Ends on March 1, 2019

£5.00 GBP


This call is for poetry collections from people active on the UK Performance / Spoken Word Poetry scene for publication between March and November 2020. 

If you do not identify as a Performance or Spoken Word POET please do not submit. Burning Eye ONLY publishes Performance and Spoken Word Poetry. If you are not active on the live poetry scene / circuit or have no experience of performing or never so much as stood in front of a microphone at an open mic,  please do not submit. 

If you are reading this from outside the UK: sorry we can only accept submissions from poets active on the UK scene.

PLEASE NOTE: We are charging a reading FEE for this submissions call. This is partly intended as a fire-wall to ensure we only receive submissions from people who are serious about being published by Burning Eye. All proceeds from this will be donated to charity. For instance, Burning Eye has a long association with Za Foundation a UK charity which supports local organisations in Nkomazi, South Africa in providing food, social care and educational support to orphans and vulnerable children. Za Foundation will be the primary recipient of any money raised from the submissions fee.

Successful poets will be offered the usual Burning Eye publishing deal which includes:

* The ability to purchase copies of your book to sell yourself at a 60% discount off the normal retail price (e.g. for a £10 retail book you pay £4).

* Book trade sales and distribution via Inpress (our sales agents) and NBN International (our distributor) in the UK and as a POD (Print-On-Demand) title for the USA, Canada, Australia & NZ, Europe and the rest of the world via Ingram Industries. This includes your book being available through NBN or Ingram to online retailers (Amazon etc).

* Your book sold via the Burning Eye online store and Inpress web site. 

* Royalties accrued for trade and web sales that will either be paid in cash or can used as credit against book purchases at a rate of 10% of net receipts (this means 10% of all money we receive for sales of your book). 

Please submit your proposal ONLY via this form. DO NOT submit in error using the BX3 form. No submissions made via the BX3 form will be considered for the Burning Eye list - this is a separate imprint with a different process.

Please include ALL the following in your submission:

1. A current short biography. No more than 500 words. This is mandatory. We want to know who you are and how active you are as a working / performing poet. We need to see evidence of significant live poetry activity. Please also include links to any videos of you in performance that are available online. Please include your home address and a telephone number. If your stage name is not your real name, let us know your real name as well. 

2. A short description of your book. No more than 500 words. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Please also include details and numbers of any illustrations you want to include in the collection.

3. A short summary of what activity you plan to sell the book or a project which the book will accompany e.g. an Edinburgh run, a tour of festivals, etc and any critical timing or dates.

4. The manuscript of your book or a good sample of it, by which we mean AT LEAST 20 Poems

Please put all four in ONE document in the above order. 

Formatting: We can only accept MS Word (doc or docx), or ODT files (Open Office / Libre Office) for text. If there are visual elements you want us to see use PDF. Please use the following formatting rules in preparing your document:

1. Set the page size to 133mm wide by 203mm tall. Set the margins left and right to 15mm and top and bottom to 10mm. This will aide you in seeing very roughly how your work will fit on book size pages. If you cannot fathom how to do this then set the page to A5 (NOT A4 - never A4 - how many A4 books have you read?). 

2. Use these fonts: Palatino, Palatino Linotype or Times New Roman (listed in our order of preference. 10pt. Single spaced. No fancy fonts, colours or other formatting.  No headers. No footers. No page numbers.

3. Please put Poem titles in CAPITALS in the same size font & size. No bold. No underlining. 

4. Poetry Punctuation:  Please use a consistent approach to punctuation. Either punctuate your poems using normal sentence rules (and that goes for capital letters as well) or don’t punctuate at all. It is a one way or the other rule. A poem with no punctuation other than a semi colon in line 7 looks amateur and lets the work down. On the subject of semi-colons either use them as the grammar police advise or don’t use them at all. Semi-colons are not poetic commas. Please also put page breaks between poems so that poems start at the top of a new page. Proper page breaks not a whole bunch of line returns. Sorry. That sounds pedantic but we are probably using different software to you and following the above guidelines will help your work arrive on our screens looking pretty much how it does on yours! This is to help us see your work in the best light and helps us concentrate on the writing rather than worry about whether the formatting is up the wall.

5. DO NOT include a contents page. 

A NOTE ON QUOTING: Please do not quote copyrighted works in your manuscript. This includes those neat quotes at the beginning of a book. It is increasingly the case that other publishers will demand payment for even a few words so please avoid this e.g. Faber & Faber have a minimum fee of £100.  As for song lyrics. DO NOT QUOTE SONG LYRICS. Apologies for the shouty caps but quoting song lyrics is a much litigated area of copyright law. We will ALWAYS need to get permission to quote even a small number words from a song. It can take 18 months to secure permission and the cost can destroy the viability of publishing a book. We have already lost too many days of our lives attempting to talk to various music publishers about this. Therefore we don't accept any submissions which contain quoted song lyrics or other copyright works. Leaving them in your submission will automatically result in it being rejected.   

Please please please do not send us your MS until it has been formatted correctly.   


Our usual gender policy will apply in 2020. We aim for our list to have a minimum 50:50 F:M gender split but please advise if you do not identify as either - this is not a problem - we just like to respect people's wishes in how we address / describe them.  

Also we kind of always assumed this goes without saying but given the times we live in we will state here for the avoidance of doubt: we welcome submissions from all human beings regardless of race, religion (although we do identify ourselves as godless heathens so keep that in mind) or any definition of origin or ethnicity. The only thing we ask is that you are active as a poet in the UK.   

On the subject of ethics, we have no tolerance for work that discriminates in any way whatsoever, even if for the sake of humour, in fact... especially if for the sake of humour. No sexism / genderism, trans-phobia / homophobia, racism, ablism. We take a dim view of apologists for sexual assault and rape. Keep this in mind. We live in a world where you have to stand up for what you stand for and we stand for dignity and equality for all. 

 This call is for FULL LENGTH poetry collections NOT pamphlets. This means a minimum of 50 pages of poetry (which excludes all titles and contents pages - we mean JUST the poetry).  One final thing. Tell us the title of your favourite Burning Eye book. Why you like it and where you bought it.  The submissions deadline is 1st March 2019. Final decisions will be made by 31st May. We will reply to all submissions but it is unlikely you will receive feedback.

Thank you.  

Clive Birnie & Bridget Hart 

The Editorial Team 

Burning Eye Books