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The Portico is an amazing historic library in the middle of Manchester. Hidden in plain sight, some consider it to be one of the city’s best kept secrets. Many significant people from the Industrial era were members of the Library and The Portico still brings that history to life.

We believe books are meant to enrich our lives through education and shared experiences. The Library has a special collection that covers all kinds of interesting topics, which means we can provide collection insights and engagement opportunities that are relevant to what you’ve been learning in the classroom. Through our work on The Portico Sadie Massey Awards we deliver reading and writing workshops in schools and The Portico also accepts self-led visits from school groups to the Library.

Download and complete this form to make an enquiry about our workshops.

Helpful guidance on organising creative workshops can be found at worldbookday.com and societyofauthors.org.

meet our team of educators

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When Marie Basting was fifteen, she was told by a careers advisor that girls like her don’t become writers. For a long time, she believed this. But then something magical happened and Marie finally came to realise that girls like her can do anything they want. Princess BMX, her debut novel, will be published by Chicken House in August 2019.

A highly experienced learning practitioner, with a relaxed friendly style, Marie has an MA Creative Writing and a Level 7 qualification in Action Learning. As an Assistant Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Marie supports the development of writers and illustrators at all stages of their careers. She also offers freelance creative writing tuition to both adults and children and is an Associate Lecturer at Manchester Met University.

Find out more at https://mariebasting.com/


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Martin Griffin is an award-winning writer of fiction, including ‘The Poison Boy’ published under the pseudonym Fletcher Moss as well as YA thrillers ‘Lifers’ and ‘Payback’, both as M.A. Griffin. He also has 20 years’ experience teaching post-16 students, latterly as assistant head teacher and deputy head teacher. He works with schools and colleges to design and implement character development and mindset programmes, and is the author of The A-Level Mindset and The GCSE Mindset.


Twitter: @FletcherMoss

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Paul Morris was a successful lawyer before becoming an author known for his meticulous research and exciting stories. As one of the most successful writers for Seven Arches Publishing’s Time Traveller Series with his book about Alan Turing, Paul is often in demand for talks and signings for ‘Time Traveller Danny and the Codebreaker’. His research about the misunderstood genius was so meticulous even staff at Bletchley Park couldn’t fault his facts! His other published works include YA fiction and poetry and includes his book ‘Beyond the Morning Sun’, released in support of services charity Combat Stress. His latest book, ‘Time Traveller Danny and the Paradise Machine’, will be available soon.

Twitter: @PMAuthor

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Jack Nicholls is an award-winning writer of poetry, plays and fiction. His debut poetry pamphlet Meat Songs was published by The Emma Press and praised by Sabotage Reviews for ‘its surrealism, its dark comedy [and] its pitch-perfect sense of style […] Nicholls has a voice all his own.’ His poems also feature in The Poetry Review, The Tangerine, and The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017, among many other publications. A member of the Royal Court theatre’s ‘Writer’s Group North’, his debut full-length play Harsh Noise Wall was read at the Court and Northern Stage, Newcastle in the summer of 2018; he’s also performed comedy with a sketch group at the past three Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. As an educator, he is professionally experienced in providing engaging workshops to children and adults of all abilities and needs.

Twitter: @fakenicholls


Reece Irvin Williams is a graduate of the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, holding a 2:1 BA Hons in Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management. He is a Mancunian poet of Jamaican and Trinidadian heritage. Having been a member of the Young Identity and Inna Voice spoken word collectives since 2007, Reece now acts a Peer Mentor and Project Administrator for Young Identity. Since joining YI, Reece has performed on the local, national and international spoken word scene (Brave New Voices, 2008 & 2009; NuYorican Poets Café, 2010).