Poetry Pamphlet Reviews & Features

Run by HappenStance Press

When it comes to pamphlet comps, what’s the choice?

A good number of competitions are currently running in the UK. The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition is perhaps the best known — and most coveted — but new ones spring up (and down) periodically. Here’s a list to get you started.

Cinnamon Press

Cinnamon’s annual Poetry Pamphlet Prize invites collections of 15-25 poems, and entry is £10. The closing date is normally March of the year in question, and its current judge is Ian Gregson. The prize is publication by Cinnamon for two winners – see Competition Guidelines.

Erbacce Press

Erbacce Press runs a free annual poetry prize with a closing date normally in May of the year in question. Poets enter five poems. The prize is publication in book form by Erbacce, but two runners-up may receive book or pamphlet publication. Judge is editor Alan Corkish.

Mslexia

Mslexia magazine, in conjunction with PBS, runs an annual poetry pamphlet competition. The closing date for 2019 is 16 September. The judge is Amy Wack, of Seren books. Prize is £250.00 and pamphlet publication by Seren. The entry fee is £20.00 and the competition is only open to poets with no previous full collection published.

Live Canon

Annual competition of pamphlets between 18 and 35 poems long. Ten pamphlets are long-listed and four winners receive publication by Live Canon Poetry Press. Entry fee: £12.00 

Munster Literature Centre

The Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition runs annually. First prize is €1000 and publication by Southword Editions, second prize is €500 and also publication. One of the winners will have no history of previous pamphlet or book publication. There are also up to 25 publicly commended entries. Winners also receive 25 free copies of the publication, and a reading at Cork Spring Poetry Festival. Check here for details.

Paper Swans Poetry Pamphlet Prize

An annual competition. Shortlist of ten published on the website. One winner receives publication.

The Gloucestershire Poetry Society

The V20 Annual Full Pamphlet Submission, started 2019, closing date 31 July. Entry fee £15.00 for up to 20 poems. Prize 50 complimentary copies of published pamphlet. Judges not named.

The Poetry Business

The big one: annual competition for pamphlet-length collections – 20-24 pages of poetry — with the option for winners of submitting a full book-collection manuscript. Entry is £28, £25 for The North subscribers, Friends of The Poetry Business and members of The Poetry Society. The prize includes publication by Smith/Doorstop Books for four winners, and a share of £2,000.

The Poetry Business New Poets Prize is also run by The Poetry Business. This is a pamphlet competition for poets aged 17-24. Entries invite 12 pages of poems. Prize includes mentorship package for four poets, and publication by Smith/Doorstop Books for one of these.

Prole Pamphlet Competition

Up to 35 pages, entry £12.00. Prize £400.00 and it appears publication, since winners receive 25 complimentary copies. Closing date in 2019 is 31 August. Judge is Brett Evans, Proleeditor. Entries are judged anonymously Check here for details.

The Rialto

The Rialto ran its first open pamphlet competition in 2016 – for collections of 18-24 poems; entry fee £22, £16 for The Rialto subscribers. Last year’s closing date 31 December. Again, watch this space for details of a follow-up.

Templar Poetry

Templar runs short-collection competitions on a rolling basis. IOTA shots – for 12-16 pages of poems, entry currently £17.00.The prize includes publication by Templar in pamphlet form and an option to submit a full collection. All are judged by Templar Managing Editor Alex McMillen.

Competitive awards for published pamphlet collections: 

Callum MacDonald Award

The annual Callum Macdonald Award, awarded by the Scottish Poetry Library in conjunction with the Saltire Society, is awarded to the publisher of a pamphlet (of no more than 38 pages). The publisher or the pamphlet must have some association with Scotland or Scottish culture. The publisher receives £500.00 and the winning poet is awarded an Inspiring Scotland Bursary of £1,500. Publisher and poet may be the same person, which means this competition is open to self-published pamphlets. Four copies of each pamphlet must be supplied, but entry is free.

Michael Marks Award

The annual Michael Marks Award has four categories:

  • The Michael Marks Poetry Award
  • The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award
  • The Michael Marks Illustration Award
  • The Michael Marks Celtic Language Award

Poetry pamphlets must comprise no more than 36 pages, and self-published work is eligible. Five copies of each pamphlet must be supplied, but entry is free.

Publishers must additionally supply an entry form with statements about their programme, philosophy, aims, strategy, future plans, design and print criteria and sales/promotion strategy and activities.

Last year’s dates were for pamphlets published between 1st July 2015 and 30 June 2016, and the closing date was in August.

The prize is £5,000 for both the poetry and the publisher’s award, £1,000 for the illustration award and £2,000 for the Celtic Language Award. The poetry winners also have the opportunity to take up a residency at the Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece. Check the Wordsworth Trust website for details usually released or around August.