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2014 Manchester Writing for Children Prize

Mandy Coe
The first ever Manchester Writing for Children Prize invites the submission of poetry to be read by children within the age group of five to 12. Portfolios should contain three to five poems, totalling together no more than 120 lines.

Prizes include:
  • publication of selected pieces from long-listed entrants in a new anthology;
  • an invitation to appear alongside Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at a special event at the 2014 Manchester Children's Book Festival for the short-listed entrants;
  • and a cash prize of £2,000 for an overall winner – to be announced at that event.*
Deadline for entries: Friday 28th February 2014
Entry fee: £12

“What is a ‘poem for a child’? Clear language, sharp editing, avoidance of cliché are the key elements of good poetry for readers of all ages. And if we include narrative, imagery, voice, rhythm, the subtle drive of full or half rhyme, free or blank verse, it seems that the only limitation of this genre is our preconception of child-as-reader. The attraction and influence of children’s poetry is profound, and – despite containing only a fraction of the infrastructure (publications, prizes, courses) available for those writing for adults – many classic and contemporary poets have discovered the pleasures of writing for both adults and children.

Sea Monkey “This international prize is a first of its kind, aiming to celebrate this genre by welcoming a portfolio of work from established and new writers. The resulting anthology, a professionally produced and illustrated book of poetry for readers aged five – 12, will be launched during the Manchester Children’s Book Festival where winning poets will be invited to read alongside UK poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Whether you are a seasoned children’s poet or a poet venturing into this genre for the first time – we look forward to seeing what you think poems for children can be!”

Chair of Judges Mandy Coe

To enter the 2014 Manchester Writing for Children Prize online, click here. If you have any queries, or would like to be sent a printed entry pack for postal submission, please contact: writingschool@mmu.ac.uk +44 (0) 161 247 1787.

* Terms and conditions apply – click here for full details.

The Manchester Writing Competition and Manchester Children’s Book Festival, established by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy are run by her team in the Manchester Writing School at MMU.







Illustrations taken from Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre: www.jabberworks.co.uk. Published by Oxford University Press.
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