The 2020 International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries

Judged by Imtiaz Dharker & Ian McMillan, Entry: £28/£25, Deadline: Sunday 1st March 2020

The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 34th International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Imtiaz Dharker and Ian McMillan is now open.

Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20 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, and a reading at The Wordsworth Trust.

All winners will receive close editing, extending their entry up to 28 pages and are guaranteed pamphlet publication. There is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which, where the judges feel it is appropriate, will be published as a book in the autumn of 2021.

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 10% code that can be used to purchase books or memberships from the Poetry Book Society website books at A discount code will be sent to you by e-mail upon receipt of your entry to the competition.

The Judges

Imtiaz Dharker’s six collections of poetry include Over the Moon and Luck is the Hook. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library and worked on projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral. She is also an artist and video film-maker.

Ian McMillan is a poet and performer who presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3. His many poetry residencies include with Barnsley FC, and he has worked extensively for BBC TV and radio. He is the author of several books and pamphlets, including a Selected Poems and the memoir Summat and Nowt. Ian likes to work across art forms, but most of all he likes reading new poems, which is a good thing!

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).

Entries can also be submitted by post (with a cheque and completed entry form)

Read the International Book & Pamphlet Competition FAQ’s and read the conditions of entry.

**PLEASE NOTE** If you are having difficulty uploading your manuscript file, try clearing the cache, or opening the form in a new private/incognito browsing window. If this does not work, please contact

See the list of past winners.

Each and every year The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition discovers and publishes exciting and substantial new poets…There’s no doubt that this is a career-changing poetry competition. If you’ve got a solid body of work that you’re pleased to have written, there’s nowhere better to send it.

The Poetry Trust

One of the career milestones for very many poets of note

Anne-Marie Fyfe

I’ve judged a lot of contests, but I can’t recall any where the quality of the poems – one manuscript after another – was so high

Billy Collins, 2015 competition judge