Fiction Prize: £10,000*
Entry fee: £17.50
Deadline for Entries: 14th September 2018

Chair of Fiction Judges: Nicholas Royle

£10,000 prize for the best short story of up to 2,500 words. Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 or over (no upper age limit).

2018 Manchester Writing Competition winners announced

The £10,000 Poetry and Fiction Prize winners have been revealed at a gala ceremony hosted by Carol Ann Duffy celebrating ten years of the awards. Read about the event, and find out who won on our news feed.

Read our latest news

Manchester Fiction Prize 2018 Short-list


Allison Alsup

Allison Alsup lives in a slightly ramshackle Victorian cottage in New Orleans. Her short stories have won multiple American contests, including those from A Room of Her Own Foundation, New Millennium Writings, Philadelphia Stories and, most recently, the Dana Awards. Her short story ‘Old Houses’ was selected for the 2014 O’Henry Prize Stories. She is the co-founder of the New Orleans Writers Workshop where she teaches community-based creative writing classes. ‘The Proper Protocol for Abandoned Babies’ draws from her native San Francisco Bay Area.

K.M. Elkes 

K.M. Elkes lives and works in the West Country, UK. He began writing fiction regularly in 2012 and has since won (or been placed) in a number of international writing competitions, including the Fish Publishing Prize, Aesthetica and the Bridport Prize, while his work has appeared in more than 25 print anthologies. His short fiction has been published in literary magazines including Unthology, The Lonely Crowd, Structo and Litro. A flash fiction collection, All That is Between Us, will be published by AdHoc Fiction in 2019. He is currently working on a debut short story collection and a novel. As a writer with a rural working-class upbringing, his work often reflects marginalised voices and liminal places.

Kate Hamer

Kate Hamer grew up in the West Country and Wales. She studied art and worked for a number of years in television. In 2011 she won the Rhys Davies short story prize and her short stories have appeared in various collections. Her novel The Girl in the Red Coat was published in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, The John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been translated into 18 languages. She’s written articles and reviews for The Independent, The Sunday Mail and The New York Times. Her second novel, The Doll Funeral, was published in February 2017 and was chosen as an editor’s pick on Radio 4’s Open Book and Book of the Month in the industry journal The Bookseller. Her third novel, Crushed, will be published by Faber & Faber in May 2019. Kate now lives with her husband in Cardiff.

Rae Meadows 

Rae Meadows is the author of four novels, most recently I Will Send Rain, which was shortlisted for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. She is a past recipient of the Utah Book Award. She has a BA in Art History from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Utah. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and two daughters.

Gabriel Monteros 

Gabriel Monteros is a Latino American who grew up in a working-class, multi-racial neighbourhood in Southern California. He attended Yale University where he studied history and Mandarin Chinese. He spent most of his twenties working in Zhejiang, China, for a local company and has pursued entrepreneurship in West Africa. Through work and travels, he developed deep personal, business, and emotional ties to Asia and Africa, especially China, India, Singapore, Senegal and Cape Verde. In his writing he seeks to draw from his experiences to explore the contradictions and realities of multiculturalism. He is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.

Chloe Wilson

Chloe Wilson is the author of two poetry collections, The Mermaid Problem and Not Fox Nor Axe, which was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. She received joint first prize in the 2016 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and received second prize in the 2018 Bristol Short Story Prize. 

Read all of their short-listed stories: 

In addition to the short-listed finalists, the judges would like highly commend a further 28 entries to the 2018 Manchester Fiction Prize:


Fiction Prize Judges 2018


Niven Govinden

Niven Govinden is the author of four novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. His new novel, This Brutal House, will be published by Dialogue Books in spring 2019.


Livi Michael

Livi Michael is the author of six novels for adults: Under a Thin Moon, which won the Arthur Welton Award, Their Angel Reach, which was awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, All the Dark Air, shortlisted for the MIND Book of the Year/Allen Lane Award; Inheritance, and the War of the Roses trilogy Succession, Accession and Rebellion. She has also written extensively for children, and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Alison Moore

Alison Moore’s short fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio. Her first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards, winning the McKitterick Prize. Her fourth novel, Missing, and her first book for children, Sunny and the Ghosts, will be published in 2018.


Nicholas Royle

‌Nicholas Royle has chaired the judging panel for the Manchester Fiction Prize since 2009. He is Reader in Creative Writing in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met and the author of seven novels, including The Director’s Cut, Antwerp and First Novel. He has written more than 100 short stories, some of which feature in his collection Mortality. He has edited 20 anthologies, including six volumes of Best British Short Stories, and runs Nightjar Press, which publishes new stories in chapbook format. He lives in Manchester.

Terms and Conditions (the rules)


