Tim Etchells has been selected for the shortlist of new writing as part of this year’s Manchester Writing Competition – the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished work. Devised by Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE at the start of her poet laureateship in 2008, the competition has since awarded £175,000 in prize money and helped to accelerate a number of literary careers.
Organised by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, where Carol Ann is Creative Director, the competition is comprised of the Manchester Poetry Prize and Manchester Fiction Prize, with each winner receiving a £10,000 award.
This year’s Manchester Fiction Prize shortlist features Etchells alongside Elaine Chiew, Lauren Collett, Louise Finnigan, Molly Menickelly and Ian Sample.
From biting satire to experimental fiction, with stories of intense human emotion and powerful evocations of the natural world, there’s something for everyone.
Previous shortlisted writers include Alison Moore, who went on to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and the award-winning poet Helen Mort who used her 2008 Poetry Prize money to buy a car and travel to poetry events around the country. Last year’s prizes were given to New York-based Gabriel Monteros for his story Kolkata, while British poet Molly Underwood took home the Poetry Prize for her three poems Genesis, Corinthians/ John and Song of Songs.
Chair of judges for the Manchester Fiction Prize, novelist, short story writer and editor of Best British Short Stories, Nicholas Royle, who is also Reader in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “Although it was not our intention to do so, we seem to have selected an unusually varied shortlist this year. From biting satire to experimental fiction, with stories of intense human emotion and powerful evocations of the natural world, there’s something for everyone. Stories are entered from all over the world and the short-listed half-dozen represent writing communities in the United States, Singapore, the Netherlands and Britain.”
The Fiction Prize judging panel is completed by Lara Williams, Tutor at Manchester Metropolitan and author of the acclaimed 2019 novel Supper Club, 2017 Fiction Prize winner Sakinah Hofler and Jonathan Gibbs.
The winners of this year’s Poetry and Fiction Prizes will be revealed at a gala ceremony on Friday February 7 in the atmospheric Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library in the heart of Manchester. The event will feature readings from each of this year’s finalists before the announcement of the winners.