Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to avoid the slush piles

Many of the UK’s leading children’s writers will soon be heading to Manchester for the inaugural Manchester Children’s Book Festival, 1-4 July. As well as lots of fun activities for schools and families, there’s also a couple of events for any budding children’s authors out there…

The Children’s Pitching Competition, 30th June 2010, 1.30pm in the Great Hall of the Friends Meeting House.
This is being held as a satellite programme for the Manchester Children’s Book Festival in collaboration with Commonword and Manchester Central Library. There will be up to sixfinalists, battling it out to pitch their novels to a panel comprised of Julia Churchill, literary agent from Greenhouse Literary Agency, Emma Young, Children’s Editor from Macmillan and Sherry Ashworth, award winning children’s writer and Senior Lecturer on MMU’s Creative Writing MA. Free entry but contact to register interest in coming.

Symposium 1, July 1st 2010, 11am-12.30pm at MMU, Geoffrey Manton Building The Children’s Trilogy: recession, technology and the killer slush pile. A panel of industry experts will each talk about the state of the children’s fiction industry today. Speakers are Clare Conville, literary agent for Conville & Walsh, Barry Cunningham, M.D. of Chicken House Publishing, Melvin Burgess, author of Junk and Billy Elliot, Sophia Bennett, author of Threads, and Robert Williams, new author on the block with experience in book retail and winner of a Faber & Faber first chapter competition. £5 or £3 concessions. Visit festival website for information on booking.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You've got to be in to win!

You may have your eyes on a big gold cup this month, but if you’re a Manchester writer there maybe a greater prize within your reach...

Rain Never Stops Play
Creative Tourist and Rainy City Stories have just launched a new short story competition. They are looking for stories that encapsulate some of the romance or the horror, the daily drudgery or the surreal moments, the beauty or the decay of modern urban life. Stories should be contemporary or set within the last ten years, and should provide a detailed snapshot of city life. The competition is open to anyone, from any city. Judges (including the public) will be selecting one Manchester winner and one winner from elsewhere. The winning stories will be published on Creative Tourist and Rainy City Stories, and the winners will receive a cash prize of £100 and tickets to some very special events at this year's Manchester Literature Festival. The closing date for entries is July 2nd. For full details of how to enter, please visit

Crocus First Chapter & Pitching Competition 2010
The search is on to find the best budding novelist in the North of England. The winner will get £250 and their own writing mentor to help them get their novel completed. Six other promising novelists identified through the competition will be provided with significant assistance with their novel and be invited to take part in Is There A Novelist In The House? on Saturday 23rd October as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. This competition is open to writers who live or work in the North of England and the closing date is 30 June 2010. Full details and an entry form available at

Manchester Poetry Prize
The Manchester Writing School at MMU have launched the second Manchester Poetry Prize. This year's judges are Simon Armitage, Lavinia Greenlaw and Daljit Nagra. The Manchester Poetry Prize is open internationally and will award a cash prize of £10,000 to the writer of the best portfolio of poetry submitted. A bursary for study at MMU will also be awarded to an entrant aged 18-25 as part of the Manchester Young Writer of the Year Award. The prizes will be presented at a special Awards Dinner as part of this year's Manchester Literature Festival. The deadline for entries is 6th August 2010 and the entry fee is £15. Full details on how to submit your work can be found on the MMU website.