Wednesday, 18 December 2013

2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Judges announced

Chaired by the philosopher and writer, AC Grayling, the other 2014 judges are: Jonathan Bate, Oxford Professor of English Literature and biographer; Sarah Churchwell, UEA’s Professor of American Literature; Dr Daniel Glaser, neuroscientist and cultural commentator; Dr Alastair Niven, former Director of Literature at the British Council and at the Arts Council, and Erica Wagner, former literary editor and writer.

2014 is the first year of the new rules, which will see the prize opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English, for novels published in the UK by an established imprint between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014. The expanded prize will recognise, celebrate and embrace authors of literary fiction writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai.

For this inaugural year, the trustees have decided that the judging panel will increase from five to six. The 2014 judges bring with them a wide reading experience and knowledge of international literature. In what will be an exciting new era for the prize, the panel consists of three new judges and three who have previously judged the prize - Alastair Niven in 1994, Erica Wagner in 2002 and AC Grayling in 2003.

The judges’ mission remains the same as in previous years: to select the finest fiction of the year. Following her win in October 2013, Eleanor Catton said of the expansion of the prize: ‘I think it’s a really great thing that finally we’ve got a prize that is an English-language prize that doesn’t make a distinction towards writers who are writing from a particular country. If you’re writing in the English language, you’re considered alongside everybody else.’

AC Grayling comments on behalf of the judging panel: 'The Man Booker prize has become an even bigger entity this year, with all fiction in English published worldwide between October 2013 and October 2014 now joining the competition. The challenge for my fellow judges and me is an exciting one, and I'm delighted to have such an outstanding group of people to work with in this highly significant year for the prize. We welcome that challenge, and are now launching ourselves into it with relish.'

The judges will read submissions both in hard copy and using iPad Airs, donated by Apple.

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in late July 2014 and the shortlist of six books in early September 2014. The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on 14 October 2014, at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, broadcast live by the BBC.

2014 is the 46th year of the prize, which was launched in 1969. The 2013 winner, Eleanor Catton, made history as the youngest author to win the prize, at 28, with her novel The Luminaries and has since gone on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and was recently honoured as Woman of the Year by New Zealand’s M2 Magazine. The Luminaries has already been reprinted seven times in the UK alone.

For further information about the prize please visit or follow us on Twitter at  

Monday, 16 December 2013

Call For Submissions: Mslexia Short Story Competition

The competition run by the magazine for women who write is open now for unpublished stories of up to 2,200 words. Mslexia accepts work on all subjects, so write about anything and everything you fancy. The winning stories will be published in Mslexia as well as receiving cash prizes. 

For more information and to enter the competition go to

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ian Duhig Opens T S Eliot Prize 2013

As part of his role as a judge of this year’s T S Eliot Prize, poet Ian Duhig, will be opening the T S Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings event at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall at 7pm on Sunday 12th January 2014 by reading a poem by TS Eliot. 

The evening is one of the biggest, and best attended, poetry events in the UK, and will be hosted by Ian McMillan. 

The judges have chosen the shortlist from 113 books submitted by publishers:
Helen Mort – Division Street (Chatto & Windus)
Robin Robertson – Hill of Doors (Picador)
SinĂ©ad Morrissey – Parallax (Carcanet)
Maurice Riordan – The Water Stealer (Faber)
Daljit Nagra – Ramayana: A Retelling (Faber)
Dannie Abse – Speak, Old Parrot (Hutchinson)
Michael Symmons Roberts – Drysalter (Jonathan Cape)
George Szirtes – Bad Machine (Bloodaxe)
Anne Carson – Red Doc  (Jonathan Cape)
Moniza Alvi – At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe)

All shortlisted poets will be reading from their work with the exception of Anne Carson. Poet and critic Ruth Padel will read in her place.

The Prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best new poetry collection published in the UK or Ireland. It is unique as it is always judged by a panel of established poets and it has been described by Sir Andrew Motion as 'the Prize most poets want to win'.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Fenland Poet Laureate Competition Now Open!

Could you write a poem for Fenland?

Do you live, work or study in the Fens? Are you inspired by the bleak and beautiful landscapes and unique social history of this fantastic area? Could you be the next Poet Laureate for Fenland?

ADeC and Atelier East, working in partnership with Fen Speak and the Wisbech & Fenland Museum, are proud to announce the Fenland Poet Laureate poetry competition for 2014!

This is a chance for all writers from across the Fens to come together and share their poetry and help put Fenland on the creative map!

"The award has opened so many doors for me, and allowed me to provide opportunities for many more Fenland Poets. It's been a fantastic experience!" -- Leanne Moden, Fenland Poet Laureate 2013.

And best of all, it's free to enter the competition!

The Fenland Poet Laureate Judges are looking for poems that represent and relate to theme 'Fenland'. You can interpret the theme in any way you choose, and the team are really looking forward to reading your entries!

Winning the title of Fenland Poet Laureate is a great recognition of talent, as well as a fantastic opportunity to engage with your local community. The Laureate will be able to write about local events throughout the year and present poems for special occasions, working with others to develop ideas for bringing poetry to Fenland.


  • First, second and third places will be awarded to three of the poets in the adult (17+) category. 
  • Commendations will be awarded to young poets (10-16) for entries, which the judges feel have particular merit. 
  • Certificates of achievement will be given to all short-listed and commended entrants. 
  • All short-listed and commended poets will be invited to the special Fenland Poet Laureate Awards evening on Wednesday 19th March at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum.
Deadlines for entry: 5pm on Friday 31st January 2014.

Conditions of Entry:

  • Your poem should be no longer than 40 lines, and should be typed on a singleside of A4 paper. 
  • Please write your age in the top right-hand corner of the page, but please do not write your name on your poem, as all poems will be judged anonymously. 
  • All entrants must live, work, or study in the Fens. 
  • We can only accept one poem per entrant, and this poem must be previously unpublished.

So, if you live, work, or study in the Fens, the Fenland Poet Laureate team would love to hear from you! Please send your poem, along with a cover sheet with your name, email address, telephone number, address, age group entered (16 & under, or 17+) and the title of the poem to:
Fenland Poet Laureate Competition
Babylon Gallery
Ely, CB7 4AU

Alternatively, you can pick up an entry form from your local library. For further details, email

Monday, 2 December 2013

Featured Poem for December 2013 - By Michael 'Mixy' Riccardi

71. I Went To A Place In France Called Nice. It Was Nice.

I'd never been to Nice but it was nice
The people were nice, the food was nice
Oh course I can't speak French
But I just assume everyone was lovely and polite.
It was nice how all the drivers wave with their fists as they overtake me on the right
I met a lovely French chef who shouted compliments at me and waved with her knives
So from what I gather
People in Nice like to wave.
Which is nice.

© Michael 'Mixy' Riccardi 2013
Please do not use without the poet’s permission.

On Friday 22nd November 2013, Mixy was challenged to write 100 poems in a day and did! You can read all 100 at Mixy's blog.

For further information about Mixy and his work please visit Mixy's page here.