London Book Fair opens poetry competition

Next week’s London Book Fair is, for the first time, incorporating poetry, with its Poetry Pavilion space giving publishers of poetry a place to exhibit. To mark the occasion, the Fair and Inpress have joined forces to bestow the inaugural Poetry Pavilion Prize. The prize is open to anyone either attending the event, connected in any way with exhibitors or otherwise working in the international book trade.

There are three categories in which work can be submitted, per Inpress:

  1. A sonnet on the subject of ‘London’. Each entry must follow the form of a Shakespearean sonnet (14 lines each of 10 syllables, following the rhyme scheme abab, cdcd, efef, gg).
  2. A haiku on the subject of ‘A Book’ or ‘Books’ (using the haiku form of three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables)
  3. A nonnet on the subject of ‘The Fair’ or ‘Fairs’ (using the nonnet form of a 9-line poem commencing with a nine syllable line, reducing by one syllable per line until the final line is just one syllable).

Entires can be submitted by print or e-mail at the fair itself, or in advance of the fair by e-mail to, with the competition closing at 6pm on Wednesday 15 April. Judging proceedings will be Amy Wack, poetry editor at Seren Books. Winning entries will be announced and read at 2pm on Thursday 16 April in the Poetry Pavilion. The winners of each category will receive £20 of book tokens apiece, along with a copy of Peter Sansom’s Writing Poems and some form of booze.