Category Archives: Create/Do

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

Short and Sweet- Call for Performers

Short&Sweet are running their first big night in Manchester and are looking for performers. The night is called FOOL and will be held on Friday 1st April at Victoria Baths, an ornate, victorian, empty swimming pool- a beautiful large space called the Gala Pool.


Short & Sweet runs as a continuous series of 3 minute performances all in response to one theme. This time the theme is ‘Fool’. Wise, tragic, naïve or reckless the fool has privilege to violate taboos. Art is foolish. Theatre fools and deceives. Short&Sweet is a evening that originated in Montreal, Quebec where it has been running for over 3 years and we look forward to bringing it over the seas to Manchester. Short&Sweet invites proposals from artists of any discipline for a three minute slot.

Feel free to respond to, rebel from and rework the starting point in any magical way that you wish. But you MUST stick to the three minute limit. We are open to a very varied mix of performance e.g. dance, comedy, theatre, live music, video, singing, circus are just some ideas but something different would be exciting too.

Each performer will get a rider and documentation of their work.

To apply, please email us with your name and an idea of what your performance could be. Event link:

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 12th March 2016 (midday)


Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sorcha and May


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:

Content creation

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:





Main interests


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

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

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!

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 and m20collective to ensure it gets seen by both organisations – soundcloud links preferable
  3. If you prefer email to
  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 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!


City with a Crisis

M20 Collective are back with another live music event fundraiser in conjunction with some local organisations who are fighting to support the living and housing issues in Manchester. Phil Marzouk, our good will envoy, explains what’s going wrong in our city!

Manchester is a city with a crisis. Last Tuesday, I walked  the 0.4 miles between Manchester Piccadilly and Piccadilly Gardens, and passed 7 of the city centre’s 43 estimated rough sleepers. This number is only increasing. Since 2013, the number of people sleeping on Manchester’s streets has risen by 79%. However, these figures are calculated by council officials over one night, simply counting the number of rough sleepers. This is in fact a huge underestimation and doesn’t account for the city’s ‘hidden homeless’: those not found due to taking refuge in air raid shelters and caves or overlooked during the counts. Manchester’s Booth Centre, a day centre where homeless people can get free advice and support, state they currently see around 170 people a week.

homless ness

However, even in the face of these rising numbers, Manchester City Council refuses to adequately engage with the city’s most vulnerable. Since April 2015, Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester have been setting up camp throughout the city centre in order to raise awareness of this issue and finally get the Council to act justly. The Council’s response was to seek injunctions against the camp rather than establish a dialogue. Due to the intervention of St. Anne’s Church, the camp currently resides safely on Church owned land in St. Anne’s Square, yet the Council pursues an injunction even here.

Blame does not lie solely with the local Council and is indicative of the issues that government cuts are causing for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, with benefits cuts contributing greatly to these rising numbers. In the wake of severe austerity measures in Westminster, Manchester City Council have had to cut their homelessness budget by £2 million right when the crisis is at its worst. Somehow, money is found to install anti homeless spikes within the town centre. Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester were denied legal aid in order to fight the Council’s continuing evictions, which reflects the national cuts of £350 million from the legal aid budget. You need only walk the streets of  Manchester to see how the cuts are destroying the lives of those who need help the most.

anti hom;less spikes

So it’s time to start taking action. In conjunction with Coffee4Craig,one of Manchester’s leading homeless support charities, we’ll be hosting a fundraiser on the 13th of August at the Castle hotel with live music, a raffle and talks from local charity representatives and housing campaign group Generation Rent. Come down and find out how you can get involved. It’s time to stop letting our nation’s most vulnerable be dehumanised and abandoned.

Phil Marzouk

When Renting Went Rotten: 16-18.03.15

Landlords raise rents at their will and get away with not lifting a finger to repair problems tenants are having in properties – even when they’re life-threatening. From Monday 16 March to Wednesday 18 March, Langdale Gallery are working with Generation Rent to host a three-day event to raise awareness about the renting crisis, give people tools to fight back and create a safe space for discussion about housing.

