I started this blog some years ago, to document and reflect on process when making work as a sole author or co-devising collaborator. Between times of r&d, rehearsal, or production, like now, I like to share the platform with guests, and bring new voices and potential opportunities to the readers of the blog. I’m excited today to introduce a guest post from Nadia Kingsley of Fair Acre Press who introduces the press, outlines forthcoming developments and publications and – most importantly – introduces the inaugural international Fair Acre Press Pamphlet Competition 2015/16.
I first met Kaite when she came to see us in ‘e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g: the history of the Universe in 45 minutes’, at Wenlock Poetry Festival. We knew, beforehand, that we both love the same man – Tom Wentworth. Turns out that we both have partners with passata in their blood; and have both, with hair whipping our faces and salt filling our mouths – walked to Black Rock across the sands of Cei Bach.
I run a small press – but it too is expanding at the moment. In October there will be podcasts and blogs on a new fancy website – from 9 poets, and 4 ecologists on the subjects of spiders, frogs, stinging nettles, and grey squirrels – with an invitation extended out to everyone to send in poems that come out of these prompts and provocations – to be published in the first four poetry ebooks in the Maligned Species series.
In November 2015 submissions will open to our inaugural international poetry pamphlet competition – judged solely by Jonathan Edwards. One of the categories is for anyone and everyone; but the other is restricted to those who haven’t yet had a pamphlet or collection published. This is the first time I hand over the decision of publishing to someone else – but oh! How lucky am I ! I adore ‘My Family and other Superheroes’, as did the Costa Judges this year – and to read alongside Jonathan Edwards at Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016? Would it be wrong if I entered ?!!!
In 2016 I am so proud to be publishing John Siddique, Roz Goddard, Emma Purshouse, Andrew Fusek Peters and Lisa Blower – covering three new genres for Fair Acre Press: 6 to 11 yr poetry, Wildlife Photography (hardback, full colour), and general fiction – as well as poetry – twice !
I am working on Kaite, and her agents…. I have read ‘Persians’ – the poem play that won her the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry. I have read ‘The Almond and the Seahorse.’ Both are extraordinary – gripping, humane, funny, dark, truthful – all in a light, confident touch. What a vital creature Kaite O’Reilly is! See you on the beach, or over a plate of spaghetti soon, Kaite xx
Nadia Kingsley runs Fair Acre Press
Though much of the above is not up on the website yet – if you would like to keep in touch, there will be a mailing list from mid October, but meanwhile: facebook: Nadia Kingsley Twitter: @fairacrepress
The Inaugural International Fair Acre Press Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2015/16
SOLE JUDGE: Jonathan Edwards
About Jonathan Edwards:
Jonathan Edwards’s first collection, ‘My Family and Other Superheroes’ (Seren), won the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His poems have won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, the Ledbury Festival International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award, and appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review and The North. Recent projects include a British Council literature exchange to India and a residency at the Dylan Thomas boathouse in Laugharne.
Jonathan Edwards says:
It’s a great honour to be involved in judging the Fair Acre Press poetry pamphlet competition. Pamphlets I think are so important, and one of the regrets of my writing career so far is that I didn’t publish one myself in advance of my first collection. That initial opportunity for a writers to dip their toes in the water, to try something out, and to begin to build a reputation before a first collection appears – that’s such a valuable thing. Look at the list of writers who went on from successful pamphlets to wonderful first collections in the past few years, and it’s clear how important this stage is. That’s why I’m so pleased that the Fair Acre Press competition is unique in having separate categories for writers who have and haven’t previously published, giving new writers a real chance. For previously published writers, there’s that opportunity to think about the potential of the short form of the pamphlet, what can be done across that space, with a sequence or group of poems, to create a memorable and beautiful short collection.
In terms of what I look for in poems, I think that’s evident from the sort of poems I write. When the world tragically lost the great American poet James Tate this year, the Poetry Society published a tribute to Tate which included this quote from the great American: ‘I love my funny poems, but I’d rather break your heart. And if I can do both in the same poem, that’s the best. If you laughed earlier in the poem, and I bring you close to tears in the end, that’s the best. That’s most rewarding for you and for me too. I want ultimately to be serious, but I can’t help the comic part. It just comes automatically. And if I can do both, that’s what I’m after.’
That sums it up really. I look for work which is accessible, entertaining, which makes me smile or laugh, but which also packs a real emotional punch and is memorable. I love form too, though that’s not the same thing as saying you need to include a villanelle to win. Impress me, move me, make me laugh or cry, make me remember your poems. Good luck!
