Splash Fiction at Victoria Baths

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Writer Sarah-Clare Conlon. Photo by Gwen Riley Jones.

Splash Fiction at Victoria Baths, Manchester 7 September 2019 Entrance is free

The amazing Grade II* listed Victoria Baths are following up the first-ever Weekend of Words festival back in June with this special September pop-up. Then, participants let their imagination run wild in three separate two-hour writing workshops, including flash fiction with Synaesthesia magazine’s Resident Writer Tania Hershman (seen recently at a Peterloo reading and also at Didsbury Arts Festival), while a poetry panel explored the theme of water and six specially written short stories inspired by the building were performed by writers Kate Feld, David Gaffney, Phil Olsen, Joe Stretch and Lara Williams, whose much anticipated debut novel, Supper Club, just hit the bookstands. The new fiction was commissioned by the Baths’ inaugural Writer-in-Residence, Sarah-Clare Conlon, and this September event sees her present some more of the work she has been producing in that role.

This will be only the third time public swimming has been held at Victoria Baths in 26 years, so it’s well worth popping by

The Splash Fiction event forms part of Victoria Baths’ annual two-day Swim For Restoration shindig, when the Gala Pool is filled and members of the public can take the plunge. You’re too late for swimming (no running, please – tickets went on sale last month and sold like hot towels), but you can visit the bathhouses for free and look around while there is water. Join other spectators in the balcony seating overlooking the Gala Pool – there is also a Swimming Showcase on Saturday evening featuring swimmers from Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School and Stretford Water Polo Club, with tickets costing £15 to raise money for more much-needed maintenance to the stained glass windows. It’s the perfect opportunity for seeing the Baths after hours and the bar will be open so it’s a fun alternative Saturday night out. This will be only the third time public swimming has been held at Victoria Baths in 26 years, so it’s well worth popping by to see the pool in action.

The Saturday-afternoon reading event will also see the Writer-in-Residence presenting a prize-giving ceremony for the winner and runners-up of the summer Splash Fiction creative writing competition, so it’ll be your chance to hear even more brand-new pieces. Victoria Baths is inviting entries for this until midnight on Sunday 4 August – send in short-short stories on the theme of water, up to 300 words long. The judges are on the lookout for short stories that make a real splash – take municipal baths, lidos, wild swimming, ponds, water parks, rivers, canals, indeed anything watery as your jumping-off point and dive in. There’s a cash prize up for grabs! Full entry details can be found here.

Splash Fiction at Victoria Baths, Manchester 7 September 2019 Entrance is free

What's on at Victoria Baths

Grinning child on pool side
Welcome Wednesdays at Victoria Baths

Welcome Wednesdays – Tour & Explore Victoria Baths

11am – 3pm every Wednesday from April – September
Guided Building Tours – Free General Entry – Tea Room

Visit an iconic Manchester landmark for free and take an optional paid guided tour of the partly-restored swimming pools, Turkish Baths, and Superintendent’s Flat.

free entry

Where to go near Splash Fiction at Victoria Baths

Chuck Gallery

Chuck Gallery is the first private art space in North West England dedicated to the promotion of contemporary African art in Manchester and beyond. Our focus is the provision of a varied collection of high quality, original and exceptional artwork

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has been lovingly restored; you can now sit at her desk, see where Charlotte Brontë hid behind the curtains, and have tea in the downstairs café. The Pankhurst Centre is also nearby.

Gaskell Society

These regular talks in both Manchester and Knutsford unpack the meaning and significance of Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing.

Music venue
O2 Apollo

Originally built as a cinema in 1938, The Apollo is a majestic, Grade II listed Art Deco-style music venue.

The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is a cafe and community hub based in Rusholme, a short walk from the city centre.


Modern cafe and restaurant on Manchester’s Curry Mile. encouraging

Pankhurst Centre
The Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre houses a small museum and heritage centre that remains as a legacy to the Pankhurst family and the Suffragette movement born in this city.

Shopping Centre
Longsight Market

Sick of overpriced “vintage” markets? Try Longsight’s bustling neighbourhood market which, every Tuesday, lays on a thriving flea market that’s a miniature (albeit slightly less glamorous) version of the famous Les Puces in Paris.

What's on: Literature

Yellow poster with Weird as Folk written on it
Weird As Folk exhibition at The Portico

The Portico Library’s latest exhibition, Weird As Folk, runs through to November and invites you to explore and reimagine folklore via texts selected from the collection, which includes 100 books of English folklore.

free entry
Two men stand at railings with blue sky behind. Both are wearing sunglasses and one is leaning forward with his head under the top railing and laughing.
Morecambe Poetry Festival 2024 at various venues

Our Tourist Telescope is set on the coast – more specifically, Morecambe Poetry Festival, back for a third year with an impressive line-up now spread over two venues: the wonderful Winter Gardens and upstairs at The King’s Arms.

from £65.00

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.