Two things to tell you about briefly if you happen to live in or visit Manchester.
The wonderful Manchester Literature Festival is all ready for action and the website is now taking bookings (if you look closely at the word search on the cover it says 7th to 20th October). I will be volunteering again this year and hopefully a blogging slot too. As usual a wide variety of creative talent, from the well known to the relatively obscure. I am pleased to see a much wider representation from writers for young people, notably Eoin Colfer and Malorie Blackman, and also Neil Gaiman talking about his new children's novel. Lionel Shriver is doing the Manchester sermon (which Ali Smith did last year and was so brilliant). I am a bit spoiled for choice and have so many things I would love to go and see. Do go and check out all the events, many are free, and get yourself a culture fix.
Secondly is the 'do it 2013' exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery (created in collaboration with the International Festival) that I went to see with my mum last week. What you might call a 'conceptual' collection of artworks aimed at engaging ordinary people in the process of creating art; not so much come and look at the pretty pictures, more come and have your brain bombarded with crazy ideas. Go prepared to join in. On until the 22nd September.