Please find below our FAQs page where we hope to answer any questions you might have:
- When is the next competition?
The next Poetry Book Awards will launch on 1st January 2024.
The closing date for entries will be 30th June 2024.
(However, the sooner you submit your book(s) the longer the judge(s) will have to consider them.)
- When will the winners be announced?
We hope to announce the winners of next year’s contest by 1st October 2024.
- Where will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced on our website and in the local and national press. We also send an email to everyone who has either entered or subscribed. Winners will also be contacted directly to receive their prize.
- Who judges?
We have a pool of experienced judges and readers to call upon, including award-winning poets, well-respected authors and a local reading group depending on how many entries we receive.
- How much does it cost to enter?
The cost of each book entered is just £40. However, as we are international we accept several different currencies. We are based in the United Kingdom and accept UK cheques as well as payments through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account – you just need to have your credit or debit card to hand to complete the transaction. Discounts are available if sending more than one book. Then the cost is £35 per book, e.g. two books will be £70, three books will be £105 and so on.
- Should I send a physical book?
If your book (or pamphlet) is available as a print copy we can accept the physical copy. We do not accept e-books.
- Is there a publication date restriction?
No. Books can be published in any year, as long as they are still in print.
- If I entered my book in your competition one year, can I enter the same book in a subsequent year?
Yes, as long as it didn’t win a top-three prize.
- Who can enter?
Only individual poets can enter. We can’t accept anthologies at the moment.
- What is meant by an independent/small publisher?
We want to give well-deserved recognition to self-published authors and smaller presses. Big publishing houses probably don’t need us to give them recognition and can afford to pay the large entry fees (often several thousand pounds) to enter prestigious awards but for most smaller presses in the world having one of their poets win a prize such as ours will be a refreshing change. Only self-published poetry books and those published by small, truly independent presses are eligible to enter. Publishers that get huge grants from arts councils, universities, local government, books councils, arts quangos and other sponsorship are NOT considered independent (even though some like to say they are) and so their books are not eligible.
- Can publishers/authors send more than one poetry book?
Yes. Publishers and authors can enter several books if they wish as long as each book is accompanied by an entry fee.
- Why is the entry fee so reasonable?
Most competitions will charge an entry fee unless they have millions of pounds to spend because they are a taxpayer-funded arts quango. Other awards may get financial backing or sponsorship from a major company or business. Unfortunately, we do not have that luxury and like many contests, we are completely self-funded and for the awards to function we must charge an entry fee. We pay our costs out of our own pocket and/or from entry fees. Our costs are administrative, prize money, web design and maintenance, domain name and hosting, payment to our readers/judges, extensive marketing and advertising not to mention our time. Having said that though to encourage small presses and individual self-publishers to enter we still want to keep our fees as low as possible and not out-price entrants. A good example of how high fees can discriminate against smaller, independent writers would be WH Smiths, who request £25,000 for a book that is selected by the ‘Richard and Judy’ book club (correct figures as of 2010). Another example is the ‘Costa Book Awards’ which require publishers to pay a £5,000 fee if a book is shortlisted (correct figures as of 2019). In the UK it is common to charge anything from £5 to £20 to enter a single poem into a contest so our entry fee is very low indeed, especially when comparing on a cost per poem basis. Many indie book awards charge £70 to £100 per book so once again we are starting as low as we possibly can. We do hope to increase prize money available for poets as we get more entries and once the awards are self-financing but to do this we will need the entry fee to rise as the contest grows year on year.
- Are there any posting requirements?
When mailing in copies of your books, please be sure to include the correct postage on the package. Incorrect postage could result in your package being returned to you resulting in delayed processing time and possibly missing the entry deadline date. Also, please avoid sending book(s) shipments requesting a signature. Requesting signatures for proof of delivery can cause a delay in receiving and processing your books.
It might also be worth reading our Rules page for more information.