Monday, 4 December 2017

Commonword newsletter

With details of December events here is the latest Commonword newsletter:

Events and Opportunities from Commonword

December 2017
Dear Commonword Writer,

Seasons greetings! Welcome to our December newsletter! This month we bring you details of: our annual Christmas party, Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize 2018, Writer of the Month interview with fukudapero, workshop dates over the festive period and, upcoming Young Identity events. 

Happy reading!
Wednesday 13th December 2017 6-9pm 

Z-Arts Centre, 335 Stretford Road
Manchester, M15 5ZA
Yes, it's that time of year again! This year, we're teaming up with STUN for our annual Christmas shindig - drinks, nibbles, good company and positive vibes will be a plenty.
We'd love to see as many of you as possible to mark the end of another fantastic year. Spread the word and bring your lovely selves along.
RSVP on our Facebook event or by emailing
Christmas Closure and Workshop Dates
Commonword offices will close on Thursday 21st December and reopen on Wednesday 10th January 2018. If you have any queries during this time, please email or
All workshops will take a break from Thursday 7th December and will start up again from Wednesday 17th January 2018.
For details of Young Identity workshops during this period, please email
Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize 2018
“Go ahead, entertain us. Write us a book.”
Are you an unpublished writer of Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction?
Commonword in association with Penguin Random House, HopeRoad Publishing and Marjacq Scripts literary agency are looking for novels from unpublished Middle Grade and Young Adult authors resident in the United Kingdom whose writing embraces ethnic diversity through their own ethnicity and culture and/or in their writing.
The winner will receive a £1000 cash prize, an Arvon writing week of their choice (subject to availability), and professional feedback on their text from Marjacq Scripts. There is a second prize of £500 for the runner-up.
Closing Date 29th June 2018
Fee: There is a £10 entry fee.
Full information can be found at the dedicated prize website:
All enquiries to: or 0161 832 3777 
Our December Writer of the Month: fukudapero
This month, Charlotte Maxwell interviewed fukudapero about his experimental approach to writing and the ideas and things that influence him.
Tell us about yourself as a writer and artist.
I’m a poet and artist, using different languages from Japanese to English, photography, drawing, installation and film. For poetry in the narrow sense, I do something I call dualingual poetry integrating Japanese and English text on a white space. I also have some awarded short stories and a self published poetry novel in Japanese called “fish noci”.  Which was described rightfully by HOSAKA Kazushi (personally I’d say the best novelist alive);
“When you read this book, words come into you like water sinks into sand. There are words like ‘ocean’ or ‘mountain’ in this book, just simple words without any description, yet I find myself feeling ‘ah, there’s an ocean there’, ‘ah, there’s a mountain here’. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced something like this before.”
You could say my works are minimum, ontological, and that goes for other mediums too, like the sculptures I did for the FLOWer exhibition (a book designed by Dan Tomimatsu) or the installation of a future myth I did on the window glass of Takato Museum or the awarded short film “O” I did with friends, using a water drop lens.
What are the ideas that interest you in your art and writing?
Primarily, it is to accept beings as being themselves. Without leaning on meaning or story. To accept a rock as a rock, a plant as a plant, a word as a word, without anthropomorphising or exploiting them. If you look at it the other way around, we don’t own/know anything, not our body, not ourselves. Everything including yourself is other to you. To create a work is to get along with these objects including yourself, a holistic attempt to understand the world.
This is also to do with the idea of freedom. Because I take language seriously, I believe words should be emancipated too. Free from meanings, purposes, grammar etc etc. Which is a sort of freedom that cannot exist in our world. And this sort of possibility has been pursued in the 20th century by various artists. Yet, I believe there is more to do.
In a different layer, I am interested in universality and change. What I mean by that is how we may change and not change in this age of bio-digitalism. I’d consider things like animism, myth or dance as universal and bio technology, robotics, artificial intelligence as change. The crossroad where these two currents meet is where we stand and what we should express as artists living in the beginning of the 21st century.
Read the rest of his interview here
Upcoming Events

One Mic Stand, Contact, Friday 1st December 2017
Join Manchester’s finest young spoken word performers for a boisterous night of poetry, music and visual art. Featuring an open slam and special guests.
Book tickets here
Want to take part? Email:
Young Identity on BBC Radio 4
Young Identity were featured on Power Lines hosted by Inua Ellams. The young poets had the opportunity to chat to him about what it means to be a Mancunian poet and to share some of their poetry. Poetry was shared by Isaiah Hull, Elmi Ali, Damani and Roma Havers. The programme is available online for 19 days here
News from Commonword Writers
World War I's Hidden Voices
Launch Event
at Central Library

December 6th
India, Africa, the West Indies, colonialism and recruitment, impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war are explored in two parallel exhibitions from Southern Voices and Kooj Chuhan. The launch will include key notes speeches from Ahmed El-Hassan (Southern Voices) and Colette Williams (Mbari) and performances from the likes of Jaydev Mistry and Rani Moorthy.
Register your interest here.
Rent Party
By Darren Pritchard and Cheryl Martin
at Sheffield Theatres
December 13th - 23rd
We're inviting you to a party in our flat, we're going to entertain you with all our friends - dancers, singers and musicians - we're going to vogue, we're going to party and we're going to create a kaleidoscopic picture of what it means to be young, gifted, black… and poor, and gay.
Being broke never looked so fierce!
Book tickets here.
Audience Finder Survey
As always, we ask that you complete our Audience Finder survey if you have attended events/workshops at, or run by, Commonword. We are very grateful for the time that is spent completing this survey and we love to hear from you. This feedback is important to us and helps us to ensure that we are doing a good job.
The link directs you to Audience Finder, a tool which enables us to understand, compare, apply audience insights across the UK, and benchmark ourselves against other organisations.
The results, of course, are all anonymous.
Please forward this link to any of your friends and family who may have attended workshops or events with you.

Many thanks, in advance
Critical Inkers
One Thursday evening per month, 7-9pm at Commonword offices
Under 26s Open to all levels of ability; just turn up. From experienced to beginners. Please ring buzzer 6. or email for more details

Identity Writers Group
Every Wednesday 7-9pm at Commonword offices
BAME only Open to all levels of writers; just turn up. From experienced to beginners. Please ring buzzer 6. or email for more details

Monday Night Group
Every Monday 7-9pm in the Snug at the Lass O'Gowrie
Open to all levels of writers, for everyone; just turn up. From experienced to beginners

Young Enigma
Day and time varies.
Open to all young LGBT+ identifying people (no strict restrictions on age).
Email or visit for more info
Young Identity
Open to all young people under 25 for spoken word poetry workshops.
Young Identity HOME  7-9pm  Fortnightly, check HOME website for details.
 Contact 6-8pm and 7-9pm
 Longsight library 6-7:45pm
email for more info about other workshops or visit

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No. 3 Planetree House
21-31 Oldham Street
M1 1JG
There is a buzzer for entry. The office number is 3, the workshop space number is 6.

0161 832 3777




Commonword · No 3 Planetree House · 21-31 Oldham Street · Manchester, M1 1JG · United Kingdom


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