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SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition 2017


31st October 2017: Shortlist of five collections announced. See shortlist here.


The third SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition is for full length poetry collections. Three collections will be awarded the First, Second and Third prizes of £300, £200 and  £100 plus a standard publishing contract. Each winner will also receive 20 copies of his or her collection.

Entry Fee: £25.00 per collection

The First Stage

For the first stage of the competition, entrants submit 20 pages of poetry that will form part of the final collection.The 20 pages may be made up of any number of poems, of any length, on any subject. All poems submitted for this stage of the competition must be previously unpublished. The collections should be submitted under Pen Names. The Cover Notes should have both the author's real and pen names.

The submission deadline for The First Stage is 30th September, 2017

The Shortlist

A shortlist of five collections will be announced on 31st October, 2017

The Second Stage

Authors of the five shortlisted collections will be invited to submit their full collections. The full collections may include poems previously published in magazines, journals or in multi-author anthologies.

The submission deadline for The Second Stage is 30th November, 2017

The winners will be announced on 5th January, 2018.

Publication Schedule:

The third-prized book will be published on 30th April, 2018.
The second-prized book will be published on 31st May, 2018
and the first-prized book will be published on 30th June, 2018

Joint book launch

The three prize-winning books will be jointly launched in London on Saturday, 28th July 2018.

The Judge

Roger Elkin is the author of 11 poetry collections including Fixing Things, Blood Brothers, Bird in the Hand  and Marking Time (SPM publications). He has won over 200 awards and prizes including 54 Firsts in international competitions. His poetry has received the Lake Aske Memorial Award (1982 & 1987); the Douglas Gibson Memorial Award (1986); the Sylvia Plath Award for Poems about Women (1986); and the Hugh MacDiarmid Trophy (2003). He became the first recipient of the Howard Sergeant Memorial Award for Services to Poetry in 1987; and was The Writer’s Rostrum “Poet of the Year, 1991”.

He was literary advisor to the Leek Arts Festival, for whom he organized an International Poetry Competition (1982-1992); the co-Editor (1985-1988) of Prospice, the international literary quarterly, issues 17-25 inclusive; and sole Editor of Envoi 1991-2006, (issues 101-145).

SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition - A short history

The first SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition 2014/15 was judged by Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie. The winners were Peter Oram - In Carvoeiro & Other Sequences (1st prize), Abigail Ardelle Zammit - Portrait of a Woman with Sea Urchin (2nd Prize), and Graham Burchell - Cottage Pi (3rd Prize).

The second competition 2016 was judged by Roger Elkin and the winners were Andy Blackford and John Foggin - Gap Year (1st prize), Jude Neale - Splendid in its Silence (2nd prize) and Joan Michelson - Landing Stage (3rd prize).

How to Enter

Online Entries Postal Entries
  1. Select the number of collections you wish to enter from the PayPal dropdown button below.
  2. Pay for your entry and make note of your Transaction ID or Receipt Number.
  3. Send your collection(s) as Word or RTF attachments with a cover note marked 'SPM POETRY BOOK 2017' to competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk  The cover note should include your Name, E-mail Address, Postal Address, Telephone Number and Title(s) of your collection(s)
  4. You will receive an automated acknowledgment immediately, and another, as soon as we log your entry, usually within 3 working days.

To enter by post, Download Entry Form Here:

PDF Form Download


Word Download



Submit your poems with a Typed Cover Note titled SPM POETRY BOOK 2017

The cover note should include your Name, E-mail Address, Postal Address, Telephone Number and Title(s) of your collection(s).

Send the Entry Form or Cover Note together with your poems and the applicable fees (GB£ cheques or postal orders only) payable to:




(Sentinel Poetry Movement)
Unit 136
113 – 115 George Lane
E18 1AB
United Kingdom

The Entry Conditions

  1. Online entries must be paid for by midnight, 30th September 2017 and collections e-mailed before midnight on the 2nd of October 2017.
  2. Postal entries must be postmarked  by 29th September 2017. Please ensure you pay the correct postage. We will not pay postal surcharges to receive your collection.
  3. Previous winners of the competition may enter again if they wish.
  4. Collections entered must be no longer than 20 pages for The First Stage. The poems that make up the 20 pages may be run into several pages and should be submitted under a pen name.
  5. If there are not enough entries, or if the judge deems the quality of entries not high enough to produce worthy winners, we reserve the right to cancel the competition and refund all entry fees by the means we were paid.
  6. Copyright remains with the authors but SPM Publications reserves the right to UK publication and elsewhere for the first year after publication.
  7. Enter only your own original work.
  8. Entries will not be returned, please do not send your only copies. All non-winning entries will be destroyed.
  9. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  10. By Entering this competition you accept the conditions stated above.


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