How do I know if you received my writing and my entry fee?

Online entry: if you complete the online entry form, attach your poems or story and receive an on-screen message asking you to proceed to payment, we have successfully received your writing. The system will not let you proceed to payment unless it has all of the required personal information and the writing attached.

If you successfully complete payment via the online shop, you will receive an order number which is receipt of your entry and confirmation of payment. The order number will be a nine-digit code beginning "MMU and followed by six numbers" - e.g. "MMU123456". If you have a query about your payment/order, please contact our Online Shop on +44 (0) 161 247 6161.

All entries to the Competition are checked manually during processing and all writing submitted cross-checked and matched with payments made. If we discover a problem with your entry - i.e. we have writing but no payment, or payment but no writing - we will contact you to query this. This applies even if we do not process your entry until after the deadline.

Postal entry: If you submit a postal entry and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope, you will receive a confirmation letter in the post. This can take up to 28 days as this is only sent once your entry fee and entry have been processed. Unfortunately it is not possible to acknowledge receipt of postal entries submitted without stamped, self-addressed envelopes.

If we discover a problem with your payment, we will contact you to give you the opportunity to make your payment again. This applies even if we do not process your entry until after the deadline, as long as we received it before the deadline.

Can I pay the entry fee over the telephone or by electronic bank transfer?

Where entrants are unable to complete payment via cheque or postal order, or via the online system, it may be possible for payment to be made over the telephone via debit/credit card or electronically via direct bank transfer.

You should submit your personal details and your poetry/story via the online entry system or via the post with an official printed entry form before making your payment. 

To make a payment over the telephone via debit/credit card, please call our Online Shop on +44 (0) 161 247 6161 or our Cashiers on +44 (0) 161 247 1828. Please quote reference number O40039 (letter oh, four, zero, zero, three, nine) so that your payment can be allocated to your entry. 

To make a payment electronically via direct bank transfer, please use the following details: 

Bank: Barclays Bank PLC
Address: Barclays Business Centre, Manchester City Office, PO Box 357, 51 Mosley St, Manchester, M60 2AU
Sort Code: 20-55-34
Account No: 50603570
IBAN Code: GB07BARC20553450603570

Please quote reference number O40039 (letter oh, four, zero, zero, three, nine) so that your payment can be allocated to your entry.

If you have any queries about payments or would like to confirm receipt of your payment please contact our Online Shop on +44 (0) 161 247 5020 or +44 (0) 161 247 6161 or, or our Cashiers on +44 (0) 161 247 1828 or

I submitted my writing by the deadline but haven't paid yet

So long as you have submitted your writing by the deadline, it's fine to complete payment at a later date. We will contact entrants during processing to chase missing payments and you will have until the date the short-lists are announced to complete payment. Please see the terms and conditions of entry for further information.

Do you accept PayPal?

Unfortunately, the University is not currently able to accept payments by PayPal.

How do I pay in a different currency? I don’t have a UK bank account, can I still enter?

Whichever currency you normally bank in, the correct amount (the equivalent of £17.50) will automatically be taken from your bank account. If you send a cheque in the post, you still need to write the cheque out in pounds sterling and the correct amount will be taken from your bank account according to the exchange rate on the day the cheque is processed. Please note, some bank accounts are not authorised to make payments in foreign currencies. If your payment is not authorised, please discuss this with your bank. Some banks may also charge for you to make payments in foreign currencies.

Please discuss with your bank whether any charges will be taken and add the value of the charge to your payment. We will not be able to accept payments from overseas accounts where charges will be taken and these are not added to your payment amount.

My card doesn’t work/I can’t send cheques. Can someone else pay the entry fee for me?

Yes, you can ask someone else to pay the entry fee on your behalf. If you decide to do this, complete the entry form with your contact details but use the payment details of the person paying on your behalf in the payment section. If you are submitting a postal entry, it would help us if you indicate that someone else is paying on your behalf.

Can I use a pen name/a pseudonym?

On the entry form, please use your real name and contact details. No identifying details, including your name, should appear on your work itself as all entries are judged anonymously. If your entry is short-listed, you will be contacted to ask which name you would like to be associated with your work at the prize-giving ceremony and wherever your work is published or mentioned. You can then choose to use a pen name or pseudonym if you wish.

I've accidentally left my name on my writing

Don't worry - all entries are manually checked before being sent to the judges and we will delete or obscure any names which are left visible. You don't need to contact us to ask us to remove it, or resubmit your writing.

I can’t afford to pay the entry fee. Can I enter without paying and pay the fee if I win?

The entry fees are used to fund the competition and generate the prize fund. If insufficient funds are received from entry fees, the prize money has to be reduced, so we are not able to waive the fee.

I made a mistake/typo. Can I re-submit my work?

We are not able to amend, substitute, or make any changes to entries once they have been submitted. You are welcome to submit a new or updated version of an existing entry but you will need to enter again by completing a new entry form and paying a new entry fee. If you wish to withdraw an existing entry, please let us know in writing/email. No refunds are given if an entry is withdrawn.

How do I withdraw my entry?

Please email with your name, which prize you have entered (Poetry or Fiction), the title or titles of your submission and, if you completed payment, your order number and we will withdraw your entry from consideration during processing. As stateds in the terms and conditions of entry, we are unable to refund entry fees for withdrawn entries.

I have accidentally submitted the same piece multiple times. What should I do?

All entries are manually checked before being sent to the judges and duplicate entries without payments will be withdrawn during processing. You do not need to contact us to request withdrawal of a duplicate submission. If we have any queries about a duplicate submission, we will contact you for clarification.

I am not from the UK. Am I eligible to enter the competition?

Yes. The competition is open to anyone of any nationality, and resident in any country, over the age of 16 at the point of entry.

Can I enter work in a different language?

Entries should be written in English. You can enter an English translation of a poem/story written in a different language as long as the original work, as well as the translation is your own. Short extracts or quotations in non-English languages are fine.

I can't upload my file/what file formats do you accept?

If there is a problem uploading a file, the online system will display a *file error* message. This means that the format of your file is not compatible with the online system. To overcome this, check:

Can I submit by email?

We are not able to accept entries via email. All entries must be made using an official entry form, either online via the Competition website, or by post using a printable form. Email entries will not be accepted and may not be acknowledged.

Is there a particular theme? What sort of style/topic are the judges looking for? Can I submit a poem/story for children? Can I submit a play?

There are no rules or guidelines relating to the style/form/topic/genre/target audience. The prizes are awarded to the best short story and portfolio of 3-5 poems. As long as your work fits these descriptions and is within the word/line count, it will be given equal consideration by the judges in the competition. This competition is for prose stories and poetry so please do not submit plays.

Can I enter more than once? Can I enter both competitions?

You are welcome to submit as many entries as you like to either/both the Poetry and Fiction prizes. The process for submitting a second entry is the same as for submitting a first; each entry needs its own entry form and entry fee.

I entered one of my poems/my short story in another competition. Can I submit this to the Manchester Writing Competition? I have entered the Manchester Writing Competition but would like to enter one of my poems/my story in another competition. Can I do this?

As far as we are concerned, it is okay for work submitted to other competitions to be entered to the Manchester Writing Competition, and/or for your Manchester Writing Competition entry be simultaneously under consideration elsewhere. You would need to check the terms and conditions of any other competitions to make sure this was okay with them. As submissions to the Manchester Writing Competition must not have been published, you would also need to inform us if your work was accepted/published elsewhere while under consideration by us and withdraw it from our competition if necessary.