The 2015/16 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition

Entry to the 2015/16 Book & Pamphlet competition is now closed. The winners will be announced in Spring 2016.

"One of the career milestones for very many poets of note has been winning the prestigious Poetry Business competition." — Anne-Marie Fyfe


JUDGE: Billy Collins

DEADLINE: last post on 29th January 2016, or midnight on Sunday 31st January 2016 (online)

ENTRY FEE: £25, or £20 for North subscribers, Friends of the Poetry Business and members of the Poetry Society.

PRIZES: Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books, a share of £2,000 cash, publication in The North magazine, and launch readings hosted by the Poetry Business.

The 30th annual international Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition invites entrants to submit a collection of 20-24 pages of poems for the chance to win publication by smith|doorstop, a share of £2,000 ($3,250) and other prizes.

Four first-stage winners are selected and given the opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript to the second round of the competition, in which one of them can win book publication. The three first-stage winners will then receive pamphlet publication. All four winners will receive an equal share of the £2,000 prize money, and will have a launch reading organised by The Poetry Business and a selection of their poems published in The North magazine.

Full price entry costs £25. Subscribers to The North, Friends of The Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £20.


The Judges

 Billy Collins





Billy Collins is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems (Random House and Picador in the UK, 2013), and he has also compiled three anthologies, including Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry

Billy Collins has served as United States Poet Laureate and as New York State Poet.  He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College and a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute of Rollins College.


Ann and Peter Sansom are directors of the Poetry Business and editors of The North magazine and smith|doorstop books. Ann’s publications include Romance and In Praise of Men & Other People (Bloodaxe) and Peter’s include Writing Poems (Bloodaxe) and Selected Poems (Carcanet).


The Yorkshire Poetry Prize 

The best single poem from each collection submitted by an entrant with a Yorkshire postcode is automatically entered into the Yorkshire Prize category, for the chance to win £100 and publication in The North magazine and on the Poetry Business website. This category is sponsored by the University of Sheffield. The Yorkshire Poetry Prize is sponsored by the University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 


The Yorkshire Poetry Prize is sponsored by the University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 


The University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Previous winners

'Exploring the Orinoco' was a winner in the 2009 Competition

The winning collections are beautifully produced, widely promoted, reviewed in high quality poetry magazines and nationalnewspapers, and entered for all eligible awards and prizes. The collections are also launched at high profile readings and distributed via bookshops across the UK.

Consequently, many previous years’ competition winners have gone on to achieve glittering careers; including Mimi Khalvati, Michael Laskey, Patrick McGuinness, Allison McVety, Pascale Petit, Kathryn Simmonds and Catherine Smith. 





Daljit Nagra:

“The publicity and reviews took my work seriously and I gained exposure in the PBS and the broadsheets. All this was entirely unexpected and absolutely thrilling. I still feel so excited to have been picked up by S/D at an early stage of my writing life.”


Michael Laskey:

"It was a wonderful boost of confidence for me, winning the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. It felt like a justification of the time I spent writing and an encouragement to keep going. It was the original and only pamphlet competition back then, and so it felt particularly significant — that being judged anonymously on a group of poems, not just a single one."


Read more from the previous winners here. *}



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