Pathways into Publishing

  • DATE

    25 June 2022

  • TIME

    11:00 am to 4:30 pm

  • AGES

    All ages 13+




    The Portico Library
    57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY

Everything you need to know about publishing in one place on one day! Writing, illustration, commissioning, editing, marketing, selling and so much more.

Chat to northern based experts for advice, inspiration and to answer all those burning questions. A modern-day market style atmosphere in a historic centre of northern literature that is open to everyone. Join us for relaxed and informative talks, conversations and performances.

There will be leaflets, booklets, information, sign-up sheets, books to buy, giveaways & much more!

Under the dome:

  • The Antiques Roadshow of Books comes to the Portico!
  • Experts Alice Measom and Jim Duff are on hand to help.
  • See how we look after damaged books at The Portico, bring in your own and find out if and how they can be repaired. Ask questions to learn about careers in libraries and archives.
  • Drawing table – sit and draw independently or with visiting artists
  • Writing table – sit and write

Meet the team, sign-up to a writing workshop or join Cultureword’s Queer Black Book Club, browse our latest poetry and fiction publications, pick up one of our exclusive £5 book bundles!
We are a writing development organisation based in Manchester, providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent and potential. We run writing workshops, literary events, and the biennial National Black Writers Conference.

Mirror Me Write – Bookseller Meet
Founder Ayesha Ansari-Choudhury, browse and buy books, ask Ayesha why and how she opened the business of a Manchester based, online indie bookseller specialising in representation and inclusion. Ayesha’s work is rooted in promoting underrepresented authors and providing a multi-narrative, wider perspective of the world.

ZunTold Publishers
If you want to be a book reviewer or blogger, come and talk to Manchester-based publisher, ZunTold. Founder, Elaine Bousfield is looking for volunteers to show how the industry works and how it will help your CV.
Want to be a writer? ZunTold loves to play a game called ‘First Lines’ to find that compelling first line in a novel. Why not play? It’s the place to talk about the kind of books and stories you love.
ZunTold’s range of award-winning books will also be on sale. Zuntold also run a programme we call Fiction as Therapy working with vulnerable adults and young people, providing a guided bibliotherapy service and creative writing for therapeutic purposes, piloting with the NHS. Staff include counsellors and psychotherapists who have also trained in Therapeutic Writing. Chat to Elaine and find out more.


  • Poets and spoken word performers ready to thrill and inspire. Names include poets and spoken-word artists Ella Otomewo and Hallie Fletcher.
    Ella has facilitated creative workshops for universities, community groups, libraries, schools, and festivals, and has performed her poetry all over the UK and in Europe.
    Hallie’s poem, Apple of my Life based on Alan Turing was her first publication. Now with two poetry anthologies published, Hallie performs her work both digitally and at events.
  • 11.30 – 12.10 – Why Children’s books? Why the North? Children’s Books North – Picture Book Development Director, Hachette Children’s North, Emma Layfield, Editorial Director, Golden Egg Academy and Freelance Editor, Tilda Johnson and Freelance Children’s Book Publicist, Liz Scott chat about the varied routes into children’s publishing and the opportunities available for you to build your career in publishing, writing and illustration. Be ready with your questions! Chaired by Morayo Sodipo.
  • 12.30 – 1.10 – Is a career in publishing for you? with Debbie Williams, MMU Publishing and founder of UCLan Publishing. Debbie will lead a workshop to help you find out if a career in publishing is right for you. Using her 25 years of experience in the book business, which includes her role as children’s book buyer at Head Office for Waterstones, Debbie will take you through the skills you need, the job options, and discuss how you get a foot on the industry ladder.
  • 1.30 – 2.10 – No Compromise: 3 writers discuss self-belief, authenticity and finding your network Talk to the writers with Commonword – script writer and poet, Afshan d’Souza-Lodhi, author, screenwriter and MMU lecturer, Danielle Jawando, and former corrosion engineer who now works in theatre and film, Morayo Sodipo (founder VAGUE digital/Within my Locket) Chaired by Commonword’s Radhaika Kapur.
  • 2.30 – 3.10 – Book illustration from start to finish
    Artist Chellie Carroll reveals how she went from drawing on her bedroom walls to being a full-time illustrator. Chellie will take us through digitally building images and how the composition of images create story.
    Chellie will also be found at the drawing table under the dome, so sit, draw, pick up tips and ask all you want to know about a career in book illustration.
  • 3.30 – 4.10 – Why are Northern publishers essential? The Northern Fiction Alliance – Award winning risk takers who love words. Publishers of fiction, short story, poetry, non-fiction, memoir and translation. Meet Kevin Duffy, co-founder of Bluemoose Books, (a ‘family’ of readers and writers we’re passionate about the written word and stories and use innovative marketing tools.) Nia Thomas of Comma Press, (specialising in the short story and fiction in translation, devised to identify cutting-edge (often marginalised) voices from across the world. Adam Lowe of Peepal Tree (international writing from the Caribbean, its diasporas and the UK) and Ellie Croston of Saraband (outstanding fiction, absorbing nature writing, pressing environmental issues and compelling memoir)