Manchester Prizes Gala at Chetham’s Library

Part of our Literature guide

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean
Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean.

Manchester Writing Competition: Award Ceremony and Anniversary Gala at Chetham’s Library, Manchester, 7 February 2020 - Book now

Now incorporating both the Manchester Poetry Prize, crowning a writer for the best portfolio of poems, and the Manchester Fiction Prize, awarding best short story, the Manchester Writing Competition was set up by Manchester Metropolitan University Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE, Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School, when she became Poet Laureate (she handed the title over last year, to Simon Armitage).

Aiming to encourage new work and seek out the best creative writing from across the world, the competition is the UK’s richest prize for unpublished writing, each year awarding £10,000 to both the winning poet and the winning prose writer, and dishing out more than £175,000 since it was established in 2008. Previous winners include poet Dr Helen Mort and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Alison Moore, who called her win, in 2009, “a highlight of my writing career”.

This free gala event for the UK’s biggest international literary awards for unpublished writing takes place in the atmospheric medieval Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library

This year’s poetry judges are Malika Booker, WN Herbert and Karen McCarthy Woolf, while fiction is in the hands of Jonathan Gibbs, Sakinah Hofler and Lara Williams, with Reader in Creative Writing in the Manchester Writing School Nicholas Royle chairing the judging panel for the tenth year running. The shortlists for, first, the Poetry Prize and, second, the Fiction Prize are as follows: Katie Hale, Momtaza Mehdi, Lauren Pope, Karisma Price, David Allen Sullivan and Marvin Thompson; Elaine Chiew, Lauren Collett, Tim Etchells, Louise Finnigan, Molly Menickelly and Ian Sample. The winners for both Prizes will be announced on the night.

This free gala event for the UK’s biggest international literary awards for unpublished writing takes place in the atmospheric medieval Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library and will be hosted by regular comperes James Draper and Matthew Frost. The evening will open with a drinks reception, followed by short readings from each of the poetry and fiction finalists, with special guests promised and the – drum-roll, please – presentation, by Carol Ann Duffy, of the two £10,000 golden envelopes.

This event is free, but tickets should be booked in advance via Eventbrite. Doors are at 7pm when refreshments will be served; ceremony begins at 7.30pm.

Manchester Writing Competition: Award Ceremony and Anniversary Gala at Chetham’s Library, Manchester

7 February 2020 7:00 pm