Learn more about Langdale Gallery Campaign here:

Have a look at what Islington Mill’s website says about it: here:

The FB event page is here:

Langdale Gallery is a tenant led campaign open to those experiencing housing issues, and provides the safe space and the materials for community arts and action.

They are calling for residents, artists, musicians, writers to drop in and make art about the renting crisis or tell their story about what home means to them, any time from 1pm until 10pm at the performance space in Islington Mill from Monday March 16th – Wednesday March 18th.

On the final evening of the event live music from Kolo Tamam will play us out.

Art works from the Campaign will be added to the gallery at Piccadilly Place as part of the LifeShare art exhibition from April 11th- 16th.
The campaign continues at St Chrysostoms Church during the Victoria Park Festival in May through to June.

Any artworks, writings, or photographs can be submitted to

Any queries about renter’s rights and campaigns to

Tickets here


As We Are Away: 20th-30th November

Natalie Proctor previews the nous magazine/As We Are Away festival, taking place around the city 20-30 November

How lucky we are here in Manchester to have so much creativity on our doorstep! No matter what the artistic genre, there is always something going on in this vibrant northern city. This diversity of talent is something that self-established Nous Magazine champions. The magazine is a relatively new enterprise, which has a unique focus on ‘contemporary mind culture’. In collaboration with As We Are Away, the magazine has created a mini-festival for all things arty. AWAA is an art project with a difference, focused on overcoming the cultural stigma around mental health. The festival hopes to inspire us to think differently about mental illness, and learn to become more open and understanding about something that affects thousands of people across the UK.

The event, which goes on until the 30th November, will host a variety of acts throughout the creative sphere. Each night focuses on a different collection of some of Manchester’s finest artists, poets, musicians and directors. Whatever you may have an interest in, the AWAA mini-Festival will surely have something to spark your creative interest.

What makes this event even greater is that it’s free! Although donations are extremely appreciated, and do go on to ensure that these kind of fantastic events may continue. You can even buy an 11- day ticket that gives you access to all the events running for just £5.50. That seems like a bargain to me! We here at M20 would also strongly encourage you to make this donation, as we fully believe it is vital to support the arts to the best of our ability. Without such contributions we would find it hard to maintain the wealth of opportunities on offer for Manchester creatives.

So what’s on? Well, if you’re interested in poetry, there is Tea Hour Poetry on 25th November, which is sure to offer a plethora of new and old talent; including established writers like David Hartley, who we interviewed in October. This will be taking place at the trendy Northern Quarter café The Koffee Pot. Certainly not one to miss!

There is also a lot to offer in terms of music. On Thursday the 27th, the night As We Are Here will host some of Manchester’s most exciting up and coming bands and artists. The live music will continue into the evening at the Eagle Inn, and there will be a variety of sounds from the likes of Second Shepherds, POST and Locean.

If you fancy a little slice of the Cannes Film Festival in Manchester, then why not head over to the concluding night of the festival, curated by Cultivate Film Art. This evening will present some critically acclaimed foreign films, which may perhaps may a nice change from the outlandish Hollywood blockbuster. The documentary film ‘Black Sun’ (2005) by Gary Tarn tells the dramatic story of French artist Hugues de Montalembert who finds himself blinded after a violent attack in New York. It is a moving piece of cinema that is sure to strike a nerve. Also showing is the 1970 film adaptation of the novel ‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’. This erotic horror is somewhat otherworldly, and definitely different to what’s out there in the box office!

The festival has plenty more to offer so check out the website for a full list of the events coming up. And remember, the festival ends on the 30th November so don’t miss out. Keep supporting the arts.

