The Black Spring Press Group, based in London, England, celebrates a 36th anniversary this year. We have published Leonard Cohen, Orson Welles, Carolyn Cassady, Anais Nin, Paul Muldoon and Jan Owen, among others. We are made up of four imprints, Eyewear, Black Spring, Maida Vale and Dexter Haven. We are accepting poetry and prose through all our 2021 submission channels.
The Sexton Prize is an annual publication award now with a $2,000 prize for an outstanding new collection of poetry by an American poet.
The winning manuscript will be published by Black Spring Press in the United Kingdom, and distributed in the United States, and the United Kingdom and Ireland, in the publishing year of 2022-23. We will enter it into all eligible prizes and send it for review widely.
The Sexton Prize is open to poets at all career stages, from emerging to established; poets of every age and level of publication experience are encouraged to submit. Finalists will also be considered for publication
The final judge for the 2022 Sexton Prize is TBA.
• Submissions must be made via our Submittable page. The fee to submit is $35.
• Manuscripts must be original work, between 48 and 120 pages in length, by a single author, in the English language, single-spaced and with 12 font size Arial or Times New Roman. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. Our press encourages writers from diverse backgrounds to submit their work.
• Individual poems in the submission may have been previously published online, in periodicals, or in chapbooks, but the collection as a whole must not have been previously published (self-publishing constitutes prior publication).
• Submissions should be made without the inclusion of an acknowledgments page, as the judge will not consider this information. No anonymous submissions can be made.
The Sexton Prize is open to poets who either reside in the United States of America, or who will be residing there for at least a year, as of 2021. The Prize is open to American citizens as well as residents holding legal permission, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, Temporary Protected, and Legal Permanent (“green card”), among others.
Code of Ethics
• All entries will be screened by the Black Spring Books editorial team; we will not use students or interns to screen submissions. A meaningful shortlist of at least ten poetry collections will be sent to the Final Judge. A longlist and shortlist may be made public.
• Close friends, employees, family members, and current students of the final judge are not eligible to submit to The Sexton Prize.
• The Sexton Prize takes its name from the church office of the sexton: a custodian of sacred objects and a ringer of bells that call communities to gather. It’s our mission in The Sexton Prize to be caretakers of literary talent in our time, and to sound the call for international literary communities to come together in the celebration of poetry.
Eyewear reserves the right to terminate this competition at any time, for any reason, without fault; any submissions will be reimbursed in full upon cancellation. We cannot enter into correspondence unless and until your collection is selected. We reserve the right to extend the deadline if insufficient entries have been received.
Note, if selected to be the winner, the submitting contestant must accept the prize.