Announcing: The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest #4-
With Guest Judge Helen Mort

Open to all registered members of The Blue Nib. The contest calls for  8 poems per entry to be judged by Helen Mort. The Prize money has risen to  €500.00 and the top three entries will be published by the Blue Nib imprint in Chapbook IV. 


About the Chapbook Contest Series

The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest series started in Autumn 2017 and is now in its fourth round. The raison d’être for the series was to discover emerging talent in the poetry world. The contest gives breakthrough poets the opportunity  to get their work in front of a well known poet and have it judged by a credible authority. To date we have had Michael Blackburn, Kevin Higgins and for our last round Vivien Jones. We are very excited to have the wonderful Helen Mort judging this round of the contest.

The Prize

The prize money for the contest is funded by magazine subscription and book sales and for this round of the series it has increased to €500.00 with €250.00 going to the 1st place winner, €150 to the 2nd place winner and €100.00 to the 3rd place winner. 
More importantly, the first three winners, selected by our guest judge will have their work published by The Blue Nib imprint in The Blue Nib Chapbook 4.

The Chap Books

It is fair to say that the the first two chapbooks, from rounds one and two of the series have not been ignored. Chapbook 1 entered the UK Chapbook Chart and reached  #9. Chapbook 2 did even better, peaking at #2 and thus proving the importance of the contest to emerging poets. 

If you wish to read work previously chosen by judges you can find Chapbooks I & II in the Book Shop.

About the judge

Helen is a five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award, she received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2007, and won the Manchester Poetry Prize Young Writer Prize in 2008. 

In 2010, she became the youngest ever poet-in-residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. In the same year she was shortlisted for the Picador Prize and won the Norwich Café Writers’ Poetry Competition with a poem called `Deer`.
Helen was the Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. In 2014, she won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for “Division Street”.

She is an alumna of Christ’s College, Cambridge, from which she graduated with a degree in Social and Political Sciences in 2007. In 2014, she completed her Doctorate at Sheffield University with a Ph.D thesis in English/Neuroscience and her BlogSpot `Poetry on the Brain` was one of the Picador `Best Poetry Blogs` choices.
In 2014 Helen was named as a Next Generation poet by the Poetry Book Society. She is currently the Douglas Caster Creative Writing Fellow in the School of English at the University of Leeds. She has appeared on radio programmes such as The Verb, Poetry Please, and Woman’s Hour. Individual poems have been published in the New Statesman, `Ex-Industrial (a trailer)`, and the Sunday Times, `Admit you feel like all the ice skates in Brazil`, as well as the magazines Poetry Review, Granta, The Rialto, Poetry London, The Manhattan Review, and The North.
In June 2018 Helen Mort was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its “40 Under 40” initiative.

Her collection ‘No Map Could Show Them’ (Chatto & Windus) is a PBS Recommendation. Helen blogs at ‘Freefall’.

Her debut novel ‘Black Car Burning’ will be published by Chatto & Windus in April 2019

The Rules

The rules for this round of the series have changed a little so it is important you read them and understand them before submitting your work.

The competition is open to new, emerging and established poets from any country BUT you must be a debutante (with no chapbook or collection published in print). Publication in anthologies or on ezine or web journals is fine. 

  • Poems must be in English
  • Submitted collections must contain 8 poems of any style (All) on a single MS Word or Mac Pages document. 
  • Entries should be in times new roman 12pt and single spaced. 
  • We understand that poetry must take its own form but we encourage poets to allow their words wow our judge rather than unusual formatting. 
  • Your entry must include only the poems you wish to submit and nothing else. 
  • You must submit an authors bio, a reasonable quality author photo and your entry payment receipt (if applicable) as separate files. The 4 files (entry, photo, biography and receipt) should be attached to the same email. 
  • Poems submitted must be  previously unpublished as part of a journal, anthology or collection and must remain so until the contest closes and results are announced. (Poems published on the poets own blog are acceptable.)
  • Poems must be submitted by email only to [email protected] 
  • We accept poems from poets of any nationality, from any country.
  • There is no lower age limit but we would point out that very young poets are likely to stand little chance of winning.
  • No alterations may be made to an entry once it has been submitted.
  • To enter you must be a subscriber to the magazine.
  • Closing date for entries: December 14th 2018.
  • Results will be announced online and in print in issue 37 on 15 March 2019. Results will also appear on The Blue Nib Facebook Page.

Please note: You must be a registered member of The Blue Nib to enter. Registration page can be found here. On registration you can select Free or Paid Membership. Paid membership costs €15.00 per quarter and includes discounts on all work published by The Blue Nib Imprint as well as entry to all contests. If you select Free Membership you must pay for entry at the bottom of this  page.  

75% of monies raised through subscription go towards publishing and publicising the work of our authors, poets, winners & contributors, the remainder is used to fund the print magazine and the web platform. 

The three winning entries will be those chosen by judge Helen Mort. Each will receive a complimentary copy of the chapbook.
The first prize winner will receive  €250.00. The second prize winner will receive  €150 and the 3rd placed winner will receive  €100.00. 

Up to 10 other shortlisted entrants will be awarded as Highly Commended.

By entering the contest you grant The Blue Nib the rights to publish your work in print & on the web.


Not a paid member? Purchase your entry or become a Member

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