Rain Never Stops Play – Our Winners

Creative Tourist

After a week of public voting and deliberation by our judges, we’re delighted to announce the winners in our short story competition: Belfast based ‘Troubles’ and ‘The City Is Leaving Me’, set in Manchester.

Our competition confirmed that there is a wealth of fresh writers out there with the urban backdrop providing rich inspiration. We have been genuinely astounded by the quality of the entries; it was a very close call between our finalists but we’re sure you’ll agree we have two very worthy winners.

Troubles, written by Linda McVeigh, who is based in West Sussex, tells the gentle story of Billy, a 60 something bus driver whose chance meeting with an old colleague shines a spotlight on his own solitary existence.  You can read the full story here.

The City Is Leaving Me is our second winner, written by the Manchester based writer, Lydia Unsworth. It is a tale of love and loss between the protagonist and the city. Surprising, touching and funny, you can read the full version on Rainy City Stories.

Thank you to everyone who entered, everyone who voted and our judges, Kate Feld, Jenn Ashworth, Susie Stubbs and John McAuliffe. It’s been inspiring to see so much raw talent.

Culture Guides


Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.


The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

The Spongebob Musical at the Manchester Opera House


New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie


From local writing to international talent, we have heaps of online launches and in real life readings not to mention some extra special festival events coming our way in live literature land.


More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts