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Manchester: city of passion

Rainy City stories wants your love-chat for Valentine’s Day

Published on January 26th 2009.

Manchester: city of passion

Valentine’s Day. Many of us know it as the one evening a year we consume overpriced prawn cocktail and pink champagne in a restaurant, while sitting through a string arrangement of Lady in Red. Romantic it ain’t. Nobody knows why we do this every year, we just do.

Here at Rainy City Stories, we’ve decided to dispense with the hearts and flowers and allow you to celebrate the holiday created by greeting card companies in a suitably cynical fashion. Or, okay, you could be romantic. It’s up to you, really.

We’re offering a prize for the best love story or poem we get sent in the next month. But we’re willing to interpret ‘love story’ in a wider sense. The winning submission could be about a more abstract kind of love. It could even be an anti-love poem, or a rant against all things loved-up.

The winning piece of writing will be published on our website on the eve of Valentine’s Day amid a shower of cupids and lace bows and twinkly-eyed kittens. And the winner will receive a big fat £50 Borders gift voucher (the kind of thing that really makes us writer-types swoon), kindly donated by our friends at the Manchester Literature Festival.

What’s Rainy City Stories? It’s a website that uses open-source technology to publish new writing set in Manchester. It uses a Google map of the city to organise stories and poetry linked to particular places. It’s the brainchild of Kate Feld and Chris Horkan, and it lives at rainycitystories.com.

Since our October launch, we’ve published stories and poetry from local authors including Nicholas Royle, Jackie Kay, and David Gaffney, along with excellent new work from writers who you’ve probably never heard of. They’re Mancunians who sent us something they wrote and we liked it enough to publish it. Their stories range from beery misadventures at the Temple of Convenience to gothic horror at the Town Hall, from burglary in Rusholme to first kisses in a shed in Newton Heath.

So, if you’re thinking of entering our contest, here’s what you need to know: Send us your tales (real or imagined) of falling into, out of, or over love in Manchester, but make sure you tell us what city address or landmark your writing is linked to. Entries should be submitted through the mechanism on our website by close of business on Tuesday, February 10.

May the Force be with you.

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