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Publish your book with Black Bough:
a submission contest

Would you like your collection or pamphlet to be published by Black Bough Poetry? 

People tell us we are a caring press with super support for our authors. This has always been our mission, so we’re pleased to hear we’re hitting the mark! Is it your time to join us on the Bough? 

 

Black Bough Poetry are opening for submissions of poetry chapbooks and collections from 1st October 2023, to 1st December 2023. We are looking to publish at least three books by separate individual poets to release in 2024 and 2025, with the potential to double this if we're gripped by the work coming in. We prefer poetry that is imagistic, usually free verse; work that is surprising, startling and inventive. But we are open to diverse types of poetry. 

We are looking for: 

  •  Enthusiastic authors who will be prepared to work with the press on marketing. 

  •  Proactive authors who understand and use social media and have or will connect with different poetry communities to promote their work.  

  •  Authors who will be prepared to read their work at online readings with a potential for in person readings, if feasible. 

  • A sample of work of up to 28 pieces or 40 pages of writing (max) per submitted manuscript. You can include pieces of short prose (no more than roughly 20% of the document) 

  • Authors who are anti-discriminatory who do not promote hate or harm (for example, no racists, anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ people please).  

Please send your work in Microsoft Word, one poem per page (use page breaks, single spaced lines), size 12, and a clear font (Garamond, Times New Roman or Arial, for example). Please send to deeptimepoetry@outlook.com 

 

We request an entry fee of £8.00 per manuscript you submit. So, if you send us two manuscripts of different collections that’s £16.00, payable to deeptimepoetry(at)outlook.com on paypal. 

This fee for entrants covers basic costs to run this the press and fund ongoing initiatives. We have no rich patrons, funding, crowdfunders, etc. If you cannot afford this, please contact Black Bough and your query about a free or discounted submission will be dealt with with the utmost discretion. 

What we offer to the winners: 

  •  Publication of your book via Amazon.

  •  5 free copies. 

  • Online launch/es.

  •  50% royalties after 50 copies are sold by the press. 

  •  Discounted author copies you can sell yourself. 

  •  Strong publicity of your work across the website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

  •  Close editing and online meetings, a mentoring approach from the press. 

  •  Marketing plan support before and after publication. This is so important.

  • Your book sent off for reviews. Exploration of feature/ interview opportunities.

  •  Consideration by the press of your poems and/ or book being nominated for awards. 

Who have we published? 

Under Photon Crowns by Dai Fry. Nominated for awards such as ‘Best of the Net’; widely reviewed, such as in The Western Mail and by Eat the Storms. 

 

Nights on the Line by M.S. Evans, taught on the English syllabus at Bangor University and reviewed in Poetry Wales and Buzz Magazine, nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice by Black Bough. Widely reviewed. 

 

Street Sailing by Matt Gilbert. Widely reviewed, award nominations forthcoming. 

 

Watch this space as we have two more writers coming up for publication in 2023! 

 

Any questions, please contact us.   All submitters will get an acknowledgment e-mail and a response e-mail. We reserve the right to change the conditions of the contest, e.g. submission end date.

Christmas-Winter 2023-24 -
Two Competitions!

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We have two final submission calls, a poetry and a prose competition, before the Christmas-Winter edition, which will be launched in November 2023.

POETRY COMPETITION

We are looking for poems on the theme of Christmas or other winter festivals. We have plenty of work about winter as a season and are more focused on accepting work focused on traditions and festivities. Give us your Christmassy poems, your bright poems about Diwali, Hannukah and any other traditions.  

Poems should be vivid and imagistic - maximum 10 lines or 80 words each.

Judges: M.S. Evans and Matt Gilbert.

Submit up to three poems only via e-mail to winterbough@outlook.com or post on TopTweetTuesday on Twitter on Tuesday 12th September only. You can do this by posting a photo of your poem on that date and tagging in @TopTweetTuesday

Prize £25.00, publication in the edition and a Black Bough edition of choice.

Submission fee - pay what you can - minimum suggested donation of £3.00 via Paypal (our paypal username is deeptimepoetry(at)outlook.com). If you can't afford it, please send anyway. We would never wish to discriminate between those who can and can't afford it.

If we have a good response, we will increase the prize money! We are likely to publish more poems than just the winner of this competition.

PROSE COMPETITION

We are looking for vivid, imagistic prose on the theme of Christmas or other Winter festivals. We have plenty of work about winter (as a season) and are more focused on accepting work on traditions and festivities. 

Word count 150 words.

Prize £25.00, publication in the edition and a Black Bough edition of choice.

Judge: Glenn Barker.

Submit up to three prose pieces only via e-mail to winterbough@outlook.com or post on TopTweetTuesday on Twitter on Tuesday 19th September only. You can do this by posting photos of your prose pieces on that date and tagging in @TopTweetTuesday

We recommend you read previous Black Bough Christmas-Winter edition for an idea on the range of styles we accept.

Prize £25.00, publication in the edition and a Black Bough edition of choice.

Submission fee - pay what you can - minimum suggested donation of £3.00 via Paypal. Our paypal username is deeptimepoetry(at)outlook.com If you can't afford it, please send anyway. We would never wish to discriminate between those who can and can't afford it.

If we have a good response, we will increase the prize money!

We are likely to accept more than just the winning entry for inclusion in the edition. Thanks to Glenn for donating the prize money for this prose part of the competition.

Additional info.

It is the editorial policy to offer feedback on essential or potential improvements to poems. If you submit and are on the verge of acceptance, this is what can be expected and it is intended to be constructive and increase acceptance rates. If you really don't like this, Black Bough may not be the right publication for you. 

By submitting, you accept our anti-discrimination policy. We don't wish to publish any writers who promote hateful/ harmful beliefs, such as being racist or anti-LGBTQ+, anti-trans.

Plagiarism, rudeness and offensive behaviour or hate speech will not be tolerated. We are trying to help poets and showcase excellent work. No sexually-explicit poetry.

Work should be original to the poet and not created by AI or cribbed from other writers. Big no no!

We reserve the right to amend the rules of these competitions. We just want to have fun and see your talent!

We are unable to offer contributor copies for the edition but we can discount the price of the edition with fundraising activities like this. We don't have any funding, rich patrons or crowdfunders but always aim to keep everything at Black Bough free or low cost. Most other competitions have fees of between £8 and £12 per submission.

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