DEADLINE : November 30th 2015
SUBMISSIONS OPEN: November 1st 2015
ENTRY FEE: £12
CATEGORIES: Both categories are open only to those aged 18 or over.
1. Open to all
2. Open to those who have not previously had a pamphlet or collection published (this includes self-publishing as well, and includes any publications published up to and including 30th November 2015)
PRIZES: There will be two winners – one from each category. Each will receive the same prizes of:
Publication of the submitted pamphlet by Fair Acre Press, with editorial input from Nadia Kingsley
A Launch Reading at Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016 alongside Jonathan Edwards (all costs involved in travel and accommodation will be at your own expense)
30 complimentary copies of your winning pamphlet
A ten percent royalty on sales
40% discount on further copies of your pamphlet you would like to buy, as well as 40% discount on any Fair Acre Press publications
Your pamphlet will have an ISBN. It will be submitted to The Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice submission; and to the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Award; and offered to The Poetry Library, as well as sent to the British Library, and other UK libraries (if requested by them)
Fair Acre Press will send 5 copies out to review – (you are welcome to suggest where to) – and is very happy to send out more, if you foot the bill ! (cost price of pamphlet and p&p)
RULES: please read the rules below before entering this competition. Submissions that do not fulfill the requirements will not be judged, and the entry fee may be forfeited.
ONLINE ENTRY: this will be available on this website from November 1st 2015. I’m afraid postal entries cannot be accepted but I do hope you know someone with a computer who can help you if necessary.
RESULTS: will be announced on the Fair Acre Press website on 4th March 2016
THE PROFITS: from this prize will be ploughed back into Fair Acre Press to support future publishing of poetry. Fair Acre Press really does appreciate your financial support, as well as your interest in this competition.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: including details of what to enter and how to enter – see below
Nadia Kingsley – founder, owner and editor of Fair Acre Press says:
I am so delighted to have this year’s Costa Poetry Prize winner – Jonathan Edwards – as the sole judge for this – our inaugural poetry pamphlet competition. This means that he will read all the submissions, and the winners will be his choice alone.
It feels kind of odd to hand over control to somebody else – but I KNOW I will love his choices – because his own poetry is so fantastic. I have read, re-read and then re-re-read My Family and Other Superheroes and I have seen Jonathan read at 2014 Wenlock Poetry Festival – both are joyous experiences!
Terms and Conditions for Fair Acre Press Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2015/16
There is a standard fee of £12 per entry
Make sure you enter the category you wish to enter
You may submit as many collections/ entries as you wish.
Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript
Online entries can be submitted up to midnight on the 30th November 2015
You will receive an automatic online confirmation of your submission, once your submission is completed.
The two winners will be contacted directly. The results will be posted on the Fair Acre website on 4th March 2016
No postal entries are accepted – sorry. We do hope you can find someone to help you with an online entry – or try your local library if you are in the UK.
Entries are welcome from around the world, but must be written in English.
There is no theme, but we do not accept poetry written for children.
Up to 30 sides (known as pages) of poetry – each page no longer than 30 lines.
These thirty lines include any title and any line breaks between the title and the first verse; and all line breaks between the verses.
That probably sounds very complicated – but it is so we are sure we can publish it at the high level of production that we are used to, and so that we will be printing a pamphlet with a maximum of 36 pages. This will then be eligible for submission to the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award.
Here are some examples:
ONE PAGE may include, for example, the maximum of:
A title, a line break, then a poem of 28 lines that is not divided into any verses OR
A title, a line break, a poem which is made up of seven verses of 3 lines each, with line breaks between each.
Of course it could be one long poem, 30 single paged poems, or anything inbetween.
Poems may have been published elsewhere, but must not have previously appeared as a published collection.
Copyright remains with the authors
The judge’s decision is final. If in the judge’s opinion no collection achieves a high enough standard, no prizewinner will be chosen.
Entry in the competition will be deemed to be acceptance of these conditions.
Fair Acre Press is able to embark on this competition adventure thanks to the support of the Arts Council England: in that they have made the technology behind its smooth running achievable for Fair Acre Press. It is not in place yet ! But will be by 14th October 2015.
Thank you Arts Council England. You really are A.C.E. !
Meanwhile if you would like to be sure of updates on social media:
FACEBOOK: become friend of Nadia Kingsley
TWITTER: follow @fairacrepress