Open mic slots available from February 10th

From February 10th [no earlier] you can e-mail to book a slot for the Bad Language at The Castle on Wednesday February 24th.

Make a note in your diary! We even have a little countdown box below the menu on the left. Yeah, dead fancy, right?

We are a literature night: poetry or prose. There are ten open mic spaces available, first come first served. Five of those spaces are reserved for people who have never performed with us before.

For full instructions, click here.

Bad Language in January: Unthology



Our headliner for our first Bad Language of 2016 is a book.

UNTHOLOGY showcases the work of new or established writers – a spiritual sibling of Bad Language. Our next event at The Castle on January 27th will feature two Unthology writers:

JOHN D RUTTER is a short story writer who has been published by Nightjar Press, has had work published by the Lancashire Evening Post, and has been guest editor for the Lancashire Writing Hub.

RODGE GLASS is author of LoveSexTravelMusik and Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs. among others. He is Associate Editor at Freight Books and has been nominated for the International Frank O’Connor Award.

Both writers will be reading from Unthology (published by Unthank Books) alongside, of course, our legendary open mic.

Do come to our first event of 2016. And if it’s your first time on our open mic, why not pick up some tips on performance: have a look at this post on Short Stops by BL regular David Hartley.

Wednesday 27th January 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free entry. Click here to join the Facebook event.

Bad Language in 2016

Maria Roberts and Richard Hirst performing at Bad Language in 2015

Happy new year, everyone. Bad Language had a mega year in 2015, so it’s probably an understatement to say we’re ridiculously excited about live literature in Manchester in 2016.

While we cook up plans for this next year, why not plan your appearance on our friendly open mic? 

If you write poetry or fiction, our stage could be a great place to try a public reading. Our crowds are passionate, supportive and sometimes quite boozy, and your hosts Joe Daly and Fat Roland will guide you through the night with a big smile and a lot of chatter about nothing in particular.

All you need to do is email and ask for an open mic slot, but not before the 10th of each month. That’s the rule! Our email address for that is

Here are our open mic submission details if you want more information.

And here are our event dates for 2016. More details to follow.

Here’s to another brilliant year of great writing, exciting readings and new literary talent.

Bad Language Christmas Party


Celebrate a brilliant Bad Language year as we shelter from the winter cold around a warm Joe & Fats, hosts of your favourite spoken word night.

On December 12th, we’re going to party downstairs at Gullivers. We may put up some balloons. We might bring mince pies. We may even have a guest visit from Santa Claus himself. Hmmm. Maybe just the balloons. You can get involved in the Bad Language Christmas Party three amazing ways:

– ATTEND! Turn up, have a drink, try not to fight, let’s talk the evening into a blurry stupor;

– READ! Bring a story or a poem to read. We’ll read around an imaginary campfire and/or burning reindeer. Pieces to be no more than two minutes, and we’ll keep going until we run out of time or get bored.

– DONATE! On the night, we’ll have a book swap. Bring along books you no longer want. Put them under the tree (pretend we have a tree). Then take away a donated book. Let’s find some of your old books a new home.

So (1) come along; (2) if you want to, bring a two-minute piece to read; (3) if you fancy, bring a book or three to donate in the hope that you go home with something even better! No headliners. No acts. Just us & you & stories & books.

Any questions? Email us

And do leave comments on the Facebook event – let us know what you’re going to read… but keep your book donations secret!

Saturday 12th December 8.30pm at Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free entry. Click here to join the Facebook event.

Bad Language in November: Marli Roode


For our final headline event of 2015 we are delighted to welcome back friend of Bad Language, Marli Roode.

Marli has previously headlined Bad Language to support Call It Dog, a novel which she started at Manchester’s Centre For New Writing and which went on to be shortlisted for a Dylan Thomas Prize. Marli has appeared in the Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and performed at our extra special event at The Portico in 2014 as part of Manchester After Hours.

‘The tone is consistently one of taut, sombre reflectiveness, with indications in Roode’s artfully worded descriptions of the range of this gifted young writer.’ The Guardian

Our open mic stars this month are: Alabama Griffiths, Andrew Georgeson, Fran Slater, Jacob Harman, Jenny Browne, Joe Molloy, Nick Parker, Roma Havers, Stephen Curtis, Tammy MacDonald. All stars, the lot of ’em!

Wednesday 25th November 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free entry. Click here to join the Facebook event.

Bad Language in October: Curious Tales

CuriousTales and open mic

Curious Tales will headline the October Bad Language ahead of the launch of their latest anthology ‘Congregation of Innocents’, described as ‘blazing its own brave path through the weird landscape of contemporary publishing’ by The Telegraph. Richard Hirst and Jenn Ashworth from the collective will grace our stage.

Joining Curious Tales will be some superb open mic acts, including previous headliners, old timers, and brand new performers:

Jo Bell
Philip Poyser
Harry Jelley
Bethany English
Stephen Quinlan
Barry Green
Gary Smillie
Maria Roberts
Sarah Dixon
Felicity Cluff
Joseph Clark

Wednesday 28th October 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free entry. Click here to join the Facebook event.

Tales of Bad Language at Manchester Science Festival


Our usual December bash with Tales of Whatever has moved… to Manchester Science Festival.

Can you tell fact from fiction? Tales of Whatever challenges people to tell real-life stories without notes and was a big hit at popular festival Latitude, while Bad Language has been voted the UK’s best spoken-word night. Together, we present Tales of Bad Language, a lively evening of shaggy dog science stories and audience participation for Manchester Science Festival 2015.

Sunday 25th October 7.30pm at Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester. Entry is £5, on the door only so get there early. Click for details. Click here to join the Facebook event.