Manchester Children’s Book Festival 24th June – 3rd July 2016


A New Manchester Alphabet book cover

A New Manchester Alphabet

In 1906 Roger Oldham, a member of the Manchester Society of Architects, wrote and illustrated a small booklet called 'A Manchester Alphabet'. The Alphabet takes us on a journey around Edwardian Manchester from Ancoats to the (Bellevue) Zoo. Fast forward to 2014, and a copy of the booklet is found on the shelves at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Special Collections. Inspired by its humour and charm, a project began to update Oldham's original Alphabet. 'A New Manchester Alphabet' is a snapshot of Manchester in 2015: illustrated by students from the Manchester School of Art and written by poetry students from The Manchester Writing School. This collaboration takes us on a brand new journey: from Afflecks, via New Islington, to Ziferblat. Devised by Louise Clennel and Iris Feindt. Edited by Jean Sprackland. Art directed by Ian Whadcock. Cover illustration by Ian McCullogh. 

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Let in the Stars book cover

Let in the Stars

“This powerful collection of moving, clever and funny work sends an important message that poetry for children must be taken seriously, must be cherished and must be made available.”  Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

Short-listed for the Centre for Literacy In Primary Education (CLPE) Poetry Award.

Poet and educator Mandy Coe came to the Manchester Writing School at MMU in late 2013 on a mission. Troubled by a severe decline in the number of publishers launching new poetry for children, and the lack of opportunities for writers of children’s poems to reach an audience in print, she made an ardent case for the genre’s place on bookshelves. Galvanised by Mandy’s passion, Carol Ann Duffy and her team in the School launched an international search for the best new poetry written for children. Thousands of poems were submitted and the work of 30 poets – based in the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Uganda, and the USA – was selected by Mandy, Imtiaz Dharker and Philip Gross, and collected into a beautifully illustrated anthology: Let in the Stars.

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Timelines book cover


Tales from the past … by writers from the present and future. 

Timelines is an exciting collection of historical short stories for teenagers. Brand new and established authors transport you into worlds you only know from history lessons: travel through time to see dinosaurs, the Great Fire of London, witch-hunts, Victorian adventures, World War Two, the Berlin Wall and much more. History truly comes to life in this anthology of moving and colourful stories.

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Crimelines book cover


Reading isn't a crime. Or is it?

From comedy to tragedy, horror to suspense, there is something to chill the spine of every reader in our brand new anthology of stories for 2014, Crimelines.

"An anthology for children and young adults that is bursting with originality and energy." Martyn Bedford, author of Flip.

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Animal Stew book cover

Animal Stew

A delicious collection of short stories about animals for children.

The anthology of short stories about animals features students’ writing and art work alongside that of recent graduates. From the Elizabethan Court to futuristic adventures, from underground journeys to exciting tails of escape and survival, these stories are sure to engage even the most reluctant of readers. Animal Stew was launched during the MCBF Family Fun Day on Saturday 30th June 2012. 

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A Bag of Allsorts book cover

A Bag of Allsorts

The Manchester Writing School at MMU, as part of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, releases this new e-anthology of children’s stories, A Bag of Allsorts. What makes the anthology different is that it has been created entirely by undergraduate English students … and it really is a bag of all sorts! This e-book is free to download and enjoy, but has been produced in aid of ReadWell - a registered charity that takes free books and storytellers into children's hospitals throughout the UK. We would invite Bag readers to consider making a donation to ReadWell.

Download in EPUB format

Download in MOBI format