To encourage creativity during lockdown we launched a new writing competition for anyone aged 11 and over.

This new opportunity was inspired by the Octagon’s upcoming production of One Night in Bolton by Becky Prestwich (dates to be confirmed), a play about two audience members who were at the opening night of the original Octagon back in 1967. It follows them through the decades to the present day, celebrating Bolton and its community, and how theatre and stories can bring people together.

Inspired by these themes, we asked people to write their own “One Night in Bolton” stories and memories, set in Bolton at any time between the 1960s and the present day. It could be a short story, monologue script or poem based on a memory, a real event or even a fictional event. There is a word limit of maximum 500 words.

The winning pieces will be selected by a judging panel, from two categories: a young people’s category for 11-17 year olds and an adults’ category for those aged over 18.

The winning pieces will be recorded by a professional actor and shared online and a selection will be broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester.

This is a competition for non-professional writers, and the judges are looking for a variety of stories and memories about nights in Bolton. The judging panel will include the Octagon’s Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham, writer Becky Prestwich, award winning novelist Monica Ali and actor and writer Ralf Little

The closing date for entries has now passed. Please keep posted for the announcement of the winners. 

Writing tips and exercises

Not sure how to get started? We have released some blogs with some tips and exercises to help get the words flowing: