The Manchester Writing Competition has revealed its poetry and fiction finalists featuring novelist Katie Hale, as well as Momtaza Mehri, the former Young People’s Laureate for London, and the Guardian's science editor Ian Semple.
Organised by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, where Carol Ann Duffy is creative director, the competition is comprised of the Manchester Poetry Prize and Manchester Fiction Prize, with each winner receiving a £10,000 award. Established in in 2008, it is the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished work.
This year’s shortlist features published and award-winning writers based in the UK, Netherlands, US and Singapore. The fiction shortlist features Guardian science editor Ian Sample, Singapore-based writer and visual arts researcher Elaine Chiew, Amsterdam-based writer Lauren Collett, artist and author Tim Etchells, English Literature teacher Louise Finnigan and American high school teacher Molly Menickelly.
The poetry finalists include writer Katie Hale (pictured), whose novel My Name is Monster was published by Canongate last year, former Young People’s Laureate for London and poet Momtaza Mehri, University of Edinburgh PhD student Lauren Pope, New Orleans-based poetry professor Karisma Price, American author David Allen Sullivan, and author and poet Marvin Thompson.
Nicholas Royle, chair of judges for the Manchester Fiction Prize and writer and reader in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “Although it was not our intention to do so, we seem to have selected an unusually varied shortlist this year. From biting satire to experimental fiction, with stories of intense human emotion and powerful evocations of the natural world, there’s something for everyone. Stories are entered from all over the world and the short-listed half-dozen represent writing communities in the United States, Singapore, the Netherlands and Britain.”
The Fiction Prize judging panel is completed by Lara Williams, author tutor at Manchester Metropolitan, 2017 Fiction Prize winner Sakinah Hofler and Jonathan Gibbs. Malika Booker, poet, artist and lecturer at Manchester Writing School, is chair of the Poetry Prize panel, which also includes W N Herbert and Karen McCarthy Woolf.
The winners of this year’s Poetry and Fiction Prizes will be revealed at a gala ceremony on 7th February.