6th - 22nd October 2017


Manchester Literature Festival is committed to commissioning new work by established and emerging authors and presenting them at unique events. You can download digital legacies from these projects below.

ester Sermon at MLF 2015Elif Shafak at MLF 2015, copyright Jon Parker Lee

Kamila Shamsie performing at MLF 2016Kamila Shamsie at MLF 2016, copyright Jon Parker Lee

  • ester Sermon at MLF 2015
  • Kamila Shamsie performing at MLF 2016

The Commissioning Programme is at the heart of what makes Manchester Literature Festival distinctive and sets it apart from many of the other book festivals around the country. It supports the City’s cultural profile at the heart of original modern thinking and feeds the considerable appetite amongst cultural consumers looking for new experiences. There are a number of Commissions in the programme including:

The Castlefield Manchester Sermon: created to reinvigorate this lost art form and offer space for reflection from some of the most influential thinkers and writers of our times. Each year a high profile writer is invited to produce their own ‘sermon’ on a topical, ethical or social issue of the day. Launched by Jeanette Winterson in 2009, the series has so far featured Sir Andrew Motion, Ali Smith, Lionel Shriver, Audrey Niffenegger, Elif Shafak and Kamila Shamsie. The commission is supported by Castlefield.

Art Gallery Commission: working in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth Art Gallery, each year we commission a writer to respond to an exhibition in the city.

The Midland Hotel Commission: each year MLF and the Midland appoint a writer in residence who is tasked with writing a new story inspired by a stay at the iconic hotel.

The Manchester Words & Music Commission: is a commission of high profile writers and musicians collaborating on the creation of a new piece of work incorporating music and spoken word. In 2014 Manchester Camerata performed Bill Ryder Jones song cycle, If, inspired by Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night a Traveller at a special event at Manchester Cathedral.

You can download digital legacies from a selection of previous projects below: