Have You Had Your CAKE?

Posted on June 18, 2012


In anticipation of International Short Story Day on Wednesday, new Manchester-based short story magazine CAKE held their first, and hopefully not last, meetup at Nexus Art Cafe on Saturday. Regular visitors to the blog will know that Nexus hold a ‘Northern’ Book Group every month, so an event of this nature was naturally right up my street..

For those not in the know, CAKE is a new not-for-profit monthly magazine aimed at helping unpublished writers get published. Authors come from far and wide, not just Manchester-based. The magazine is distributed at cafes and venues across Manchester, as well as online, and the ethos is for the stories contained within to be the ideal thing to be enjoy over a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Current venues distributing CAKE include The Portico Library, Tea Hive in Chorlton, and of course, Nexus itself.

CAKE has a mix of eclectic stories ranging from the suspenseful, the touching and the spooky and there simply isn’t anything like this in Manchester at present. My personal picks are Sarah Grace Logan’s Clay and J.E. Rowney’s The Mighty Deed is Done which are well worth a read. A tall order for any short story is to create a world, atmosphere and a sense of being within the space of a typical magazine article, and, for the most part, CAKE’s authors manage this.

What’s quite exciting is CAKE’s interactive element – as we met on Saturday, not only people in attendance, but authors all over the web were submitting 100-word stories for the third issue. Founder Sarah Logan also edits and complies the stories, actively encouraging and engaging with writers submitting stories to the magazine.

Further down the line are potential plans for a creative writers group, capitalising on the very creatively fertile soil Manchester has. I’d certainly recommend anyone interested to contact Sarah at CAKE to discuss this further as although the suburbs have their own little pocket writing communities, a city-based writers group would be an interesting beast to tame I suspect.

CAKE is a exciting new creation, with exactly the right kind of venues involved, dynamic hands steering its progress and importantly engages fresh new talent. For Manchester it yet further boosts our indie cultural scene. Volunteers are sought – especially Creative Writing students – for whom involvement in such a project could yield massive potential and further enrich the CAKE community. CAKE has already achieved a great deal in a short space of time, and I hope can only grow from here on in.

Issue 3 will be out in July with the winners of Saturday’s writing competition. Issues 1 and 2 are available online or in participating venues.