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Women's Poetry Prizes FAQs

Online Entry


How do I enter online?

Please submit via poetrybooksociety.submittable.com/submit. Here you will be prompted to fill out a form, upload your poems, and then pay. If you are submitting more than three poems for the women's poetry competition, submit them as a separate application (and payment) through submittable. For the women's pamphlet competition, use the relevant submission form and upload your pamphlet as a single document.


Can I pay now and submit my entry later?

Unfortunately this is not possible, as payment and submission occur at the same time through submittable.


The upload isn’t working, what do I do?

If the submittable page is not working, please let us know through pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 191 230 8100.


What file format can I send?

Permitted file types are PDF or word documents (.doc and .docx).


Do I have to upload each of my poems as separate attachments?

For the women's poetry competition, you should upload the poems as separate documents. If a single poem goes over multiple pages, upload these pages as one document with page numbers.

For the women's pamphlet competition, please submit one document with numbered pages.


Will I receive a confirmation email once I have uploaded my entry via the upload form?

Yes, you will be sent an automated confirmation email. If you haven’t received this email, please check your spam.


What do I do if I’m unsure my entry has arrived safely?

Please don’t submit the same poems multiple times through submittable. If you think something has gone wrong with the upload, please email us at pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk and we’ll check for you.


I want to enter both the pamphlet and poetry competitions, what do I do?

You can enter each competition separately in different submissions. Please ensure your submissions go through the correct categories.



Postal Entries


Can I enter by post?

Yes. If you’re entering our competition by post you can pay by cheque (made payable to Poetry Book Society) or via credit/debit card (call us on 0191 230 8100). Below you can find the postal address and further information.


Do I need to include anything?

Yes, you will need to fill out and include the appropriate cover form, which can be found on the competition section of our website: www.poetrybooks.co.uk/competitions


What address do I send my postal entry to?

You can send submissions via our free post address (available for UK residents. Unfortunately overseas submitters will have to pay postage):


Poetry Book Society, Churchill House, 12 Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1DE, UK


Can I send my entry recorded delivery?

Yes, we can receive post sent by recorded delivery to our office. It will be accepted and signed for by our office reception.


Will someone be there to accept my postal entry at the weekend?

Unfortunately not, as our office is closed during the weekend.


I submitted long before the deadline but my cheque hasn’t been cashed yet.

Submissions via post will be processed in batches, so there may be some delay in us cashing your cheque. If you’re concerned that your entry hasn’t arrived, email us at pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk and we can check for you.


I am entering both the pamphlet and poetry competitions by post, should I send separate cheques?

We would prefer it if you write two separate cheques in this instance.


Will my poems be returned to me?

If you include a stamped, addressed envelope with your submission, we can return your poems or pamphlet to you.


How should I bind my pamphlet together?

As we will be scanning postal pamphlet submissions for digital upload, they should be held together by paperclip or plastic wallet in the desired order, rather than stapled or otherwise bound, if possible.




I live outside the UK – can I enter?

Yes. We accept submissions from entrants anywhere in the world.


My entry has been published, can I submit to the competition?

The women's poetry competition is for previously unpublished work.

Poems in the women's pamphlet competition which have been previously published in pamphlets or collections are not eligible, but they can have been previously published in magazines, anthologies, blogs and other media.


How do you define ‘published’?

We define published as an editorial decision that someone else has made to include your work in a publication – i.e. it has been professionally selected from a range of submissions for online or print publication.


My work has been published in another country, am I eligible to enter?

If your work has been published in another country, you are not eligible to enter.


My work has appeared on my personal blog/social media page, am I eligible to enter?

Yes, you will be eligible, as this has not been selected from a range of submissions by an independent party for online publication.


My work has received prize/payment in another competition, can I enter?

You cannot submit poetry which has already received another award or prize.


I have self-published my pamphlet, am I eligible to enter?

No. Self-published pamphlets aren’t eligible for our competition as publication of your pamphlet is part of the prize.


Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

As per our terms and conditions, you are not allowed simultaneous submissions for the women's poetry competition – if your poem is under consideration for another prize, it cannot be submitted. Nor can you submit it to other competition once it has been submitted to ours.

The women's pamphlet competition, however, does allow simultaneous submissions. But, if your pamphlet is selected for our prize, you must withdraw it from other competitions, and vice versa.


Do I have to subscribe to Mslexia to enter, or be a Poetry Book Society member?

You do not have to subscribe/be a member to either of these organisations to submit, but we would love for you to receive our mailings! Find out more about PBS membership options here and the Mslexia magazine here.


I’m a man, can I submit?

We’re sorry but we do not accept submissions from men. This prize was founded by Mslexia to provide a platform for women writers. If you’d like to read more about Mslexia's reasoning, please read the two articles here  




How should I format my entry?

Please type your work single-spaced, single-sided, on A4 pages. Please ensure your font is clear and legible. For the pamphlet competition, no more than 40 lines of poetry can appear on a single page for the purposes of clarity and to keep reasonably within the page limit (this does not include line breaks).


How many poems or pages should there be in my pamphlet submission?

You should aim for between 20-24 pages of poetry. Ideally this would consist of 18-20 poems. Please do not surpass 24 pages. If 18 poems would take you over this page limit, and you are writing in a reasonably sized (typically, font size 11-12) and standard font (Times New Roman, Arial or similar), consider reducing the number of poems in your submission.


Should my pages be numbered?

If your poems go over multiple pages, it would be helpful to the reader if they are numbered. Your pamphlet pages should also be numbered.


Should my title appear on my work?

Yes, please, but do not include your name.


What should my upload file be titled?

Please use the title of the creative text being entered, but not your name.


Can I put my name on my entry?

Entries are judged anonymously, so please make sure your name does not appear on any entry. 


I’ve accidently left my name on my entry, what do I do?

Please email us at pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk.


I’ve made changes to my poem since submitting my entry to the competition. Can I send a replacement?

No alterations may be made to poetry or pamphlet collections after they are submitted, as per our terms and conditions.


I’ve noticed a glaring error in my entry after I’ve uploaded it, what do I do?

Please email us at pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk.


I’ve uploaded the wrong file, what do I do?

Please email us at pbsprizes@inpressbooks.co.uk.





What time is the deadline?

23.59 GMT, 14th September 2018

If you live outside of the UK, please make sure your entry reaches us based on GMT.


After the deadline


Will I be notified of the outcome of my entry?

Winners will be contacted by post (and email, if applicable) in November 2018 for the poetry competition and February 2019 for the pamphlet competition. Unfortunately we will not be able to personally notify you of the competition outcome if you have not won one of our prizes.


When will the results be published?

Results will be made public for the poetry competition on 1st December 2018, and for the pamphlet competition on 1st March 2019.


Will the winners’ names be published online?

Yes, both the PBS and Mslexia will announce the winners online as well as in print.


Will shortlists be published online?

The names of the 17 finalists, first prize winner, second prize winner, and special prize winner for the poetry competition will be published online. The sole winner of the pamphlet competition will be published online.