Pamphlet Commission Competition 2017

Deadline extended to midnight, Sunday 24th September.


Buoyed up by the success of 2014 co-winner Jay Bernard whose resulting pamphlet was shortlisted for the 2016 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, Ink Sweat & Tears is pleased to launch the 2017 IS&T/Café Writers Pamphlet Commission Competition! Details of Jay’s The Red and Yellow Nothing and Euclid’s Harmonics by co-winner Jonathan Morley can be found on our Shop IS&T Press page while our earlier Norfolk based winners’ books – As the Crow Flies, Strangers Hall, Bridge, Another Use of Canvas – can still be examined on the Gatehouse Press website although only Andrea Holland’s Broadcasting is still in print

Jay will be joining IS&T’s Helen Ivory and Kate Birch and Chris Gribble from Writers’ Centre Norwich as a judge for 2017.

Submission Guidelines
The Commission is aimed towards producing new work on a coherent theme. Please submit twelve pages of poetry  and a 400 word proposal that outlines your approach for the pamphlet. Poetry submitted does not have to be on this theme and may have been published elsewhere. It is to give us an idea of your range of work.
Our prize this year includes £2000, 100 copies of the pamphlet to sell and a launch at Café Writers in Norwich.
The deadline for submission is midnight, Friday 22 September 2017 Sunday 24th September 2017, and the winner will be announced in early December 
The handling fee is £10. Please pay here and then email your poetry and proposal in a single pdf file to Please include an introduction page with the following information.
Pen name (if applicable)
Poem Titles
Paypal Transaction ID
And tell us how you heard about the competition.

(You will be directed to PayPal page BIRCH C M IST.  You do not have to be registered with Paypal and will, alternatively, be able to pay by debit or credit card.)


Former entrants for the 2014 Commission will be given a 10% discount and contacted directly by email with a link to a dedicated Paypal page. (If your email has changed since 2014 and/or you do not receive this email please get in touch with Kate via If you inadvertently pay through the button above we cannot, unfortunately, refund the difference.
The Rules
    1. The applicant must be a resident of the UK, able to attend the Café Writers launch and be eligible for the applicable prizes offered for new pamphlet publications within the UK.
    2. Of the prize money, £500 will be awarded initially, £500 upon receipt of the first manuscript containing the introduction and all poems and the final £1000 paid after full publication and the Café Writers launch, currently anticipated for November 2019.
    3. The pamphlet must be completed for publication before the beginning of October of 2019 to allow it to be available for the Café Writers launch and available for consideration for the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Autumn 2019 (featured in the PBS 2020 Spring Bulletin)
    4. The pamphlet is to be no more than 32 pages including front and back covers. We want to be able to enter it into the Michael Marks competition.
    5. All poems for the pamphlet (but not for competition entry) must be new work and not have been published before.
    6. Any introduction should be no longer than two pages.
    7. The pamphlet design will be done in conjunction with Nick Stone of Starfish Design, printed by Swallowtail Print and published under the banner of IS&T Press. As series editors, we will be responsible for keeping the overall design true to the spirit of Ink Sweat & Tears.
    8. IS&T Press will cover all design and printing costs within reason. This includes full colour front and back covers (inside and out) and all monotone print and image within. If you want colour within the body of the book additional printing charges will come out of your prize fund. 
    9. Fees for the use of others’ artistic works still under copyright will also come out of the prize fund.  All quotes/images no matter how small/old need to be carefully checked well before publication. It should never be assumed that something is ‘fair use’.
    10. IS&T’s Helen Ivory and Kate Birch will be available for editing and practical help but only when, and if, necessary.
    11. IS&T Press would retain all sales rights directly through Amazon, Nielsen and the larger book retailers, although we have no problem with you selling through Amazon Marketplace or making arrangements with independent bookshops or individual stores of some of the larger chains such as Waterstones where these have more autonomy.

Please contact Kate at if you have any queries.