Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Would You Like to Write for Power is a State of Mind? REDUX

"Anthony Wilson says that for a big city, Manchester is just small enough. It's true. People know each other, collaborate, cross-pollinate. Ideas can mix and match. It's easy to get things moving. But Manchester's size also makes the social processes more visible. Things can't be contained. Even as you stroll round the new urban pleasure zones you can see the collapsed excluded communities. You can see how things are developing. Where they might end up is another matter. ..Will everything keep spinning and never actually fall down?....Who knows. But Manchester, as Mancs love to tell you, has been ahead of the game. Perhaps it'll be the first place to show us whether our new cities work."

-From "Manchester Divided" by Jim McClellan, Esquire Magazine, June 1997. 
Over the last few months, this here blog has morphed. It has been sculpted from a misshapen lump of html-clay to a- well, slightly different shaped… thing.

I’ve tweaked it from a self-obsessed platter of bad sex, bizarre job interviews, and nightmarishly paranoid journeys across the UK- into “some kind of arts-and culture blog”, as one reader put it- but one like none other.

The question is: is this how I want my blog to look?

Seeing as my page views are climbing, I’d say yes. To help my page views climb further- and to help YOUR page views climb further- I decided to recruit guest bloggers. I want you to show your great writing, right here, and provide a link back to your own blog.

The next question is: what do I want from guest posts?

1)      Creative writing exercises.
Perhaps you are a member of a writer’s group. You may do warm-up exercises at this group, to develop the ability to put thoughts into words as quickly as possible and to refine your storytelling skills. I’ve detailed a few ideas, showing how to perform the exercise and what I produced as a result. If you have ideas like this, I’d love to see them.

2)    Literature event reviews.
Manchester is a creative hub, a bubbling boiling-pot of fiction readings, book signings, poetry slams, workshops and other word-based happenings. I’ve covered quite a few, but I need time to put pen to paper myself. If you’ve been to one of these nights, your write-up could be seen right here.

3)    Tell me something surprising about Manchester.
One way of gauging what I mean by this would be to read Fugitives and Refugees by Chuck Palahniuk. F&R is an exploration of Chuck’s home-town of Portland, Oregon. In it he finds the most unusual, bizarre subjects right under his nose- he visits the town’s sewers, interviews the workers there, goes to the zoo where the keepers tell him of the animal’s strange habits (including skunk courtship) and regales tales of underground parties and, most memorably, the Santa Rampage- a festival for Father Christmases. It’s a fascinating account of what you would imagine to be an ordinary city- but isn’t.

Manchester is far from ordinary. There’s an underground tunnel in the city originally designed for use if a war breaks out. There are ghosts haunting Peter Street, and many other ageing areas of the city. There’s a Clockwork Orange-inspired bar. There’s a vegan Buddhist cafĂ©. There are countless stories that transpire out of this cocktail of possibilities. Tell them to me, and we’ll tell the world.

A few more things- keep it under 1000 words. Ooze enthusiasm. Write good. Let's do this!
Email putting "PIASOM Submission" in the subject field.

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