A Bag of Allsorts – A festival anthology of short stories for all ages!


The Manchester Writing School at MMU, as part of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, are releasing an 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, containing ten stories from the whimsical ‘Toady Stools’ to the darker teenage sci-fi story ‘Friend in a Box’. There is something for every age, and every taste!
The anthology will be available as a free digital download, but downloaders will be asked to donate to the Manchester Children’s Book Festival’s partnered charity Readwell.
Before the release of the anthology, I caught up with several of the people who were involved in the project; undergraduate English students Angus Stewart and Malachy O’Neill, and lecturer in Creative Writing, Iris Feindt.
Angus is the author of ‘Sal and the Wolf’, a story about a curious animal named Sal who goes in search of a Wolf. “Aside from writing, I was also involved in converting the stories into a file supported by MMU’s Website,” said Angus. “It’s a great collection of stories, and I’m very proud to not only be a writer in the anthology, but also one of the editorial team pulling the anthology together.”
“Projects like this give students experience in writing for publication,” said Iris Feindt. “It makes them think about aspects of their writing which they wouldn’t think about if the work wasn’t being released to a wider audience.”
Malachy O’Neill talked about his story in the anthology, ‘Friend in a Box’, and his influences, and how taking part in the project has benefited him.
“Writing is my lifetime dream”, he said. “I’ve always wanted to be an author or a script-writer. ‘Friend in a Box’ is a sci-fi story about clones who are given to teenagers as gifts and friends. The story looks at the effect this has on their lives; especially as my main character winds up using his Friend for bad deeds. Not surprisingly, my biggest influence was Philip K. Dick. He can turn everyday situations into something really dark.”
With such a mix of stories, from such a range of talented new authors, A Bag of Allsorts is a must have for any reader, young or old.
A Bag of Allsorts goes on digital download through MMU’s online shop from the 28th June hereor catch up with all the fun through the hashtag #bagofallsorts
The artists involved in making A Bag of All Sorts will also be here on our free Family Fun Day on Saturday 28th June… as well as a further host of craft activities, readings and events. Just check out our events listings!

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