  1. The Manchester Writing Competition: The Manchester Fiction Prize 2019  (the "Competition") is organised by the Manchester Metropolitan University ("Manchester Met").
  2. The Competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over who is not excluded by these Rules. There is no upper age limit for entry.
  3. Members of Manchester Met staff (who may also be students) and their spouses are excluded from being eligible to enter.
  4. The deadline for entries is 5pm (UK time) on 20th September 2019. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered but fees may still be charged. The online entry system may become busy as the deadline nears, so entrants are advised not to leave submission until the last minute.
  5. Entrants must submit a short story of up to 2,500 words in length. There is no minimum word count. Titles, blank lines and page numbers are not included in the word count.
  6. Entrants may submit as many stories as they wish, but each story must be submitted as a separate entry with a separate entry form and a separate entry fee.
  7. All work submitted for consideration can be on any subject, and written in any style or form, but must be the entrant's own original writing, and should not have published in print or have been broadcast on or before 28th February 2020. Work which has been published on public websites, blogs or social media sites can be submitted, but must be taken down before the date of entry and must not be uploaded again on or before 28th February 2020. Work that has been circulated via, or uploaded to, closed forums (e.g. for the purposes of workshopping on writing courses) can be submitted. Simultaneous submissions to other competitions and for publication are permitted, provided the work is not published elsewhere before 28th February 2020.Work found to be published in print or to have been broadcast or to have appeared on a website outside of these terms will be disqualified without refund of the entry fee.
  8. All work must be typed or word-processed, clearly legible and written in English. Entrants should not include illustrations or artwork. Pages submitted by post should be stapled, paper-clipped or loose, so that they can be separated easily for photocopying/scanning. Beyond these stipulations, presentation (e.g. font and spacing) is at the entrant’s discretion.
  9. Translations into English of work written in other languages can be accepted, provided that the source text is the entrant's own original work and has not been published (in line with point 7, above); translations into English of work published (in line with point 7, above) elsewhere in other languages will not be accepted.
  10. Entries will be accepted only by post or online via the competition website.
  11. Postal entries will only be valid if accompanied by a completed entry form. Postal entrants should enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope or postcard if they would like acknowledgement of entry; acknowledgement will normally be sent out within 28 days of entry, once the entry has been processed and checked.
  12. Online entries must be made via the Manchester Writing Competition website: Online entrants will be required to pay online and will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt at the time of entry.
  13. All entries will be assigned an ID number and made anonymous upon receipt. Judges will not be privy to entrants' names during the reading and judging processes. Names will be reattributed to entries only after the short list and winners have been decided.
  14. Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the Competition by entrants by notification in writing (by post or email) to be received by the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met. Where work is withdrawn, entry fees will not be refunded.
  15. Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended, corrected or substituted. If entrants wish to correct errors in stories, they must withdraw their story from the Competition as above and enter again with payment of entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.
  16. Entries will not be returned under any circumstances. Correspondence requesting returns will not receive a response.
  17. Manchester Met reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these Rules, or made a false declaration on the entry form.
  18. Manchester Met cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Competition.
  19. Manchester Met will act in accordance with current UK data protection legislation in relation to your personal data.
  20. The Competition and Rules will be governed by English Law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  21. Manchester Met reserves the right to amend these Rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond Manchester Met's control. Any changes to the Rules will be posted on the Manchester Writing Competition website.
  22. Submission of an entry will be deemed to imply unqualified acceptance of the Competition's Rules. In the event of any dispute regarding these Rules or any other matter relating to the Competition, the decision of Manchester Met shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

Judging and selection

  1. A judging panel of practising writers will select a short-list of entrants and, from that list, select the winners. The judges' decisions are final, and no correspondence about their decisions will be entered into. Manchester Met reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice. The judges reserve the right not to award the prizes, or to reduce the prize money, if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.
  2. Short-listed entrants will be invited to attend a prize-giving event in Manchester in February 2020. The winners will be announced at this event. Short-listed entrants will be notified by telephone on or before the end of Friday 20th December 2019. In cases where short-listed entrants are unable to attend the event, they will be invited to send a representative (a friend or relative) on their behalf; if a representative is unable to attend, short-listed entrants will be asked to submit a short written statement to be read out at the ceremony should they win.


  1. The cost of entry is £17.50 (sterling) per story of up to 2,500 words in length.
  2. POSTAL ENTRANTS: Payment may be made by cheque or postal order only. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to "Manchester Metropolitan University". If a portfolio is received successfully but the cheque does not clear, the entrant will be contacted within 28 days of the deadline for entries and asked to attempt payment again, or to withdraw from the Competition.
  3. ONLINE ENTRANTS: Payment should be made by debit/credit card. We cannot accept payment via PayPal. Once entrants have completed the on-screen entry form and uploaded work, they will be directed to our OnlineShop to complete payment. If an online entrant successfully submits writing but then fails to complete payment at the checkout, they will have until 20th December 2019 to revisit the OnlineShop and complete payment, or to withdraw from the Competition. 
  4. In any cases where payments have not cleared by 20th December 2019, entrants will be automatically disqualified from the Competition.
  5. 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. Please consult our Frequently Asked Questions page for further details.
  6. Payments from foreign bank accounts: 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.
  7. Payment in any form other than cheque or postal order or debit/credit card is made at the entrant's own risk.


  1. 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. Please get in touch for further details. Payment via other methods may not be accepted and is made at the entrant's own risk.
  2. Selected pieces may be printed in publications and journals hosted by Manchester Met and may appear in electronic format on the Manchester Met website, or in other electronic forms. Pieces may appear in abridged or edited form. The copyright in each story submitted remains with the author. Entrants are deemed to grant to Manchester Met a non-exclusive, worldwide licence over each entry submitted for the duration of the Competition (which is deemed to end on 28th February 2020), and for publicity purposes (including in print and electronic publications) thereafter. Simultaneous submissions to other competitions and for publication are permitted, provided the work is not published elsewhere before 28th February 2020.


  1. "The Manchester Writing Competition: The Manchester Fiction Prize" will award one prize: a cash sum of £10,000.00 to the winner(s). The judges may decide to award The Manchester Fiction Prize jointly and divide the cash sum accordingly. The maximum number of winners will be two. The prize money is generated entirely through entry fees and may be reduced if an insufficient number of entries are received.


  1. Postal entries should be sent to: Manchester Fiction Prize, Finance Service Office, Manchester Metropolitan University, Righton Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M15 6BG, United Kingdom.
  2. Queries should be sent to the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met: +44 (0) 161 247 1787 or Please consult our Frequently Asked Questions page before getting in touch.

Read the previous winning and short-listed entries:

The Manchester Writing Competition is sponsored by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts presented in partnership with Manchester Literature Festival.‌


Manchester Fiction Prize