Natalie Proctor


The M20COLLECTIVE Guide to Manchester Literature Festival

October is the month of choice for Mancunian bibliophiles as the Manchester Literature Festival opens, bringing local and international talent together for an exciting programme of events in various locations across the city. Featuring a huge range of all sorts of poetry, spoken word, novels, drama and history, this year’s MLF is set to be a great one. There’s definitely something for everyone! With events selling out fast, make sure to grab your tickets soon. Check out the M20 Collective’s festival highlights for a handy guide to what’s on where…

Novel-based Events

Danish Crime, 6th October, 6pm, Tickets: £6/4

The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Boy in the Suitcase – Scandi-crime has been at the crest of the recent wave of international crime fiction’s popularity. This event offers an insight into the cleverly-constructed world of Danish crime novels. This night provides enthusiasts with an opportunity to discuss the mystery of writing crime with two of the best European novelists in recent years. Sit down with Lene Kaaberbol and Elsebeth Egholm to hear extracts from their works as well as widening your knowledge of one of the world’s most varied genres.

Hong Ying, 12th October, 1pm, Tickets: £6/4

Hong Ying is most famous for her world-famous memoir, Daughter of the River, and this afternoon-sit down with an outstanding literary talent is not one that should be missed! Returning with The Good Children Ying takes readers between her past and present promising great insights from her life’s worth of experience. A must see for lovers of world literature!

MUST SEE: David Mitchell, 13th November, 7pm, Tickets: £8/6

I was over the moon when I saw that David Mitchell was coming to Manchester this year! Author of the recent film-adapted best-selling novel, Cloud Atlas, this event is the highlight of the entire month! This night offers previews of Mitchell’s much anticipated novel, The Bone Clocks, as well as opportunities to engage with him about his other works. If you were also taken away by the beautifully constructed, but often frustrating, world of Cloud Atlas you must book your tickets now!

Poetry Events

Poets & Players, 11th October, 2.30pm, Tickets: Free!

Presented by Lorna Goodison and Kei Miller this afternoon event blends poetry with music. Manchester welcomes two Jamaican-born poets performing some of their award-winning work for our city! Offering narratives that are both elegant and political you are sure to come away with some big questions about gender-equality, race and wider society. Not only will attendees be treated to these two huge talents but they will also experience some of the best Manchester-based musicians: Matthew Halsall will be joined by Rachael Gladwin and Gavin Barras performing music from their latest album, When The World Was One.

Faber New Poets, 15th October, 6pm, Tickets: Free!

Faber & Faber is one of the best-known publishers in Britain and Manchester Literature Festival is giving you an opportunity to welcome in this year’s newest poets. At this event Faber’s 2014 poets will showcase their work promising a high quality evening of entertainment. Whilst tickets are free, booking is advised to guarantee yourself a place at this highly anticipated event!

MUST SEE: Patience Agbabi, 16th October, 7.30pm, Tickets: £6/5

This event is a unique one throughout the whole festival with award-winning poet Patience Agbabi taking you on a 21st Century re-telling of Chaucer’s famous The Canterbury Tales as part of her new book, Telling Tales! Agbabi’s newest collection embeds lyrical poetry with a new meaning with it being described as “a pilgrimage of punks, badasses [and] silver-tongued fixers”. If you want to see a poet who can deliver variety then look no further!

Family-friendly Events

MUST SEE: The Children’s Bookshow with Daniel Morden, 10th October, 10.30am, Ticket: £4

Aimed at children 9-11, Daniel Morden brings his experience as a professional storyteller to life at this morning event! Step back through time with fairytales of the past from the world over and be witness to a show not readily forgotten!

Family Reading Day, 18th October, 11am-4pm, Tickets: Free-£2 (events need to be booked separately!)

This event is a must for families with young children offering a day packed with amazing literary activities!

Literary Tours

Northern Classics, 12th October, 11am-4pm, Tickets: £16

If you’re not keen on a walking tour but are eager to get to know what Manchester has to offer the literary world then this tour is definitely for you! A coach tour that looks back to slightly older writers than any other tour during the festival taking you to key spots that inspired the likes of Charles Dickens. Take your packed lunch and spend the day soaking up all that Manchester has (and had) to offer.


