Two publishers and two authors today announce Connecting Stories, a campaign to support  children’s literacy in the Manchester area. Led by Read Manchester from the National Literacy Trust  and Manchester City Council, the Arts Council England-funded project increases children and young  people’s access to literary experiences and books. 

Authors David Baddiel and Louisa Reid will be championing reading and creative writing in the Manchester community, through an exciting calendar of events. To further inspire the next  generation of readers and writers, publishers Guppy Books and HarperCollins UK will donate books  to the Manchester area. 

Children and young people age 7 to 14 will be invited to take part in a creative writing competition  with a unique theme, to be announced shortly. Entries will be published in one of 19 Connecting  Stories anthologies and displayed in Manchester community’s cultural institutions.  

David Baddiel says: 

“With the literacy attainment gap growing wider and wider during these difficult times, initiatives  like Connecting Stories are needed now more than ever. I’m thrilled to be involved and look forward  to delving into the wonderful world of stories with children across Manchester. Who knows where  their imaginations will take them!”

Louisa Reid, Author, says:

“I’m so excited that Connecting Stories is coming to Manchester and can’t wait to get stuck in. I hope  this project allows us to inspire thousands of local children and young people in the city to find a love  of reading that will stay with them forever. It feels as if the power of story has never been more vital;  young people deserve the beauty and magic of books and I can’t wait to help bring that to them.”

Jason Vit, Head of Local Areas at the National Literacy Trust, says: 

“Connecting Stories is a brilliant approach to supporting literacy in Manchester during the third  lockdown and beyond. It has been a challenging year and this initiative aims to inspire and engage  the children, young people and families who have been most affected by the impact of COVID-19.” 

Sarah Crown, Director of Literature at Arts Council England, says: 

Connecting Stories is a brilliant, creative way of supporting children’s literacy in communities  suffering disproportionately from the impact of COVID-19. The commitment of publishers big and  small to helping children and young people connect with stories and the authors is hugely exciting, 

and will offer inspiration to children and families around the country, as well as a means of  celebrating the unique communities and resources in local areas.  

“Arts Council England is proud to support this work, and excited by the opportunities it offers, both  now and in the future.” 

Connecting Stories will be delivered across 14 local areas, and a total of 18 publishers and 32  children’s authors are involved.For more information, please visit: 


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