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Sentinel Poetry Book Competition 2018


The Sentinel Poetry Book Competition is for full-length poetry collections by a single poet.  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.

The entries will not be filtered before being sent to the judge who will read all collections and judge them anonymously.

Entry Fee: £25.00 per collection

The First Stage
For the first stage of the competition, entrants submit 20 A4 pages of poetry, single-spaced and in Garamond 12 points, 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.

- Every poem must start on a new page. (Don't squeeze two or more poems on a page, even if they are short poems).
- All poems submitted for this stage of the competition must be previously unpublished.
- The collections should be submitted under Pen Names. The Pen Names must be new and not previously used by the authors in publishing work elsewhere.
- The Cover Notes should have both the author's real and pen names.

The submission deadline for The First Stage is 30 September 2018

The Shortlist

A shortlist of five collections will be announced on 30 November 2018

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, and may include poems that have won or have been commended in other competitions.
-The minimum length of the full collection should be 54 A4 pages, and the maximum length will be 86 A4 pages.

The submission deadline for The Second Stage is 31 December 2018

The winners will be announced on 15th February 2019

Publication Schedule:

We aim to publish the three winning collections by the end of July 2019 and a launch date will be announced thereafter.

About the Judge
Noel Williams is the author of Out of Breath (Cinnamon 2014) and Point Me at the Stars (Indigo Dreams, 2017), as well as academic books about writing. His poetry has been published widely in the UK as well as in the USA, Mexico and India. His work has been commended or shortlisted in dozens of competitions and he’s won quite a few prizes, including several in Sentinel Poetry competitions. He has been nominated for the Forward Prize four times, and once for the Pushcart Prize. He was the first Poet in Residence at Sheffield's Bank Street Arts Centre, where he's also exhibited several times, together with exhibitions in several other galleries in Yorkshire. He's co-editor of Antiphon magazine (antiphon.org.uk), Reviews Editor for Orbis (www.orbisjournal.com) and recently edited the anthology Millstone Grit (Antiphon Press 2016), as well as being a mentor for other successful writers and a reviewer for various magazines such as The North and Envoi. He’s also Professor Emeritus of Sheffield Hallam University.

Sentinel Poetry Book Competition - A short history

Now in its 4th year, Sentinel Poetry Book Competition (previously known as the SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition) was first held in  2015 and 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).

The third, also judged by Roger Elkin was won by John Lindley - Love & Crossbones (3rd prize), Konstandinos Mahoney - Tutti Frutti (2nd prize) and Molly Donachie - Icarus (1st prize). These collections will be published in April, May and June 2018 respectively.

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 'SENTINEL POETRY BOOK 2018' 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 SENTINEL POETRY BOOK 2018

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 2018 and collections e-mailed before midnight on the 2nd of October 2018
  2. Postal entries must be postmarked  by 30th September 2018. 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. Please note that the dates stated above are target dates. If there are more entries than we have planned for and the judge requires more time to do justice to each collection, we will grant him more time and adjust the schedule accordingly.
  10. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. By Entering this competition you accept the conditions stated above.

SPM Publications - an imprint of Sentinel Writing & Publishing Company

Past Poetry Book Competition Winners

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