The 2024 New Poets Prize is Now OPEN
The New Poets Prize is a pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize will run alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition, also organised by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 38 years.
Entrants are invited to submit short collections of twelve pages of poems. Winners and runners-up will be selected to receive a year of support from The Poetry Business, a publisher and writer development agency with a strong reputation for discovering, developing and promoting outstanding new writers.
Two winners will receive editorial support and help in extending their entry to 20 or 24 pages for pamphlet publication by Smith | Doorstop and their work will in appear in a feature in The North magazine.
Two runners-up will receive mentoring, including a place on a residential writing course, and their poems will appear in a feature in East of The North, the Poetry Business’s online poetry publication.
The winners and runners-up will also receive a subscription to The North magazine and will be invited to give a reading organised by The Poetry Business.
We are keen to see poetry from all backgrounds and at this difficult time know that entry fees may be a barrier. Therefore, we are allocating a number of free entries to this year’s New Poets Prize and the 2023 International Book & Pamphlet Competition. Apply for the fee waiver here.
Entry costs £10. The deadline for entries is midnight on 6th March 2024.
The Judge: Holly Hopkins
“It’s an honour to be judging the New Poets Prize. I’m looking forward to discovering poems which will make me realise something I hadn’t seen before. Poems that challenge my assumptions and show me something in a new way.“
Holly Hopkins grew up in Berkshire, spent time in London and now lives in Manchester. Holly’s first collection The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) ‘takes on the stories England tells about itself’. It was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Seamus Heaney Prize and The Laurel Prize. It was awarded the Poetry Book Society’s Special Commendation and was named one of The Guardian’s ‘Best Poetry Books of 2022’. Her debut pamphlet, Soon Every House Will Have One, won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Holly has been an assistant editor of The Rialto. She has received an Eric Gregory Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Women Poets’ Prize. Work-in-progress, which will form Holly’s second collection, was awarded the Northern Writers Award for Poetry in 2023.
The New Poets Prize came at the right time for me – providing me a critical opportunity to think about how my poems could fit together in a pamphlet, and also giving me the opportunity to receive much-needed feedback from some of the best poetry teachers in the country – both essential processes for any young poet.Theophilus Kwek, winner of the 2016 New Poets Prize
Winning the New Poets prize has been such a great thing for me. As well as the obvious benefits – pamphlet publication, the brilliant prize of an Arvon course – I feel like it has really opened the door to the next stage of my development as a writer, and I’m excited to see where, with the support of The Poetry Business, it will take me.Lizzi Hawkins, winner of the 2017 New Poets Prize
Terms and Conditions
Entering the competition
* We accept simultaneous competition submissions. Furthermore, if an entrant to the
New Poets Prize wins another pamphlet prize before the results are announced, The Poetry Business will issue a full refund of the entrant’s entry fee.
* There is a standard fee of £10 for each entry submitted by post. Entry waivers are available for those who cannot afford the entry fee.
* You may submit as many collections as you wish.
* Your real name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Choose a pen name and a title
for your collection, and write both on every page.
* Postal entries must be postmarked on or before 6th March. Online entries can be submitted
up to midnight on the 6th March.
* Previous winners of The New Poets Prize are not eligible to re-enter within 5 years of winning.
* Entries sent by post must be accompanied by a completed entry form. (Online entrants
complete the ‘uploads form’ on this site.)
* We may use the email address you provide to contact you with updates about the New Poets Prize between your entry being submitted and the announcement of the winners. After this date you will not receive any further updates from us via e-mail unless you join our mailing list.
* We ask for short collections of 12 pages of poems. Poems may be of any length. A long poem may take several pages. More than one poem may be printed on a single page.
* The poems should be for adults, in English, and typed on one side only of A4.
* As a guide, we recommend you use 12pt Times New Roman font.
* Poems may have been published elsewhere, but must not have previously appeared as a published collection.
* Copyright remains with the authors but The Poetry Business reserves the right to first UK publication of the collection for 12 months from publication. (This doesn’t prevent publication elsewhere of individual poems.)
* We are unable to return manuscripts or offer feedback.
