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The Magma Open Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2020


The 2020 pamphlet competition is now closed.  Many thanks to all who entered.
Results will be announced October/November.


Judged by Mary Jean Chan

Deadine: 10 August 2020

Magma invites you to enter our second pamphlet competition.
We are delighted to have Mary Jean Chan as judge.
Please scroll down to find the rules and how to enter.

• First Prize: publication of the winning pamphlet + launch reading.

• Poets on the shortlist of 10 will each get a paragraph of feedback from the judge
• The winner and 3 others will have a poem published in Magma
• All shortlisted poets will have a poem published on our website
• Mary Jean Chan will read 50 entries selected by Magma board members.

Deadline: Monday 10 August 2020


The Judge

Mary Jean Chan
Picture: Adrian Pope

Mary Jean Chan is a London-based poet, lecturer and editor from Hong Kong. Her debut poetry collection, Flèche, published by Faber & Faber, is the winner of the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry. Chan has twice been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and was the recipient of a 2019 Eric Gregory Award. She currently lectures in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University.

She says: “I am drawn to pamphlets that strike like lightning, ones that spark and kindle something in the mind. I look forward to reading poems that feel urgent and true, ones that render each submission as more than the sum of its parts. Thank you for trusting me with your work.”

from ‘what my mother (a poet) might say (II)’

be the roots that seep
——–through stone be the echo
————–of your blood song of your bones

———————————————————-Mary Jean Chan (Flèche)


Competition rules

Your pamphlet
• Please send us 18-20 pages of poems
• Poems should be typed in single spacing on one side of A4 paper and in a font size of 12
• Start each poem on a new page. Maximum 40 lines per page. If you include a poem sequence in which the poems are 14 lines long or less, then you may put two on a page
• All poems must be your original work. They may have been published in magazines (paper or online) and anthologies but not in a pamphlet or collection
• Poems must be in the English language or any of its dialects. They must be for adults and must not be translations of someone else’s work
• Your pamphlet must have a title which should appear on each page. Please do a front page with the pamphlet title and list of contents
• Entries must be anonymous. Please don’t put your name or contact details on any of the pages
• Anyone may enter unless they advise or work for Magma
• Simultaneous submissions are allowed but please let us know straight away if your pamphlet has been accepted elsewhere. The fee is not refundable
• No changes can be made once you have submitted the pamphlet
• In case of unforeseen circumstances Magma reserves the right to change the judge
• We won’t return your pamphlet so please keep a copy.

How to enter
• We open for entries on 1 April and close at midnight UK time on Monday 10 August 2020. Postal entries postmarked on that date will be accepted. Submittable users: we recommend you enter well before the deadline to avoid any technical problems arising from a last-minute rush
• Entry costs £22, or £16 if you are a Magma subscriber. Non-subscribers may pay the subscribers’ rate if they take out a subscription when they enter: buy magma
• Payment must be in pounds sterling
• If entering online, please go to Submittable and follow the instructions. Please put the title of your pamphlet in the title box. The file you upload may be .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt. You will be given the option to pay either by credit card or by PayPal
• If entering by post: you may download the Entry Form. Please send us two copies of your front page. Both copies should show the pamphlet title and a contents list. One copy only should also contain your contact details: name, address, email, phone number. Send your poems to: Magma (Pamphlet Competition), 3 Falkland Avenue, Finchley, London, N3 1QR, England. Enclose a cheque made out to Magma Poetry. Please put enough stamps on the letter
• If entering from outside the UK it’s probably easier to enter online; PayPal will convert your fee to pounds sterling. But if you wish to enter by post from abroad you may do so provided you can include a cheque in pounds sterling
• You may enter as many pamphlets as you like.


Judging and Results
• Entries will be read initially by a panel of Magma editors, who will give the judge a longlist of 50
• The judge will choose the winning pamphlet from a shortlist of 10. She will provide a short paragraph of feedback to all 10 poets
• The winner and shortlisted poets will be contacted in October/ November 2020
• The winning pamphlet will be published by Magma in early 2021. Copyright will remain with the author. Magma will have the right to use any of the poems for publicity
• Magma will hold a launch in London. We’d expect the winner to help with organisation and publicity for this
• A poem from the winning pamphlet and one each from three shortlisted pamphlets will be published in Magma magazine. These poems will also be published on our website, along with a poem from each of the other shortlisted pamphlets


Enter Online: go to Magma Poetry Submittable

Enter by Post: download Magma Competition Leaflet and Printable Entry Form


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