Abi Hynes in conversation with Tania Hershman at Blackwell’s

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Abi Hynes. Photo by Rachel Fernandez-Arias.
Abi Hynes. Photo by Rachel Fernandez-Arias.

MONSTROUS LONGING - Abi Hynes in conversation with Tania Hershman at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 30 October 2023 Tickets from £3.00 — Book now

Prepare to be spooked on Halloween Eve as Abi Hynes launches her debut short story collection Monstrous Longings, published the very same day and featuring contemporary fictions of a feminist speculative lilt that explore the themes of love, hunger and obsession. We’re told: “They are poignant, sometimes frightening, sometimes funny tales of human relationships and desires that view the world at a slant, or take the reader to worlds that are not quite like our own.”

Abi Hynes will be reading extracts from her new book Monstrous Longings and chatting about it with short story writer, poet and novelist Tania Hershman, as well as answering questions about the craft of writing and the specifics of spec fic. Hot off the press, Monstrous Longings will be available to purchase on the night and Abi will be signing copies after the talk, so remember to bring your readies.

Abi Hynes’ Monstrous Longings is out with Dahlia Publishing, a Leicester-based independent press that publishes contemporary, original fiction and champion regional and diverse voices. Their blurb gives us a taste of what to expect: “A desperate mother buys a love potion to win back her daughter’s affection. An actress has a forbidden encounter with her animal body double. An idyllic new home comes with an unexpected lodger – a poltergeist. Exploring themes of desire, womanhood, and obsession, Abi Hynes’ collection of short stories is sometimes funny, sometimes uncanny, but never too far from the truth.”

Abi Hynes is an award-winning drama and fiction writer based in Manchester. She used to run live lit and scratch night First Draft in the Northern Quarter, if you cast your minds back, and has appeared at various ghost story-telling events. Her short stories have been published widely in print and online, including in Black Static and Interzone, and in short fiction anthologies from Boudicca Press, Fairlight Books and Splice. She won the Cambridge Short Story Prize in 2020, and was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction ‘Novella in Flash’ Award in 2017. Her plays have been performed across the UK, and she has written four episodes of historical audio drama Dark Harbour. She also writes for TV, and her script Long Lost was on the Brit List in 2022.

A queer writer of odd things, Tania Hershman lives in Manchester and is the author of three short story collections (including The White Road and My Mother was an Upright Piano, both published by Salt), two poetry collections, two poetry pamphlets (including How High Did She Fly, joint winner of Live Canon’s 2019 Poetry Pamphlet Competition) and a novel, Go On. This hybrid ‘fictional memoir-in-collage’ came out with Broken Sleep Books in November 2022 and her second poetry collection, Still Life With Octopus, was published in July 2022 by Nine Arches Press. Tania has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics, so perhaps she’ll bring some science to proceedings.

Monstrous Longing by Abi Hynes cover
Monstrous Longing by Abi Hynes cover

MONSTROUS LONGING - Abi Hynes in conversation with Tania Hershman at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 30 October 2023 Tickets from £3.00 Book now

Where to go near Abi Hynes in conversation with Tania Hershman at Blackwell’s

Manchester Museum Tours at Manchester Museum
Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum isn’t one of the UK’s leading university museums for nothing – it has six million objects in its stores, including a full size T-Rex skeleton, and that’s just for starters.

The Manchester Museum on Oxford Road Manchester
The Study
at Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum opened The Study on 11 September 2015. A reworking of the entire top floor of its historic Grade II*-listed building, The Study has been reimagined as a space designed to spark wonder, curiosity and a passion for research in all of its visitors.

The Astronomer

The Astronomer is an exclusive dining space on the 35th floor of Vita Living North on the new Circle Square Development.

Utility Gift Shop
Utility Gift Shop

Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool. High street shopping at its best.

San Carlo Fumo

San Carlo Fumo may be part of a chain, but it doesn’t feel like it. Right at the top of Oxford Road, it’s lavishly decorated and specialises in cicchetti, or Italian small plates.

Bar or Pub
Kro Bar

Kro Bar, Manchester is an independent pub and music venue housed (somewhat ironically) in the former Temperance Society building.

Want Not Waste

Want Not Waste is a student-run, not-for-profit zero waste shop operating out of Academy 1 at the University of Manchester Students’ Union.

Christie’s Bistro, Manchester. Courtesy Christie’s Bistro
Café or Coffee Shop
Christie’s Bistro

This wood-panelled former science library – part of a cluster of neo-Gothic buildings designed for the University of Manchester by Alfred Waterhouse (he of Manchester Town Hall and London’s Natural History Museum fame) – has a wonderfully bookish interior that turns lunch into something of an event.

What's on: Literature

Naomi Alderman
Naomi Alderman at Manchester Central Library

Manchester Literature Festival has largely finished for 2023, but this Bookend event welcoming Naomi Alderman “in conversation” joins a couple of others for an extra sprinkling of book magic.

from £10.00
Poet Suzanne Batty. Courtesy Bloodaxe
Rise Up! at The Bluebird Bakery York

A monthly celebration of poetry with invited guests and ‘lucky dip’ open mic. This month, hosts Nicky Kippax and Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell welcome Suzanne Batty, Yvie Holder and Katy Mahon.

from £10.00
Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean
Ghosts at the Old Library

Levenshulme Old Library has commissioned brand-new festive ghost stories from six writers for three special atmospheric lantern-lit reading events after hours in the Carnegie building.

from £10
LiteratureWest Yorkshire
Poetry at the Dusty Miller

Poetry at the Dusty Miller is a brand-new night with invited readers, organised by Carcanet-published Carola Luther and Judith Willson in the Coiners’ Room in the Mytholmroyd pub.

free entry

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.