Warming Up: Call for creative writing submissions and featured artwork

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Featured illustration: Lucy Vincent

Aside from the festive cheer which brightens the streets, winters in Manchester (and throughout the UK) can be pretty miserable. The long nights, short days, grey skies, and almost constant rain, can start to feel relentless. To remedy this, we’ve chosen ‘Warming up’ as our creative theme of the month here at aAh! Magazine.

Perhaps it’s wrapping up in 20 layers to brave the frosty winter weather, or arriving home after a long day out, and curling up in front of the fire with blankets and a hot chocolate. Or cooking a hearty dinner in the oven (or more realistically warming up some leftovers from the night before).

A memorable opening act at a comedy or music gig who managed (or failed to) to excite and invigorate the crowd. A party that began awkward, boring and uneventful, but turned out to be one of the most entertaining nights you’ve had. Preparing yourself for a performance, or a killer workout. That moment when someone suddenly opens up, or when you yourself warm to someone. When a person’s presence warms your soul. Whether it relates to yourself, another person, or an object, let’s explore what it means to ‘warm up’.

Creative Writing Guidelines

We are accepting creative writing, including poetry, prose, short stories and flash fiction responding to the theme WARMING UP. Share your best creative fiction and/or non-fiction pieces that explore this topic.

Submissions should be a maximum of 1500 words, and we allow a maximum of three pieces of poetry, or one piece of creative fiction/nonfiction per submission.

Featured Artists Guidelines

We’re spotlighting visual artists – fine artists, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers. Submit up to ten images (or one film) of work which responds to the theme WARMING UP.

We want to see a diverse array of interpretations, and artists are invited to submit work in a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, textile, mixed-media, digital, performance and film.

Submit your visual art in a digital format in the highest possible resolution (not below 300 dpi).

Visual Guidelines

Featured Artists’ work may also be published alongside creative prose, poetry and other artwork exploring the theme WARMING UP. We aim to curate a thought provoking, critical and creative selection of writing and artwork.

To submit, email your entry to with the subject line ‘Warming Up Creative Submission’. Deadline: 20th January, 2024.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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