Literary Manchester Walking Tour, 16th October, 1pm, Tickets: £10.50

For the ins and outs of Manchester’s literary history be sure to book your place on this tour hosted by Anne Beswick! Boasting a tour that covers literary greats such as Anthony Burgess and Shelagh Delaney along with different genres’ journeys through Manchester’s past this tour is bound to be enlightening. Ending with coffee and cake at the People’s History Museum café this walk is suitable for all ages and is bound to attract and excited and interested crowd – the best kind!

Boho Literary Pub Walking Tour, 18th October, 5-8pm, Tickets: £8:

Promising a relaxing walk around Manchester (complete with alcohol!) this tour will take you to the places of interest for the Mancunion writing world. Take this tour for the 18+ crowds and get to know Manchester in a completely different light. Guaranteed to create a conversation live with literary discussion for those who enjoy chatting about authors and anthologies! Meet at the Midland Hotel and immerse yourself in Manchester as the writer’s city.

Other Events

The Writing Squad, 15th October, 1pm, Tickets: Free!

Lenni Sanders and James Varney present The Writing Squad, a programme that helps young writers expand their skills. Based in the North this workshop will help bring out the best in Manchester’s undiscovered talent. Whether your cup of tea (or should I say ink) is  prose, poetry or reporting, this afternoon is made for new writers everywhere.

MUST SEE: Manchester Writing Competition, 17th October, 7pm, Tickets: £5

Organised by 2009s poet Laureate and Manchester treasure, Carol Ann Duffy, this is perhaps one of the must-see nights of the entire festival. Here, the winners of Manchester’s £10,000 writing competition will be announced in a celebration of poetry and fiction. A great way to spend a night rife with literary discussion and new talent that is bound to inspire any fellow writers sat in the audience.

Graphic Novels, 7th October, 1pm and 7pm, Tickets: Free! (1pm), £6/4 (7pm).

Any manga and comic lovers should have 7th October written in their planners in permanent marker! With two events from graphic novelists this is a day to indulge in with Darryl Cunningham, Ian Williams (1pm event), Stephen Collins and Nick Hayes (7pm event) offering their expertise on this often-forgotten genre. These two events offer talks about the creative processes behind graphic greats such as Collins’ The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. Treat yourself to a seat at either of these events and be further captivated by the art of literary reinvention.

Darryl Cunningham and Ian Williams:

Stephen Collins and Nick Hayes:

For a full break down of all the events of the festival:

Alex Webb

Call for submissions: Black & BLUE

Black & BLUE is a Manchester-born arts and literary collective that shares writing and hosts exhibitions in Manchester and London. Exploring politics, poetics and all that’s inbetween, it publishes beautiful journals, pamphlets and critical writing.

They are currently open for submissions to Black & Blue #4, a new anthology of creative writing around the theme of REVOLUTION to be published 5th November.

“Revolutionary writing takes place at the limits of life, at the distant and compulsive outer edges of reason, at the painful frontier of experience. It is always at the barricades, at the boundary, playing tricks on established orders, crossing borders.”

Writers of revolutionary words of any kind should send their work to and Tweet it to @revolution51114 

Deadline: 14th September.

For more information about Black & BLUE

For more information about submitting to Revolution

Petition: Bring back Manchester Youth Market

The Manchester Youth Market is a monthly market for 16-21 year old stallholders. Fashion, food, music – you name it, you can sell it. Offering a way onto the business ladder for youth in the city without the usual overheads of market trading (stallholders are exempt from the usual £104 fee you have to pay), the Youth Market is a great space that gives young creatives the city centre exposure and opportunity for self-employment they really need.


Holly Marie Saunders has set up a petition to protest the council’s decision to axe the youth market in spite of it’s popularity and the obvious benefits. 

Learn more and sign the petition here: