The Black Spring Press Group celebrates a 35th anniversary this year, and has 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 2020 submission channels. 

Any poem, published or unpublished, originally written in English by one author, and first published and/or written between January 1 2010 and December 31, 2020, is eligible for submission. Poets from any country are welcome, but must be aged 18 by time of entry.

The top 100 poems (by different poets) will be selected and included in an anthology to be published by December 2021, including a bio page for each poet, and will be sold in the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada and elsewhere where possible.

Each Submission may include up to five poems.

This is not a blind competition, so add bio note and contact details with publishing credits for the poems, please.

Poems can be up to 120 lines long; must be submitted as word or pdf docs; single-spaced, 12-font and Arial or times new roman, preferably, with stanza breaks across multiple pages marked.

Judges will be the editorial team at our publishing imprints and companies.

We are open to all forms, styles, genres, and poetics, from the most traditional to the most experimental, and will seek to adjudicate on the terms on which the texts are offered, except insofar as the poems must be texts (not multimedia or recorded only, but somehow inscribed). We seek to impose no uniform or dominant critical perspective.

In the unlikely eventuality we receive insufficient submissions, we will cancel the competition and return all entries.

No current Eyewear employee, or student or close family member of any of the judges will be eligible.


The Black Spring Crime-Writing Prize 2020

Black Spring Press (founded in 1985) is pleased to announce the second annual Black Spring Crime-Writing Prize to be awarded to the best Crime Fiction novel submitted to us during the year 2020. The prize will guarantee publication of the winning novel within eighteen months of the competition’s closure.


In such a crowded market, we are looking for something fresh, something that makes us think differently and breaks away from the genre’s stereotypes. It’s difficult to quantify. It may be hard-boiled or comical, complicated or a simple whodunit. We will not discriminate against any form of crime novel or thriller. For the purposes of the competition, a novel must constitute a minimum of 50,000 words.

The winning novel will be published in paperback format with the Black Spring imprint, with an advance of $1,000 USD. It will be supported by all means at our disposal: our editors and proof-readers, our sales team and our distributors. 


It doesn’t matter how many rejections you’ve received from other publishers and agents, our judge will read it with fresh eyes. ANYONE 18 YEARS OR OLDER MAY ENTER - from any nation. The manuscript must be at least 50% unpublished and entirely the author's own.


The winner will be announced by the London Book Fair, 2021, where it will be pitched for foreign rights.


Judge:
This year’s judge will be published crime writer Martin Penny, whose series focuses on a young British woman cop in the 90s, hunting a serial killer. He collects Agatha Christie books, and lives in Turkey. He is a fan of any well-written crime, thriller or mystery book able to combine wit and plot to tell a great story.




Note: This competition may be cancelled without prior notice if less than 100 entries are received; and all entry fees will be fully returned. All judging and other contest decisions are binding.

EYEWEAR PUBLISHING is honoured to announce a new prize named for the poetic genius Christopher Smart, famous for his love of his cat and the poem he wrote for it.


The winner will receive $2000  and will be published by Eyewear in 2021 (distributed in the UK and the USA).

JUDGE TBA.


Guidelines

• Submissions must be made via Eyewear Publishing LTD’s Submittable page. The fee to submit is $25.
• Manuscripts must be original work, between 48 and 120 pages in length, by a single author, in the English language, single-space, paginated, and with 12-14 font size. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. The Eyewear staff encourage 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.
This competition will be judged blind, so please do not include your name on the manuscript itself, which can be in a word document or PDF.
The winner will be announced only after they have had time to consider the standard contract offered, and signed it. If they decide to withdraw, the runner-up will be the winner, and so on.
Eligibility
The Prize is open to any person who wishes to enter a poetry manuscript written in the English language. Contact Eyewear if you have questions about eligibility or would like us to consider a circumstance not named above - at info@eyewearpublishing.com.
 Code of Ethics
• All entries will be screened by the Eyewear Publishing LTD editors.
•  Employees, family members, and current students of the final judge are not eligible to submit. Employees of Eyewear Publishing and their close family are not eligible to enter either.
• Authors who have had a full-length work of poetry published by Eyewear Publishing LTD or who are under contract with Eyewear are not eligible to submit to The Prize.
Eyewear reserves the right to cancel the competition at any time, and return the full amount paid to enter to all entrants.

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, Canada and the United Kingdom and Ireland, in the publishing year of 2021-2022. 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 2021 Sexton Prize is Professor Cornelius Eady.

 

Poet and cofounder of Cave Canem, Cornelius Eady has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, among them Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008. 

Brutal Imagination includes a theater sequence that responds to the notorious 1994 incident in which Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina, claimed that an African American man had kidnapped her children. The FBI searched for the man until Smith confessed the truth: she had invented the man and had drowned the children. Eady’s sequence, which creates a detailed persona of the imaginary suspect, was adapted into an off-Broadway play that won the Newsday Oppenheimer Award. Eady also collaborated with Diedre Murray on a libretto for a roots opera, Running Man, based on his poems, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

His full biography can be found here on the Poetry Foundation website.

Guidelines

 • Submissions must be made via our Submittable page. The fee to submit WAS $35 but is now FREE as of June 19th, 2020, to encourage all Americans at this time of sorrow, struggle, bravery, hardship and epidemic, to enter without any financial concerns in doing so. Those who entered before this date will be reimbursed. An optional fee of ten dollars is available for those able and wishing to help fund this year's exceptional prize in such challenging times for small presses, and poets.
 • 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.

