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The Manchester Writing Competition was designed by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and her team in the Manchester Writing School at MMU to seek out and celebrate the best original writing while establishing the city as the focal point for a major literary award. Since its launch in 2008, the Competition has attracted more than 10,000 entries. £10,000 prizes are offered in two categories: Poetry and Fiction.
A new Writing for Children Prize will launch in late 2013, with prizes awarded as part of the 2014 Manchester Children's Book Festival.
This year's Poetry Prize was judged by Bernard O'Donoghue, Adam O'Riordan and Fiona Sampson and the Fiction Prize by Alison Moore, Nicholas Royle and Robert Shearman.
The winners will be announced at a gala prize-giving ceremony at Chetham's School of Music in the centre of Manchester on the evening of Friday 18th October. The event forms part of the 2013 Manchester Literature Festival and will feature readings from each of the finalists before the £10,000 prizes are awarded.
To find out more and book tickets for the event call the Manchester Literature Festival box office on 0843 208 0500 or click here to book online.
If you have any queries, or would like to know more about the competition, please contact James Draper, Manager of the Manchester Writing School at MMU, on +44 (0) 161 247 1787 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Manchester Writing School will be launching the next Manchester Poetry and Fiction Prizes in the spring.
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2013 Finalist Profiles (in alphabetical order of surname)
Carolyn King: Nobody Told Scarlatti
Carolyn King lives on the Isle of Wight, where two of her poems are cast in bronze at Island landmarks, but grew up in Slough. Carolyn has been involved educationally for many years with language-impaired children and this is often reflected in her poems. She is widely published, was a "profiled poet" in South poetry magazine last autumn and has enjoyed numerous competition successes, taking her from Edinburgh to Cornwall and Laugharne to Kent. Last month she read at the Bradford-on-Avon Fringe Festival, where her competition poem took second place. She has published three collections to date: The Reunion, Lifelines and Caviar and Chips. Click here to read her poems.
|Debra Marquart: Things Not To Put In Your Mouth
Debra Marquart's books include two poetry collections, Everything's a Verb and From Sweetness, and a short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories, which draws on her experiences as a road musician. She has received a Pushcart Prize, the Shelby Foote Non-fiction Prize from the Faulkner Society, the Headwaters Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Prose Fellowship. Her memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, was awarded the Elle Lettres Award from Elle Magazine and the 2007 PEN USA Creative Non-fiction Award. She teaches at University of Southern Maine, and she is Director of the Creative Writing and Environment programme at Iowa State University. Her next book, a collection titled Small Buried Things, is forthcoming in 2014. Click here to read her poems.
|Abigail Parry: The Lemures
Abigail Parry lives in London, where she works as a toymaker. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2010. Her work has appeared in Poetry London, The Rialto, Ambit and Magma, and also in various anthologies, including The Best British Poetry 2011 and Coin Opera 2. She was a prizewinner in the 2013 Poetry London Competition, a finalist in the 2012 Manchester Poetry Prize, and was recently selected to take part in The Rialto's Editor Development Programme. She is currently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths College on play in contemporary poetry, and working towards a first collection. Click here to read her poems.
Pascale Petit: Arrival of the Electric Eel
Pascale Petit was born in Paris and lives in London. Her latest collection, What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year, and was Jackie Kay's Book of the Year in The Observer. Two previous books, The Zoo Father and The Huntress, were also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and were Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement and Independent. She has worked as Poetry Editor of Poetry London and currently tutors courses at Tate Modern and for The Poetry School. A pamphlet Effigies was published in collaboration with the Syrian Kurdish painter Lawand, and commissioned by the A.M. Qattan Foundation at The Mosaic Rooms. A bilingual Selected Poems is also due to be published in China in 2014. Click here to read her poems.
|Wayne Price: Nightfishing
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. Click here to read his poems.
Victor Tapner: Banquet in the Hall of Happiness
Victor Tapner's first full-length collection Flatlands, a cycle of poems spanning 2,000 years of prehistory, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry and won the poetry prize in the East Anglian Book Awards. Other awards include first prize in the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition and Scotland's Wigtown. He has recently completed another poetry collection with a cast of characters from the Renaissance to the present day. Now a full-time writer, he was previously a Financial Times journalist and has also written a political thriller Cold Rain (Grafton Books, 1988). He has an MA in Writing from the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) and lives in Essex. Click here to read his poems.
|Carys Davies: In the Cabin in the Woods
Carys Davies's short fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published by The Dublin Review, Granta New Writing, Prospect, The Royal Society of Literature Review, The Stinging Fly and various anthologies including Victoria Hislop's The Story: Love, Loss & The Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories. She was the winner of the 2010 Society of Authors' Olive Cook Award, the 2011 Royal Society of Literature's V S Pritchett Prize and a 2013 Northern Writers' Award. Her first collection Some New Ambush was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year, shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Prize, and a finalist for the Calvino Prize in the US. She is married with four children and lives in Lancaster. Click here to read her story.
|Joe Dunthorne: Rising-Falling
Joe Dunthorne was born and brought up in Swansea. His debut novel, Submarine, was adapted for film by Richard Ayoade and translated into 15 languages. His second, Wild Abandon, won the Encore Award 2012. He has also published a poetry pamphlet. Click here to read his story.
|James Hopkin: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui's Arm
James Hopkin has lived in Berlin, Manchester, Krakow, Zagreb, Leipzig and several other places across Europe. Winter Under Water was a critically-acclaimed debut novel and his short stories have been anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4. A small collection, Even the Crows Say Krakow, was published in 2008. He won a J B Priestley Award in 2010, and a Society of Authors' Award in 2011. His latest work includes a new novel, Say Goodbye to Breakfast!, a full collection of stories, Fairy Tales for Fugitives, and an ebook, After Beauty, gathering his short stories and articles about Croatia and Georgia. In April, 2013, he was the Kamov writer-in-residence in Rijeka, Croatia, he has read at the international Long Night of Literature at the Writers' House in Tbilisi, Georgia, and has been a HALD writer-in-residence near Viborg, Denmark.
|Richard Knight: The Incalculable Weight of Water
Richard Knight was born in 1966 and began writing about five years later. He lives in Greenfield near Manchester with his family and dog. His first published work was in Arc Short Stories in 1997, followed by stories in Brace and The Possibility of Bears. His story Atlantic Flats was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2009 and one of his stories was shortlisted for the Fish Prize the following year. He also writes for children and since 2009 has published three novels. He teaches part-time in a primary school. Click here to read his story.
|Alison White: The Island Visitor
Alison White is a writer and visual artist based in a remote coastal location in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. As an artist she creates film/sound installations in hidden landscape settings responding to the power and danger inherent in the natural order of nature. She has recently crossed the creative divide into the field of writing and interweaves her compelling experiences in wild places into her written work. She completed an Open University course in Creative Writing with distinction in 2013. She is currently working on a number of short stories, a novel and a memoir based on her experiences of bringing up her severely disabled son. Click here to read her story.
|Adam Wilmington: It
Adam Wilmington is a song-writer, writer and poet born and raised in Wigan. He is currently finishing his degree at the University of Nottingham, having spent a year abroad at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Click here to read his story.