Literature, Manchester, News

The 2023 Manchester Writing Competition opens for entries – £10K prize up for grabs

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Get writing! The Manchester Writing Competition is open for 2023, with a chance to win a £10,000 poetry or fiction prize.

The Manchester Writing Competition returns for 2023 continuing its mission to celebrate diverse new voices from around the world as the UK’s biggest literary award for aspiring writers.

Founded by the Manchester Writing School’s Creative Director and UK Poet Laureate 2009-2019 Carol Ann Duffy, the competition offers awards for unpublished works across the globe.

The competition comprises two categories: a Fiction Prize and Poetry Prize. For the fiction prize, entrants are invited to submit a short story of up to 2,500 words. The Poetry Prize is open to a collection of between three to five poems, up to a maximum combined length of 120 lines.

“Back in 2008, I decided it would be a nice idea to establish a prize for new writing and for that prize to be based in Manchester but also reach out across the world. And be open internationally,” said Carol Ann during a speech delivered at the 10th anniversary of the competition.

Carol Ann explained that she wanted to see new writing, as opposed to previously published work and was “keen that it should award a substantial, if not quite life-changing, sum of money to a writer”.

Over the first ten years, the competition received over 30,000 entries alone and awarded more than £200,000 since it started in 2008.

Last year, Peter Ramm took home the Manchester Poetry Prize for his portfolio ‘Landfall’ and Leone Ross scooped the Manchester Fiction Prize for her short story, When We Went Gallivanting.

Peter said: “Writing, and poetry in particular, is not an easy road to tread. There are many rejections, little acclaim, and almost no income, but we are a stubborn bunch of us poets; who seek to not only observe our own lives, but also to honour language, and let it unlock so much more than an ordinary existence.

He described his journey from the other side of the world to be at last year’s award ceremony as “truly wonderful”.

Accepting her award on the night, Leone told the crowd: “I have such affection and respect for the Manchester Prize – one of few in the UK that celebrates the short story so very generously. Whether subversive, experimental or just thumpingly good old fashioned story-telling, the Fiction Prize reminds us that the short story is a fluid space for amusement, beauty and politics alike.”

The 2023 Manchester Writing Competition is open to entries until 5pm on 1st September 2023. Entries cost £18 per submission for either the poetry or fiction prize. 

100 reduced price (£10) entries are available to entrants who might not otherwise be able to take part in the Competition.

For more information visit mmu.ac.uk/writingcompetition, join the mailing list and follow @McrWritingSchl on Twitter.

About the author / 

Samuel Ethan Jolly

Born and raised in Manchester (UK), Samuel grew up surrounded by markers of the Industrial Revolution: flats carved out of old Workhouses, murky canals, and grand chimneys. The Peaks and Lakes, of Derbyshire and Cumbria are all added to Samuel's mixed rural and urban experience of the North. He is an avid reader, writer, photographer, and general enjoyer of fantasy, sci-fi, history and many more.

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