The 2017/18 International Book & Pamphlet Competition 

Judged by Liz Berry & David Constantine

Incorporating The Laureate's Prize judged by Carol Ann Duffy 



The 2017/18 International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now closded for entries. The winners will be announced in Spring 2018.


Deadline: last post on Thursday 1st March 2018, or midnight on Thursday 1st March 2018 for online entrants.

Prizes: publication by smith|doorstop; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress and more.


The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 32nd International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Liz Berry and David Constantine is now open for entries.

Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20-24 pages of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the judges to be published by our award winning imprint smith|doorstop books.

All winners will also receive a share of £2,000, publication in the North magazine, a reading at The Wordsworth Trust and gift vouchers from Inpress Books.

All winners will be guaranteed pamphlet publication, however there is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which if successful, will be published as a book in the Autumn of 2018.

Full-price entry is £28. Subscribers to the North, Friends of the Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. All entrants will also receive a 20% off discount code for the Inpress Books website at

Entries can be submitted by post (with a cheque and completed entry form) or online by clicking here. 


The Judges 


Liz Berry 

Liz Berry's debut poetry collection Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), described as "a sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands" (Guardian), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Black Country was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Big Issue and The Morning Star. Liz’s poems have been broadcast on BBC radio, television and recorded for the Poetry Archive. She has been a judge for major poetry competitions including The Forward Prizes and Foyle Young Poets and works as a tutor for Writers' Centre Norwich and The Arvon Foundation. 




David Constantine

David Constantine, born 1944 in Salford, Lancs, was for thirty years a university teacher of German language and literature. He has published several volumes of poetry (most recently – 2014 –  Elder); also two novels and four collections of short stories. He is an editor and translator of Hölderlin, Goethe, Kleist and Brecht. To OUP’s Literary Agenda Series he contributed Poetry (2013). With his wife Helen he edited Modern Poetry in Translation, 2003-12.






The Laureate's Prize

Judged by Carol Ann Duffy


All entrants to the main competition will automatically be entered into this prize, which will celebrate and showcase the best single poems by entrants to The 2017/18 International Book & Pamphlet Competition. 

The competition judges will shorlitst sixteen poems from all manuscripts entered into the main competition. A first, second and third prize winner will be chosen by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. 

Three winners will be awarded prizes of £500 (1st prize), £200 (2nd prize), and £50 (3rd prize) respectively. The winners will also be invited to read a selection of their work alongside the winners of our main International Book & Pamphlet Competition at The Wordsworth Trust. 

The three winning poems will be published in the North magazine in 2018. 



About The International Book & Pamphlet Competition 

I have judged a lot of competitions, but I cannot recall one where the quality of the poems, one manuscript after another was so high. – Billy Collins, Competition judge 2014/15 and 2015/16 

The International Book & Pamphlet Competition was the first pamphlet competition of its kind in Britain. Now in its 32nd year, it has launched the careers of many well established and successful poets; including Daljit Nagra, Michael Laskey, Allison McVety, Pascale Petit, Kathryn Simmonds and Catherine Smith.

The four winning collections are beautifully produced in the renowned smith|doorstop house style. The collections are promoted widely, reviewed in high-quality literary magazines and national newspapers, entered for all eligible awards and prizes and sold in bookshops throughout the UK and through online stockists of smith|doorstop. 



Past winners: on winning...

I’d entered a few times before and hadn’t got anywhere, so it was a wonderful surprise. Just as unexpected as the reviews and readings at festivals which followed the publication of the pamphlet, was the feeling of being part of a community of poets, which six years later, still hasn’t worn off. 
– Kim Moore, winner in the 2011/12 Book & Pamphlet Competition with her collection If We Could Speak Like Wolves.
I've had the good fortune and privilege to be named as a winner in the smith|doorstop pamphlet competition on a couple of occasions, and both times the experience was an unalloyed joy. It's great to have a pamphlet full of your poems out there in the world, receiving reviews in magazines and being entered for various prizes. Better still is the process of finalising your pamphlet with smith|doorstop's cracking editorial team, quibbling over commas and conjunctions, even choosing your own colour for the finished pamphlet. 
– David Tait, winner in the 2010/11 Book & Pamphlet Competition with his collection Love’s Loose Ends and in 2014/15 with his collection Three Dragon Day.



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