Manchester poets’ society: City hosts international literary awards

Chetham’s School of Music will play host to the Manchester Literature Festival tomorrow, where winners of the £10,000 Poetry and Fiction prizes will be announced.

The international competition, established by poet laureate and creative director of Manchester Writing School, Carol Ann Duffy, seeks to encourage and celebrate emerging creative talent and has already awarded £75,000 to its winners so far.

Literature was submitted anonymously from over 50 countries with Davey Moore from Sale being shortlisted for the Fiction Prize.

“It feels good to represent Manchester – I absolutely love living here,” he said.

Normally a screenwriter for hit children’s TV shows such as Rastamouse and Octonauts, Moore’s submission An Ape in a Backwater was inspired by a dream and motivated by the writing contest.

“What inspired me to turn the dream into a story was the competition itself. If there had been no competition, the story would still exist only in my head,” he admitted.

Mona Arshi, former human rights lawyer turned poet, was ‘overwhelmed’ when her submission was shortlisted for the Poetry Prize.

“I know it’s an important and unique prize because the poets submit a portfolio of work not just a single poem,” she said.

Arshi won the Magma magazine poetry competition in 2012 with her poem Hummingbird, and plans to release her first collection, Small Hands, in spring next year.

The event is run by the Manchester Writing School, part of Manchester Metropolitan University, along with support from MacDonald Hotels.

Prizes will be presented by poet Adam O’Riordan and Nicholas Royle and more details on the competition finalists can be found here.

Tickets for the event are £5 and are available to book at or via the box office on 0843 208 0500.

Image courtesy of Matthieu H, with thanks

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