* Two winners will be selected by the judge to have their collection published as a pamphlet. Please note that the published winning collections will be extended versions of the winning manuscripts (approximately 20-24 pages of poems). The Poetry Business reserves the right to refuse publication to any competition winner on reasonable grounds.
* All winners will have the opportunity to read their work at a digital poetry reading organised by The Poetry Business shortly before (or after) publication of their title.
* Each winning poet will have at least one of their poems published in an issue of The North magazine.
* The judge’s decision is final. If in the judge’s opinion no collection achieves a high enough standard, no prizewinner will be chosen.
* We reserve the right to change the judge without notice.
* Entry in the competition will be deemed to be acceptance of these conditions.
The Winners of the 2023 New Poets Prize
Thank you to all entrants to the 2023 competition for letting us see your work, and congratulations to the two winners and two runners-up chosen by Kim Moore:
Freya Bantiff for her pamphlet All Appears Ordinary
Caleb Leow for his pamphlet Human Waste
Imogen Wade for her pamphlet Fire Safety
Luke Worthy for his pamphlet On What Could Sting
The two winners will receive editorial and mentoring support from The Poetry Business, and their pamphlets will be published in June 2023 under the New Poets List. The runners-up will each receive a place on an Arvon course. The winners and runners-up will also receive a subscription to The North magazine and will be invited to give a reading organised by The Poetry Business.
for All Appears Ordinary
Nothing is truly ordinary in this extraordinary pamphlet, where owls are ‘light as an eyelash blown for luck’ and where illness and pain can be rinsed and washed away like stains. These poems keep the faith that language can illuminate anything – from everyday acts of love like the removal of nits from a child’s head to the extinction of a species. – Kim Moore
Freya Bantiff (previously Carter) is a Sheffield poet who has recently placed third in the National Poetry Competition 2022 and been highly commended in the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 2022. She was joint winner of the 2022 Bridport Poetry Prize (18-25s) (while being highly commended in their overall competition) and winner of the Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition 2021. Freya’s poems and stories have been placed in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2021), Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition (2020), Ilkley Literature Festival’s Poetry Competition (2010 – 2015) and Foyle Young Poet of the Year (2015), along with many others. Currently, she is completing an MA in Poetry at UEA and will take on the role of Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival in October 2023.
for Human Waste
A pamphlet which interrogates human waste is a risky strategy – but in these wide-ranging, inventive poems, it absolutely pays off. The objectification of the body – whether that is the migrant body, the female body or the working class body is held up to the light through skilful handling of form and imagery. – Kim Moore
Caleb Leow is an emerging poet from Singapore. He won third place in the inaugural Oxford Poetry Prize (2022) and his poems have been recognised in the Bridport Prize and the National Poetry Competition. He studies History and French at the University of Oxford.
for Fire Safety
There’s a wild and magical energy at work in these evocative, sensual poems. Desire and violence, safety and danger, hunger and satiation co-exist uneasily in the same landscape, where the Green Man can wink from the ceiling of a church, and the world itself can seize you by the shoulders. – Kim Moore
Imogen Wade has been commended for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the Plough Poetry Prize and the Winchester Poetry Festival Prize. Her work also has been acknowledged by the Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Competition, the AUB International Poetry Prize, the Ware Poets and Frosted Fire Press. She has been published in The Poetry Review. After studying English at the University of Exeter and Vassar College, she trained as a counsellor at the Cornwall Counselling Institute.
for On What Could Sting
From a jellyfish like a ‘tumour of salt and sand’ to a meditation on Putin’s penis and toxic masculinity – these poems are full of surprising images and wide-ranging in their interrogations – of class, sexuality, homophobia and masculinity. – Kim Moore
Luke Worthy is a queer poet and fiction writer from Sheffield. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals and anthologies including Poetry Wales, fourteen poems, Broken Sleep’s Masculinity: An Anthology of Modern Voices (2024), Youth Word Up (2017/2018), Surfing the Twilight (2019) and Dear Life (2022). In 2023 he was highly commended in the E.H.P Barnard Poetry Prize and was Young Poet-in-Residence at Sheaf Poetry Festival. Luke was commissioned to write a piece of children’s literature for Leeds 2023 and is a member of Hive Poetry Collective.
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