In May 2020 we opened our first submissions window for both pamphlets and debut collections and were overwhelmed with the response. Now they are open again (until midnight on March 31st) this time for full collections only, some of which we will publish in 2022/23. We’d love to read your work! Please read below for all details of how and when to enter.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for full collection length manuscripts of poetry. (At Verve, our full collections start at 60 pages and can be up to double that length – we tend to fit 28 lines of poetry to a page.) Manuscripts should be complete although we will consider high quality drafts.
When would we like them?
Our month-long submissions window opened at 00:01 on Monday 1st March 2021 and will close at Midnight on Wednesday 31st March. No submissions (unless previously agreed) will be considered outside of the submissions window.
How would we like them?
Manuscripts should be attached to your application email as a separate file on either Word or PDF. The file should be titled with both your name and the provisional title of the manuscript like so: AuthorName_TitleOfManuscript. Send your submission to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What would we like with them?
We would like your manuscript to be accompanied by a one page document detailing your poetic journey so far – favourite poetry books read, favourite poetry performers watched, favourite poetry events attended actually or remotely – (you should have answers for all of these) – alongside a full list of workshops attended, publishing history, readings given – (it matters less if you don’t have answers for all of these). And finally details of the ambitions you have for the book you hope to make and what things you intend to do
personally, outside of submitting to Verve, to help it reach a wide audience. One page is the maximum allowed for this part of the submission.
PLEASE NOTE: Those with difficulties accessing physical poetry books, performances and workshops due to disabilities or limited incomes can and should absolutely still please apply. Tell us instead about online readings and events you have attended and enjoyed and which of the mountains of free online poems you have read, loved and been influenced by.
What kind of things do we like?
If you know us at all, you will know the answer to this. Like our sister festival, we have a love and respect for poetry in all its forms and from all sources. We love poetry designed for the page that is read-out-able and poetry designed to perform that is readable in book form. We love poetry shows, long narrative poems, short quirky poems, one poem manuscripts, seventy poem manuscripts, dramatic poems, quiet poems, free-form poems, fully formed poems, heavily edited poems, poems written in one go. But they must be excellent, generous, open-minded, ambitious and informed. We not only welcome but would encourage submissions from poets who identify as BAME and/or LGBTQ+. And we are also keen to see manuscripts that involve more than one language or which are bi-lingual.
What don’t we mind?
We don’t mind if you submit titles already submitted elsewhere – but do tell us if they are successful and you need to withdraw your submission with us.
What we will and won’t do for you
There is no charge to submit to Verve Poetry Press during this window. Similarly we do not insist that you buy a book from our website before submitting (although we truly hope you will have already or will do soon).
Also those who are chosen to publish with us won’t be charged for the privilege. Instead, they will be paid royalties on the books we sell and have the opportunity to buy copies at a deep discount to sell themselves. But all that is for later once this process is over.
We will give you a provisional answer on the success or otherwise of your submission within eight weeks of the submission window closing. Unfortunately we won’t be able to give any feedback on submissions which are unsuccessful.
If you are unsuccessful, please don’t give up on your poetry! We are very particular about what we publish and have an aesthetic that we are aiming to achieve. Your poems may well be accepted elsewhere having been unsuccessful with us. Take a breath, get some input, and carry on!
We are excited and look forward to reading your wonderful work! 🙂