Eligibility
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.

The Melita Hume Poetry Prize is an annual poetry publication award for an original, first full-length collection by a poet aged thirty-five years or under, resident in the UK or Ireland, or of British or Irish citizenship, writing in the English language.


Previous years’ winners include Caleb Klaces for Bottled Air, Marion McCready for Tree Language, Amy Blakemore for Humbert Summer, Maria Apichella for Psalmody, Tony Chan for Four Points Fourteen Lines, Jenna Clake for Fortune Cookie, Rebecca Close for valid, virtual, vegetable reality and Jessica Mayhew for Longship.


The winner will receive full book publication by Eyewear Publishing LTD in 2021, and a prize advance of £2,000.
 

Submissions are NOW open currently. The winner will be announced in 2021.


The final judge for the Melita Hume Prize this year is the American poet Janet Kaplan.


The aim of the prize is to support younger emerging writers during difficult economic times.


About the Judge
Janet Kaplan (born 1958) is an American poet and professor.  She is the author of three books: The Groundnote (Alice James Books, 1997), The Glazier’s County, winner of the 2003 Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press, and Dreamlife of the Philanthropist: Prose Poems & Prose Sonnets, winner of the 2011 Ernest Sandeen Prize (University of Notre Dame Press). 

Her honors include fellowships at Yaddo, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois.  She has received the Bronx Council on the ArtsBRIO award for Excellence in Poetry and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.  In 2011, her limited edition chapbook, Ascending Descending (BroBroo Books), was adapted to the opera in a soprano song cycle by Martin Hennessy. 

Kaplan attended Lehman College and Columbia University.  She earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.  For several years, Kaplan worked as Poet in Residence at Fordham University.  She currently teaches poetry and creative writing at Hofstra University, where she edits AMP, a national digital literary magazine whose inaugural issue went live in 2016.  She is founder of Red Glass Books, a small press with titles from Kate Greenstreet, Edwin Torres, Margaret Diehl, and Patricia Spears Jones, among others.

  Guidelines
• Submissions must be made via Eyewear Publishing LTD’s Submittable page.
• Manuscripts must be original work, between 48 and 100 pages in length, by a single author, in the English language. Minimum font size of 12, Arial or Times New Roman, single-spaced.  There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. The Eyewear staff encourage 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 can be made with or without the inclusion of an acknowledgments page.
Eligibility
The Melita Hume Prize is open to poets who have not previously published—and are not YET under contract to publish—a full-length collection of poems, at time of submission. Writers 35 years of age, or under, at time of submission, resident in the UK or Ireland, or of Irish or British citizenship, are eligible to submit. If shortlisted, the poets agree to accept the prize conditions if selected the winner, and at that time must withdraw their work from consideration in any competing prize.
Code of Ethics
• All entries will be screened by the Eyewear Publishing LTD editorial team.
• The Final Judge of The 2019-2020 Melita Hume Poetry Prize is Janet Kaplan. Employees, family members, and current students of the Eyewear editorial team, or the final judge are not eligible to submit to The Melita Hume Prize.
• The prize honours Melita Hume, a book collector, solicitor, and compiler of poems and information about many authors, who lived in Quebec, Canada, and had a particular interest in music, ecology, Star Trek, animals, mythology, and literature.

 

The Best New British and Irish Poets competition collects poems from the best new poets in the UK and Ireland. It is based on a similar and well-known US prize anthology. Each judge is free to decide what 'best' means for them. The top fifty-100 poems will be published in The Best New British and Irish Poets anthology in 2020/21, following the anthologies from 2016 to 2019. This year's anthology is guest-edited by Nick Makoha.  

Nick Makoha’s  debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted  for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection for he’s debut Kingdom of Gravity and nominated by The Guardian  as one of the best books of 2017.  He  is the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for The Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. He is a Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Goldsmiths. He is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation and The Ministry of Stories and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective. His play The Dark produced by Fuel theatre and directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander is on National Tour.   www.nickmakoha.com 


Eligibility: poets resident in the UK or Ireland, regardless of nationality, as well as passport holders from the UK or Ireland who live abroad, are eligible to submit work for consideration if they have not yet published (and are not under contract to publish at time of entry) a full-length collection of poetry. Poets who have published pamphlets are eligible to compete as are poets included in previous editions of the anthology. 


WE ESPECIALLY WELCOME BAME POETS! It is now past time in the UK to celebrate and promote the true diversity of British poetry, and as a press we are constantly studying, reading, listening, learning, and discussing, as we aim to always grow, do better, and be the best we could hope to be. BLACK LIVES MATTER! We as editors know this is the truth, and want to live by these words.

Guidelines: submit one to three original poems in the English language for consideration. Poems may have appeared before in print periodicals, journals, or magazines, but not in online venues. Please include any prior publication information for each submitted poem in your cover letter. Your cover letter should also include a brief biographical note with your contact details. Do not include your name on your poems.

FROM now WE ARE CREATING A WINDOW FOR COMPLETELY FREE ENTRIES, TO ENCOURAGE AN EVER-WIDER DIVERSITY OF YOUNG STYLES, TALENTS, AND VOICES IN THIS TIME OF CHALLENGE, CHANGE, AND NEED.