International finalists for £10,000 Poetry and Fiction prizes revealed.

Since its launch in 2008, Carol Ann Duffy's Manchester Writing Competition has attracted almost 12,000 submissions from over 50 counties and awarded more than £75,000 to its winners. The Competition was designed to encourage new work and seek out the best creative writing from across the world, establishing Manchester as the focal point for a major international prize. 

The winners of this year’s £10,000 Manchester Poetry and Fiction Prizes will be revealed at a glittering Manchester Literature Festival ceremony at Chetham's School of Music on Friday 17th October, presented Adam O'Riordan and Nicholas Royle. Tickets are £5 and include the event and a drinks reception. You can book online by clicking here, or by calling the box office on 0843 208 0500.

This year's Poetry Prize was judged by Adam O'Riordan, Adam Horovitz and Clare Pollard and the Fiction Prize by Nicholas Royle, Christopher Burns and Claire Dean. You can read the short-listed stories and poems online by clicking here.

2014 Manchester Fiction Prize short list
(in alphabetical order)


David Grubb’s short stories have appeared in Ambit, Cornish Review, Stand, Stride, Circus, Carrilon, Aireings, Leaf, Circus, Voices For Kosovo, Horizon, Geometer, the Matthew’s House Project, and been broadcast on BBC Radio Somerset. His collection Hullabaloo and Secret Pianos was published by Root Creations in 2011. He has published novels and novellas, has taught creative writing and creative reading courses, and runs a mentoring scheme for individual writers. His subject matter has been influenced by initially training as a psychiatric male nurse, teaching in comprehensive schools and more recently directing aid programmes in conflict zones and failed states.


Avril Joy was born in Somerset, the setting for her first novel, The Sweet Track, published in 2007 by Flambard Press. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Victoria Hislop's The Story: Love, Loss & the Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories. She has been shortlisted for a number of prizes including the Bristol Prize, and the Bridport. In 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Award. Her latest collection of stories, Millie and Bird, Tales of Paradise will be published in 2015 by Iron Press. She blogs regularly about writing and life at and lives with her partner in County Durham.


Martin MacInnes is from Inverness and lives in Edinburgh. He received degrees in English from the University of Stirling and the University of York, winning the Edward and Thomas Lunt prize for his thesis on Virginia Woolf, before working and travelling in West Africa. He has read at the Edinburgh Literature Festival and been published in Edinburgh Review, New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Litro, Causeway Magazine, Dactyl and Northwords Now. Earlier in 2014 he won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust, and read at the Lake of Stars festival in Malawi. He is interested in natural history and modernism, and is close to completing his first novel and a collection of stories.


Robert Mason started writing fiction six years ago, having created cover art for many other authors’ work during a successful illustration career. In 2010, he took part in Writers’ Centre Norwich’s Escalator Literature scheme (mentored by Courttia Newland) and has since been short- and long-listed for the Fish Short Story and Short Memoir prizes, and the Longworth Editors’ Prize. In 2013, Caseroom Press published a longer memoir, Other People’s Dogs, with illustrations by Manchester legend Ian Pollock. In order to focus on writing he recently left his fractional teaching post at Norwich University of the Arts, where he had previously run the BA Illustration course.


Davey Moore writes scripts for children’s television and, after getting breaks from Anne Wood (creator of Teletubbies) and the team behind Balamory, has written for series including Octonauts, Thomas & Friends, Pet SquadDennis & GnasherThe Furchester HotelTopsy & Tim and Boyster. In 2011, he was short-listed for a Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for his work on Rastamouse and has been writing for Puffin Rock – a new series narrated by Chris O’Dowd. He works from home, in sunny Sale, and loves cartoons, cupcakes, nerdy films, wordy sitcoms and going to see rackety bands in Manchester’s amazing array of live music venues.


Adrian Wakeling lives in Somerset. He works for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. His only claim to fame (until now!) was being asked to play double bass with the Communards in the early 1980s. Adrian was playing in the big band The Happy End at the time. On the night in question (a gig at the Brixton Art Gallery) he was wearing bright red track suit trousers. For several weeks The Big Apple was just waiting for him to take a bite. But it didn’t happen. Adrian does not bear a grudge.

2014 Manchester Poetry Prize short list

(in alphabetical order)


Mona Arshi was born to Punjabi Sikh parents and grew up in West London. She initially trained as a lawyer and worked for Liberty, the UK human rights organization, undertaking test case litigation under the Human Rights Act. She began writing poetry in 2008 and received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Mona won the inaugural Magma poetry competition and was runner up in the Troubadour last year. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Poetry Review, Rialto and Magma. Her debut collection Small Hands will be published in Spring 2015 by Pavilion Poetry, part of the Liverpool University Press.


Guy Carter was born in 1956. He earns his living as a caricaturist and silhouette artist. He recently won the Jeremy Mogford food and drink short story competition. Years ago he was a prize-winner and runner-up at several Telegraph Mini-Saga competitions. He is filming Shakespeare's sonnets for the internet.



Michael Derrick Hudson lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he works at the Allen County Public Library in the Genealogy Centre. His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Columbia, Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, North American Review, New Letters, Washington Square, West Branch, and other journals. He won the 2009 River Styx International Poetry Contest, the Madison Review’s 2009 Phyllis Smart Young Prize, and the 2010 and 2013 New Ohio Review Prize for Poetry.  His poems have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


Wayne Price was born in south Wales but has lived and worked in Scotland since 1987. He has published poetry and fiction in a number of journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and the US and has been a major prize-winner in many international poetry and short story competitions. His debut short story collection, Furnace, was published by Freight Books in 2012 and was nominated for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year. He teaches at the University of Aberdeen and is working on a novel and a first collection of poems. He was short-listed for the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize.


Lesley Saunders has published several books of poetry, and performed her work at festivals and on the radio. She has worked with artists, photographers, sculptors, dancers, and a composer and choir, and held several residencies, including at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science. Her new collection, The Walls Have Angels, is based on a residency at Acton Court, a beautiful house built for the brief visit of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in the summer of 1535. Recent readings include the Swindon Poetry Festival and an open mic session at Paddy Power’s betting shop in Clifden, Connemara. She was joint winner of the 2008 Manchester Poetry Prize, and short-listed in 2010. Photo credit: Dwain Comissiong.


Tracey Slaughter lives on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Her first collection of poems and short stories, her body rises, was published by Random House in 2005, and her poetry and short fiction have been widely published and anthologised in New Zealand and received numerous awards including the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award in 2004. She was the featured poet in Poetry NZ 25, and her work was selected for the 2008 volume of New New Zealand Poets in Performance. Tracey received the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary in 2010, and now works full time teaching Creative Writing at Waikato University. 

If you have any queries, or would like any further information, about the Manchester Writing Competition, please contact; +44 (0) 161 247 1787/1797. Press enquiries:; +44 (0) 161 247 5278. Supported by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.