Calling All Writers: Submit Your Manuscripts for Our 2nd Annual Poetry and Prose Chapbook Competition – Book Contract Offered!


We are delighted to announce that The Broken Spine will be accepting submissions for its second annual poetry and prose chapbook competition between September 1st and 30th. This presents a remarkable opportunity for writers to showcase their talent and potentially secure a book contract! Read on for all the details on how to submit your work.


Alan Parry: Editor-in-Chief, Poet & Lecturer:

Alan Parry is the Editor-in-Chief of The Broken Spine and a highly accomplished poet and writer. With a strong focus on poetry and short stories, Alan has made significant contributions to the literary world. His dedication to promoting authors and enhancing their work has earned him some recognition in the literary community.

Jay Rafferty: Guest Reader for Chapbook Competition, Guest Lecturer, Poet & Poetry Editor (Sage Cigarettes Magazine):

Jay Rafferty is an Irishman and eejit. He is also the author of two poetry collections Holy Things (The Broken Spine) and Strange Magic (Alien Buddha Press). Rafferty was one of the Guest Readers for The Broken Spine’s inaugural poetry and prose chapbbok competition in 2022 and has remained in situ for this year.

Submission Period:

Submissions will remain open from 1st to 30th September, 2023. Don’t miss this chance to share your creative voice with the world!

Competition Details:

  • This marks our second annual poetry and prose chapbook competition. The first winner was Ellie Rees with her title, Modest Raptures.
  • Submit your chapbook manuscript for a chance to win a book contract that includes 10 author copies for a single-authored title or five copies for each author of collaborations, in addition to receiving 20% royalties of profits.
  • The winner will receive a one off payment of £75 on publication of their title.
  • We particularly encourage submissions from underrepresented writers, including women (or those who identify as female), LGBTQIA+ writers, writers of colour, and disabled writers, although submissions will be read blind. Submissions are open to all.


  • Manuscripts must adhere to the chapbook format and must not exceed 24 pages.
  • We welcome poetry and prose submissions across all themes and genres.
  • Only previously unpublished manuscripts will be accepted. However, submissions with up to 50% of previously published work are welcome and encouraged.
  • Ensure your work does not contain any hateful or discriminatory content.
  • There are no themes set by us, but we want your work to have a discernible central theme. Read our existing titles to better understand our output.
  • Collaborative works are also warmly accepted and encouraged.
  • We are not fans of rhyming poetry, not traditional form and meter. We prefer Narrative poetry that shines and has a sense of flair/voice/style. We believe that emotions, feelings, honesty and bravery are great if they are cultivated.

Submission Process:

Prepare your chapbook manuscript according to the formatting guidelines:

  • A5 page size .doc(x)
  • Times New Roman font (size 11)
  • Single-spaced with normal margins
  • Include the title of your work on the first page – do not include your name within your manuscript
  • Submit your manuscript via this form. No other submissions will be accepted.

Submission Fee:

  • There is a submission fee of £8. This fee will contribute to production costs and the prize money. This is payable via Paypal and requires you to add your mauscript’s title as a reference. You will need to evidence this payment to be considered.
  • If you are interested in submitting but you are presently experiencing financial hardship, please contact us directly – we can make some allowances and will treat such matters and individuals with upmost respect and confidentiality.

Deadline and Announcement:

  • The submission deadline is 30th September.
  • Following the submission period, our team will diligently review the entries.
  • We aim to announce the winner before Christmas, spreading the joy of literary success during the holiday season.

We eagerly anticipate receiving your chapbook manuscripts.

Previously published by The Broken Spine:

Neon Ghosts (Parry, A.)
The Mask (Horan, E.)
Holy Things (Rafferty, J.)
From This Soil (Bailey, C.)
The Keeper of Aeons (Smith, M. M. C.)
Four Forked Tongues (Aur, L., Filer, S., Lewis, B., Kemball, E.)
Modest Raptures
(Rees, E.)

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