This event showcases Test Signal, described as “a ground-breaking anthology of the best contemporary northern writing from Dead Ink and Bloomsbury, showcasing the wealth of literary talent in the North of England”.
At this launch event, seven contributors will read from their work and discuss the anthology and the importance of northern voices with host Helen Mort, poet and lecturer in creative writing at the Manchester Writing School.
Published in July, Test Signal brings together well-known established names with newcomers from every corner of the region and across all its vibrant genres – what unites them is that they each form part of the new northern writing scene that’s thriving with independent publishers (see the upcoming Northern Publishers’ Fair for more) and vibrant grass-roots networks. For themes, expect: bridges over the Tyne / crumbling coastlines / influencers’ online worlds / asylum applications / packed train carriages / forgotten village social clubs / family in Nigeria / holidays in Greece / shining university campuses / ghosts in city cemeteries / jobs in London / teenage explorations / monstrous graffiti / suburban woodland. For authors, think: Naomi Booth, Tricia Cresswell, Crista Ermiya, Kit Fan, Rebecca Hill, Andrew Michael Hurley, Jenna Isherwood, Carmen Marcus, JA Mensah, Désirée Reynolds, Sara Sherwood, Amy Stewart, Sharon Telfer, Matt Wesolowski and Sammy Wright.
At this launch event, seven further contributors will read from their work and discuss the anthology and the importance of northern voices with host Helen Mort, poet and lecturer in creative writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first collection, Division Street (2013), was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award, and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize; her second collection, No Map Could Show Them (2016), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her first novel Black Car Burning was longlisted for the Portico Prize.
Jane Claire Bradley is a queer working-class writer, therapist and educator and founder and director of For Books’ Sake, the non-profit dedicated to championing women and non-binary writers. She is the winner of the Northern Debut Award for her first novel and has been longlisted for the Myslexia Novel Competition. Laura Bui teaches and researches criminology at the University of Manchester. Her writing received a 2017 Northern Writers’ TLC New Fiction Prize from New Writing North. Adam Farrer is a writer and the editor of the creative nonfiction journal and spoken word event series The Real Story. His first book, Cold Fish Soup, a memoir in essays about the Yorkshire coast, won the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers’ Awards and is set for publication next year. Tawseef Khan is a qualified solicitor specialising in immigration and asylum law and a human rights activist with over 10 years of experience working on refugee and Muslim issues. He was a recipient of a 2017 Northern Writers Award and in March published his first non-fiction book, The Muslim Problem: Why We’re Wrong About Islam And Why It Matters. Melissa Wan, awarded the inaugural BAME Writer’s scholarship to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia, is currently completing a collection of stories. Her story ‘The Husband and the Wife Go to the Seaside’ was published by Bluemoose Books and reprinted in Salt’s Best British Short Stories. Lara Williams is the author of short story collection Treats and novel Supper Club. Treats was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Awards and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize , and Supper Club won the Guardian Not the Booker Prize, was named as a Book of the Year 2019 by TIME and Vogue, and has been translated into six languages. Her new book The Odyssey is due April 2022. Robert Williams’ third novel Into The Trees follows debut Luke and Jon, which won a Betty Trask Award, was translated into six languages and was called ‘a hugely impressive debut’ by the Daily Telegraph, and second novel, How The Trouble Started, which was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Fiction.
Copies of Test Signal will be available to purchase on the night or can be bought for £15 in advance (rrp £16.99) with ticket included in the price. There will also be selected works available by some of the contributors and host Helen Mort.
Covid-19 precautions will be adhered to in order to ensure the safety of attendees, authors and booksellers.