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Manchester Short Story Fiction Prize
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prothschild
 31 Jul 2014, 20:30 #181803 Reply To Post
For any short story authors out there -- I just saw a notice for the following contest:

CLOSING DATE: 29TH AUGUST 2014
Genres: Short story,

First Prize: £10,000
Entry fee: £17.50
Deadline for Entries: Friday 29th August 2014


Under the direction of Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University is launching the 2014 Manchester Fiction Prize – a major international literary competition, celebrating excellence in creative writing.

The 2014 Manchester Fiction Prize will award a cash prize of £10,000* to the writer of the best short story submitted. All entrants are asked to submit a story of up to 2,500 words in length. The story can be on any subject, and in any style, but must be fiction and new work, not previously published or currently under consideration elsewhere.

http://www.manchesterwritingcompetiti...
dancingsue
 01 Aug 2014, 11:06 #181809 Reply To Post
That's an extortionate entry fee and the prize is out of proportion for a story of that length. A quarter of each might be more realistic!
the long and the short of it

lordfoul
 02 Aug 2014, 13:23 #181841 Reply To Post
Quote: dancingsue, Friday, 1 Aug 2014 11:06
That's an extortionate entry fee and the prize is out of proportion for a story of that length. A quarter of each might be more realistic!


I've seen £5 entry fees for a mere £100 prize. When you think about it, one investment of £17.50 isn't all that much for a £10K prize. What would irk me is sharing the prize between many, as is stipulated as a possibility in the terms of the MMU competition.

Still, I suppose it comes down to how much faith you have in your work.
dancingsue
 03 Aug 2014, 11:07 #181849 Reply To Post
Entering competitions is what I do but I won't be entering this one. Both the entry fee and the prize are out of proportion and I suspect are designed to keep out the riff raff, which they will.
This post was last edited by dancingsue, 03 Aug 2014, 11:14
the long and the short of it

notleyab
 03 Aug 2014, 14:07 #181853 Reply To Post
Quote: dancingsue, Sunday, 3 Aug 2014 11:07
Entering competitions is what I do but I won't be entering this one. Both the entry fee and the prize are out of proportion and I suspect are designed to keep out the riff raff, which they will.


Don't be so tough on yourself....
Zuckerberg Shmuckerberg, Starbucks Sucks
lordfoul
 07 Aug 2014, 09:42 #181926 Reply To Post
Quote: dancingsue, Sunday, 3 Aug 2014 11:07
Entering competitions is what I do but I won't be entering this one. Both the entry fee and the prize are out of proportion and I suspect are designed to keep out the riff raff, which they will.


Each set of competition managers have their own definition of "riff-raff". As long as the story is judged for the story and not on the basis of any personal discrimination, I don't see any real problem with at least slightly higher fees. Plus, considering the drop in funding and manpower for educational establishments, I can understand MMU's hike.

Then there's the currency devaluation in the face of inflation. How far would £17.50 take you these days - not very far on a train anyway. It wouldn't even get you first class to Preston.
lordfoul
 27 Nov 2014, 22:07 #183734 Reply To Post
dancingsue was right. The pompous arses didn't even deign to contact those who didn't progress, despite all that entrance money.
jackets
 03 Jun 2015, 09:46 #185423 Reply To Post
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Shimbo
 10 Aug 2015, 18:53 #185730 Reply To Post
I'm not involved in running this competition, but I know the people who do, having previously studied at the MMU writing school. So with that small amount of insight, some thoughts:

- Yes the entry fee is high.
- Having said that, I know they get a lot of submissions (thousands). So if the price is designed to keep the 'riff raft' out, as someone suggested, it isn't working.
- If you look at previous shortlisted authors you'll see they tend to have strings of prizes and credits already. At least two previously shortlisted authors have gone on to gain commercial publication and one (Alison Moore) went on to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize - so the competition is very tough. Unless you've written something absolutely outstanding I wouldn't waste your money.
- The competition is judged blind (e.g. authors' names are removed from submissions before they are passed to the judges) so there's no bias in favour of 'privileged' groups or published authors.
- I know the judges read every single piece.
- Having said that, if you were reading hundreds and hundreds of pieces would you read on if page one wasn't grabbing you?
- I also know that 'voice' is the only thing that stands out to judges that are reading hundreds of pieces - if you do enter make sure your piece has a very strong voice.
- It's a bit inevitable that the judges' preferences are going to be the deciding factor. It's easy enough to see what kind of story the chief judge, Nicholas Royle, likes as he edits a collection called 'Best British Short Stories 20xx' every year.
- Also you can read some previous shortlisted stories herehere.

I hope that helps.

Graeme Shimmin, Alternate History and Spy Thriller Author

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