The 2019 Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition

Deadline: Friday 1st March 2019 

Prizes: A share of £2000, publication by Smith|Doorstop, a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust, Publication in The North magazine & more. 

Full price entry: £28, Subscriber to The North, Friends of The Poetry Business and Members of The Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. 


The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 33rd International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entry, this year judged by Neil Astley, Michael Schmidt and Amy Wack.


The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition is the oldest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the UK. It continues to discover and publish outstanding new poets, many of whom go on to publish widely and to celebrate successful writing careers.


We are particularly pleased this year to have as judges three writers who are also among the most discerning and experienced editors in the poetry world:  Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Books, Michael Schmidt of Carcanet and Amy Wack from Seren. Each of these editors has a strong vision of what poetry is in Britain today.   


Neil, Michael and Amy will each select one winner from the entries and will then decide among themselves on their fourth choice.


About the Judges

Neil Astley, editor of Bloodaxe Books


Neil Astley, Hon. FRSL, is the founder and editor of Bloodaxe Books. His books include novels, poetry collections and anthologies, most notably the Staying Alive trilogy. He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry in 1982 and was given a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books in 1995. He is a trustee of Ledbury Poetry Festival and a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University.





Michael Schmidt, editorial director of Carcanet


Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL is the founder and editorial director of Carcanet Press and General Editor of PN Review and is currently teaching at the University of Manchester, having been Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University and then at the University of Glasgow, and writer in residence at St John's College, Cambridge. He is a poet, novelist, literary historian and anthologist.




Amy Wack, editor of Seren


Amy Wack was raised in California, attended San Diego State University and has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University in Manhattan. She has worked for Seren press since the early 90s. She was Reviews Editor for Poetry Wales magazine for fifteen years. Under her Editorship Seren has published many prize-winning poetry collections.




About the Presses


Bloodaxe Books has revolutionised poetry publishing in Britain over four decades. Internationally renowned for quality in literature and excellence in book design, our authors and books have won virtually every major literary award given to poetry, from the T.S. Eliot Prize and Pulitzer to the Nobel Prize. And books like the Staying Alive trilogy have broken new ground by opening up contemporary poetry to many thousands of new readers.


Originally a literary magazine founded in 1962, Carcanet’s list now includes new writers from all over the world as well as major authors from the twentieth and earlier centuries, figures about whom readers and writers need to know if they are to get a hold on the Modern and its aftermaths. Carcanet enjoys Arts Council support and can range more widely than commercial publishers dare to do: dedicated to discovery, appraisal and reappraisal, Carcanet is a unique survivor in the precarious world of literary imprints. Our editorial continuity has generated a list of deep coherence and innovation, not only among the authors rediscovered but also among the new authors we publish.


Seren is Wales’ leading independent literary publisher, specialising in English-language writing from Wales. With a list spanning poetry, fiction and non-fiction, many of our books are shortlisted for - and win - major literary prizes across the UK and America. At the heart of our list is a good story told well or an idea or history presented interestingly or provocatively. We’re international in authorship and readership, though our roots remain here in Wales, where we prove that writers from a small country with an intricate culture have a worldwide relevance.

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