Established in 1998 within the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Manchester Writing School is a thriving centre of creative excellence. The School hosts an ambitious suite of degree programmes and short courses, a vibrant series of public reading events, a leading programme of outreach activities, a major international writing competition and an annual festival of children’s literature.
Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE – Creative Director
of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met
The Power of Words: Led by Carol Ann Duffy, The Manchester Writing School is the beating literary heart of a city alive with culture. Find out more about its prestigious past, present and future by watching our video, 'The Power of Words'.
The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met is one of the most successful literary centres running in the UK today, and home to the country’s largest postgraduate English and Creative Writing community.
The School’s Creative Director is Carol Ann Duffy DBE (Poet Laureate 2009-2019), and she teaches alongside a team of distinguished practising writers and critics. We also host a number of high-profile Visiting Fellows who contribute to Manchester Writing School teaching, projects and public events.
More than 95 of our students and graduates have embarked upon publishing careers, launching first books, with many more achieving publication in journals and magazines, winning writing awards and prizes, and setting up small presses and anthologies. Our alumni include winners of the Costa First Novel Award and Forward Poetry Prize, and a long-listing for the Man Booker Prize.
From 1998 to 2016, students on our MA Creative Writing programme produced a full-length book, developed through writing workshops and completed, with expert one-to-one supervision, over a dedicated writing-up year. From 2016, the School offers a one-year MA with an extract from a proposed book as the final submission and a new Master of Fine Arts qualification for those wishing to complete their manuscript. There are specialist routes in Novel (including short fiction), Poetry, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Scriptwriting (for stage, screen and radio) and Creative Non-Fiction.
Our school plays a leading role in establishing Manchester as a city of writers with a commitment to finding diverse new voices and creating opportunities for writer development, enabling new writing and building audiences for the next generation of talent. Manchester has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its thriving live literature scene, with a year-round programme of author events, writers’ forums, networking opportunities and open mic nights.
We are home to a suite of ambitious outreach projects including the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and Mother Tongue Other Tongue, an international multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. Our School has a strong Manchester presence, with links to many of the city’s major cultural and arts organisations, and also a global reach with students and alumni based across the UK and continental Europe, and in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia. In 2020, Manchester Metropolitan University will open the North West’s first public poetry library. The mission of the Manchester Poetry Library is to widen access to poetry and to support the creation and performance of new writing at every level from primary school to professional publication.