefully laminated against English weather.

Displaying the flag of a proud & treasured past,
their fight for the hope that Palestine will last.

Myles Bagnall

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