The Poetry Book Awards is an annual, international book award given to the best poetry books produced by indie writers, self published authors or books published by small, truly independent presses.
Even though more and more people are enjoying and participating in creative writing it is becoming increasingly difficult to become traditionally published, especially in the poetry world. Most of the top book prizes and competitions do not allow self published authors to enter. If they are allowed then many are extremely expensive leaving self published authors struggling to find the recognition they deserve.
“We offer true equality,” says organizer Dave Lewis. “In a time when corporate greed and influence seem to infect every aspect of our lives and ruin the opportunity for the little guy to succeed the international Poetry Book Awards are a rare beacon of hope,” he continues.
“I love the underdog and coming from a no-nonsense town like Pontypridd you know you’re not going to get given anything for nothing, especially by the establishment that control the purse strings in Wales, so it’s best you just strike out on your own and go for it.”
The competition organizer, Dave Lewis, is resolutely untrendy. A well-respected poet himself he shuns the limelight and continues to self-publish his often avant-garde work rather than seek acceptance from the mainstream just so he can continue to push the boundaries of his art. He also runs the International Welsh Poetry Competition, the Writers of Wales database and a small, self-publishing company, called Publish & Print, where he helps other writers get into book form and realize their own ambitions.
This year’s judge, Mike Jenkins, is one of Wales’ most respected poets. Widely published, he is much in demand for his lively performances and writing workshops. He has performed at the Hay Festival, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and has read and tutored at Ty Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales. He won Wales Book of the Year in 1998 for his collection of short stories ‘Wanting to Belong’. He has also won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, The Young Writers Prize from the Welsh Arts Council for ‘Empire of Smoke’ and the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry.
Mike is at the forefront of contemporary Welsh writing and is a fellow of the Academi, the Welsh Society for Authors. He is a former editor of Poetry Wales magazine and has co-edited Red Poets for 25+ years, an annual magazine of left-wing poetry from Wales and beyond. He has previously judged the International Welsh Poetry Competition, in 2009 and 2019.
If you want to enter just check out this year’s contest on the official website – http://www.poetrybookawards.co.uk
International Poetry Book Awards 2021
1st Prize – £250, 2nd Prize – £125, 3rd Prize – £60
Judge – Mike Jenkins
Starts – 1st Jan 2021
Closing date – 30th June 2021
Entry fee – £30
Entry forms, rules and details on our website: