Manchester Writing Competition 2015

Winners and Short List

Lucy Ingrams and Sean Lusk were named the winners of the £10,000 Poetry and Fiction prizes respectively.

Lucy declared herself “bamboozled” by the judges’ decision to award her the first prize.

“It’s crazy,” said Lucy, who won for her poems 'So will there be apples?', 'Signs', 'A hearting space', Siena' and 'August Letter'.

Lucy is a recent winner in Magma's annual poetry competition and has had her poems published in various magazines, including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Poetry Ireland, and Agenda.

Chair of the judges Adam O’Riordan, Senior Lecturer in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, said:

“I would like to thank my fellow judges Kei Miller and Olivia Cole for all their hard work. We have been very lucky throughout this remarkable prize to attract judges of the highest calibre, poets not just distinguished in their own right but also committed to judging process, to the extensive and sometimes arduous amount of reading involves and the time and care called for the deliberation in choosing the eventual winner. This year we have an all-female shortlist, as well as a pleasingly international one, which we hope is a testament to the growing reach of the prize. The shortlist forms an intoxicating anthology. They are a rich and varied selection of voices and yet somehow they all seem to sit together so well with a wonderful organic sense of interconnectivity. The winning poems distinguished themselves by their care, their thoughtfulness and ambition.”

Winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize, Sean Lusk, said: “I really, really did not expect this. This will keep me writing for another year. Thank you. It was a fantastically diverse list. I really have genuinely enjoyed reading them. I've been shortlisted for a few things before, but this means the world to me, it really does. Winning has given me a great boost in confidence.”

Sean was runner-up in the Bridport Short Story Prize in 2014, and he is currently on a writer's retreat on the North York Moors with the Anne Atkinson Writing Group.

Manchester Metropolitan lecturer Nicholas Royle, Chair of the Fiction judging panel, said: “We read horror stories and science-fiction, out-and-out fantasy, romance and avant-garde experimental fictions, and gentle anecdotal tales. Reaching a winner was extremely difficult…I wish we could give them all prizes.”

The competition is hosted by the Manchester Writing School in conjunction with the Manchester Literature Festival. James Draper, Manager of the Manchester Writing School, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to support creative writing in this way and use celebratory occasions like this to draw attention to and celebrate exciting new work and find new voices.”

Short List and Entries

2015 Prize-Giving Ceremony

The winners of the 2015 Manchester Writing Competition Poetry and Fiction Prizes were revealed at the gala prize-giving ceremony at Number 70, Oxford Road on Friday 27th November 2015. To view all the photos click the left and right arrows on the photo or view the album on Flickr.

Manchester Writing Competition 2015 Prize-Giving Ceremony

This year's Poetry Prize was judged by Adam O'Riordan, Olivia Cole and Kei Miller, and the Fiction Prize by Nicholas Royle, Stuart Kelly and Leone Ross.

Of the Poetry submissions, O'Riordan said: "We were delighted with the standard and range of entries, which remained remarkably high this year. The judging process saw myself, Kei Miller and Olivia Cole discuss the entries in depth over several hours, taking turns to read the poems aloud to get a better sense of the craft which had gone into them. In the end we were pleased with the exceptionally strong short-list; poems of great subtly and mystery which stayed with us long after we had read them." Royle added, "The judges of the Fiction Prize found the standard to be high, with all genres well represented, from folk tales and fables to surreal narratives, horror stories, science fiction, comic fiction, literary fiction, romance and the furthest reaches of the experimental and post-modern."

Winners and Short-list