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. 

Any poem, published or unpublished, originally written in English by one author, and first published and/or written between January 1 2010 and December 31, 2020, is eligible for submission.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 or over by time of entry.

The top 100 poems (by different poets) will be selected and included in an anthology to be published 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 JACK SWIFT BEST 'IRISH WRITERS AND POETS' PRIZE 2021 is a new annual writing prize aimed at celebrating and discovering talented writers and poets who consider themselves, in some way, Irish. The judge each year will be a respected poet or writer. The prize will be inclusion in an internationally-published paperback edition by Black Spring Press (founded 1985) that will never include more than a tenth of submitted works. The top prize will be a thousand US dollars and a book deal.

The judge: Frank Dullaghan is an Irish writer who has lived in Ireland, UK, UAE, and Malaysia. He has four collections of poetry published by Cinnamon Press and a pamphlet, Secrets of the Body, a series of poems about the mythical Pope Joan, published by Eyewear Publishing. His fifth collection, In the Coming of Winter, is due out from Cinnamon in Autumn 2021. Frank holds an MA with Distinction in Writing from the University of South Wales. Before moving to Dubai in 2006, Frank was a co-founder of the Essex Poetry Festival and the editor of Seam, poetry magazine for many years.

Frank's screenplay for the short film Melody, featured in the best short films at the Dubai 48 hour film competition in 2012 and won the audience award at the Mumbai Womens International Film Festival. He also had short stage plays performed regularly in Dubai while he lived there. His short story, A Place of Grace, was shortlisted in the London Magazine Short Story Competition 2017. He has two novels in draft form and is currently working on a screen play for one of them.

The prize is named after the Quebec-born Irish-Canadian wit, bon vivant, writer and McGill law graduate Jack Swift.


1. Any person 18 years or older.

2. The author must be living at time of entry.

3. Any person who considers themselves to be Irish is eligible to enter, including but not limited to: persons with an Irish or Northern Irish birth certificate, passport or other form of identity papers; Irish adoptive or birthparents, or grand-parents; anyone currently resident in, or studying in, Ireland. Anyone resident anywhere in the world who considers themselves part of the Irish diaspora. The prize runners do not intend to adjudicate who is or is not Irish, and we will accept all reasonable claims, outside of the clearly satirical or fanciful.

4. The work submitted can have been previously published but copyright must remain with the author.

5. The author must be the sole and original author.

6. No illustrations or other non-textual material should be included.

7. Any form of writing may be submitted by word doc or pdf in the shorter forms - stories of 10,000 words or less; poems of 100 lines or less; brief monologues of five minutes running or less (can be excerpted from longer plays or screenplays). No novels or novellas or full collections, please.

8. For the purposes of submission, no aliases or pseudonyms - this does not relate to publishing terms. The entrant cannot be a current or former employee of the press or judge, or a close relative of the judge or any employee of the press. Those previously or currently published by the press ARE eligible. This is not a 'blind' contest in order to guarantee submission ethics guidelines are followed.

9. The small entry fee is to be used ONLY to cover the costs of the prize, including its administration, and payment for prizes and judging fees, as well as to help raise funds for the small indie press, Black Spring, following several months when almost all Irish and UK bookstores have been closed.

10. Payment of an entry fee in no way leads to automatic inclusion or acceptance in any book.

11. The judge's decisions are final.

12. The contest can be closed without notice at any time due to lack of sufficient entrants; and all money returned within 60 days to entrants.

The Black Spring Crime-Writing Prize 2021

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 2021. 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, 20212 where it will be pitched for foreign rights.

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.

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.

The Melita Hume Poetry Prize is a 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 , and an advance on publication of £1,000.

Submissions are NOW open currently. The winner will be announced in 2022.

The final judge for the Melita Hume Prize this year is TBA.

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

• 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.
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.
•  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 prize may be cancelled at any time without notice, for any reason; at which point, all entrants receive a refund for the full fee.


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 judge's selected poems will be published in The Best New British and Irish Poets anthology in 2022, following the anthologies from 2016 to 2021.

Judge TBA

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.  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.

Guidelines: submit original poems in the English language for consideration. Poems may have appeared before in print periodicals, journals, or magazines, and even 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.

READING FEE: Because we need to pay a judge/editor to read all the submissions, and their time is worth respecting with a small fee, we will be charging 5 pounds per poem submitted. We hope this will not be a barrier to submission. If any one wishes to submit, and cannot afford this small payment, they may contact us at info @ so we can offer them an alternative option. This small fee is not used to make any profit by our company. The Submittable platform takes a percentage so this leaves us with 3.76 per poem. We note that many presses and poetry contests, including the National Poetry competition charge reasonable entry fees.

If you have an original manuscript in the English language that you would like Eyewear Publishing LTD to consider for publication, we invite you to submit the work to The Beverly Prize: an annual series for an outstanding work of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, memoir, or criticism.

The work of one or more authors will be selected from open readings in The Beverly Series each year. Eyewear Publishing LTD will announce its selection for The Beverly Series in early 2022.

THE PRIZE: £1,000 AND Publication in the UK with US distribution, in 2022.

Winners must agree to accept all the terms and conditions of the prize.


 Writers of any nationality, citizenship, and country of residence are eligible to submit work to The Beverly Series.


 • Submissions must be made via Eyewear Publishing LTD’s Submittable page. No email or postal submissions will be considered. Double submissions permitted, until the shortlisting stage.

 • Manuscripts must be original work, by a single author, in the English language. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. The Eyewear staff encourage writers from diverse backgrounds to submit their work.  

 • Individual selections in the submission may have been previously published online, in periodicals, or in chapbooks, but the collection or book as a whole must not have been previously published (self publishing constitutes prior publication).


 All entrants agree to abide by all the rules and regulations of this prize.

* Should fewer than 100 entrants enter before closure of the prize, it may be cancelled, and full refunds offered.

Code of Ethics

 • All entries will be screened by the Eyewear Publishing LTD staff.

 • The Beverly Series takes its name from our director’s beloved aunt who actively encouraged wide reading and critical thought.