Schools Writing Trail and Family Friendly fun from the Festival of Libraries

Greater Manchester is about to showcase the work of 101 young writers in tribute to their incredible talents and in testament to how important literature is to the city region. The Schools Writing Trail (Thursday 1 June to Thursday 15 June) is an exhibition that you can enjoy by visiting the literary locations where the work will be on display and is part of Manchester’s Festival of Libraries. The writing is in 12 languages and features poetry, fiction and extraordinary powers of imagination.

Vast themes have been covered by the young writers: space, hope, memories, love, belonging, friendship, history, sport and so many more. You can see all their work as part of the trail, which will be in place from Thursday 1 June to Thursday 15 June and takes in the following locations Manchester Central Library, The Portico Library, Sam Alexander Language Library (Manchester Metropolitan University), The Poetry Library, Z-Arts and Moss Side Library. Entry is free and tickets are not required, but it is advised that visitors check on the opening times of the individual location in advance.

Over 40 schools in Greater Manchester have participated in the Schools Writing Trail, which has connected them to community arts centres, schools, universities, and libraries. Organised by Manchester City of Literature it brings together as one exhibition different writing competitions, submissions and projects organised by The Portico Library, Z-Arts, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Cllr Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council says: “We’re delighted to share the creativity of Manchester’s young people in the brand new Schools Writing Trail during the Festival of Libraries this year. There are over 100 pieces of original writing in 12 languages by some of Manchester’s brightest literary stars. You can see the trail in June across cultural venues around the City which feature writing connecting community arts centres, schools, universities, and libraries with over 40 schools in Greater Manchester.”

The Schools Writing Trail reflects an enormous passion for engaging young people in literature and libraries, which is central to the Festival of Libraries as a whole and Manchester’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature. Here’s a selection of some of the Family Friendly fun that is also on the calendar for this year’s festival:

Manga Workshops

As a form of art and storytelling, manga has never been so popular and Festival of Libraries is giving families the chance to have a go at creating their own four panel manga comic. Creative workshops will be held at Bury Central Library (Friday 8 June), Stalybridge Library (Saturday 9 June) and Stretford Library (Saturday 9 June) with manga artists Chie Kutsuwada and Inko Ai Takita.

Old Green Time Machine

Join Coalesce Dance Theatre on a time-travelling race to save the world. In a whirlwind of contemporary dance, music, poetry and lots of action, two adventurers face a world in which all that is left is plastic and our future is in their hands. A ‘Stay Play and Learn’ session follows the shows, which will perform at Oldham Central Library (Wednesday 7 June), Swinton Library (Thursday 8 June), Newton Heath Library (Friday 9 June) and Radcliffe Library (Saturday 10 June).

Story Stem

Storytelling and performance also take families on an environmental quest in the form of the Story Stem, which will help the imaginations of under 5s to blossom. Performers Nichola Williamson and Sarah Raine will be visiting Oldham Library (Thursday 8 June), Rochdale Library ( Friday 9 June), High Street Library in Bolton (Saturday 10 June) and Trafford Library (Sunday 11 June) with their Family Friendly performance.

Fishing for Rainbows

Fishing for Rainbows follows the story of a 12 year old Romani-girl called Kezia, who after the loss of her mum is desperate to show her family that she can do anything a boy can. Adapted from Oliver Sykes new book, performances will take place at Rochdale Central Library (Wednesday 7 June), Stockport Central Library (Thursday 8 June), Droylsden Library (Thursday 8 June), Pendleton Library (Friday 9 June) and Wigan Library (Friday 9 June).

Sunday Funday at Manchester Central Library

Festival of Libraries is the perfect time to visit one of the most important libraries in the country. Find out more about the iconic Grade II* listed building on Sunday 11 June and have great time with craft and face painting also taking place.

Oldham Schools Local History Exhibition

Opening on Monday 5 June Oldham Library will be hosting an exhibition of work from Oldham primary schools that highlights their local history and heritage learning. The exhibition has been developed in conjunction with Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme.

Greater Manchester’s entire library network has put together a programme of exciting, interactive and celebratory activities for Festival of Libraries 2023. Every activity in the programme is free to take part in and the full programme is available at: