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BLOODAXE BOOKS

BLOODAXE BOOKS ENQUIRIES

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SUBMISSIONS PROCEDURE

If you wish to submit your work, please send a sample of up to a dozen poems from a book-length collection with return postage. But there's no point in sending a handful of poems if that's all you have.

Because we currently have a huge backlog of submissions, you may not receive a response for up to six months. We used to be quicker, but right now that's not possible. When/if the situation improves, we will amend the information given here. If you feel you need to send a full manuscript (again, with return postage), it can take even longer before you'll receive a response.

We do not consider submissions sent by email, but if you have a query related to a submission you wish to send, you can use the email address submissions@bloodaxebooks.com or use the form above (selecting Submissions), but do not include attachments. You might for example want to ask if we publish children’s poetry (we don’t) or you might want to check something else particular to your work before putting it in the post.

If you live overseas and cannot include return UK postage with your submission, we can respond by email, but we cannot enter into correspondence regarding submissions because of the volume of work we receive. In 99% of cases, the email response will be a statement that we are unable to publish your work.

North American poets should note the panel opposite.

We do not republish work which has already been published in book form by other publishers or circulated in privately printed editions, but work which has been published in pamphlets or chapbooks can form part of book-length collections.

Submissions sent from UK addresses without return postage are put in the recycling bin without being read. Submissions sent by email are likewise deleted without being read.

 

ADDRESS FOR SUBMISSIONS:

Submissions
Bloodaxe Books
Eastburn
South Park
Hexham
Northumberland NE46 1BS
UK

 


 

Editorial

 

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES (not Submissions):

Neil Astley
Editor
Bloodaxe Books
Eastburn
South Park
Hexham
Northumberland NE46 1BS
UK
tel: 01434-611581
email (not to be used for submissions or permission requests): editor@bloodaxebooks.com

or use the form opposite (selecting Editorial).

 

WORK PLACEMENTS

We receive numerous enquiries about possible work experience at Bloodaxe. We much appreciate such offers, but it is not practical for us to accommodate volunteers, interns or people wanting work placements in our small office.

 

SUBMISSIONS

If you have not yet published poems either in reputable literary magazines or in a pamphlet from a reputable small press, please do not send us your work.

We do not consider submissions sent by email (see panel opposite).

Bloodaxe is one of Britain's leading poetry publishers with an internationally renowned list of writers. We do not publish anyone who has only recently started writing. Every poet we take on already has a track record of magazine or small press publication.

Bloodaxe now publishes over 300 poets, and we need to keep up with their collective output. This won't be possible if we take on too many new authors, so we are only able to pursue publication in very few cases.

This means we can only publish two to three first collections out of the thousands we are offered each year. And because we don't have the capacity to expand our current list of published poets, we are no longer able to take on poets who have already published book-length collections with other publishers.. So if you are lucky enough to have a publisher willing to publish your next collection, our advice would be to stick with them just as they have stuck by you.


QUALITY & QUANTITY

If we aren't able to publish your poetry this may have nothing to do with the quality of your work; it's more to do with the restrictions of poetry publishing. However, Bloodaxe is continuing to introduce new poets, and we're still bringing out first collections every year as well as editions introducing major poets from overseas and anthologies aimed at broadening the readership of contemporary poetry. We have been publish around 30 new books of poetry a year, and it has not possible for us to do more than that. We will not usually be in a position to publish more than one or two first collections per year. And now that Arts Council England has cut our annual funding by 15%, we will not be able to publish as many new titles. This means it will be even more difficult for new authors to have their books taken on.

Although we have a policy of publishing new authors, these are invariably poets whose work has appeared in magazines or pamphlets and who have built up a publishable book-length collection over a period of time. If you have not yet published poems in reputable literary magazines or in a pamphlet from a reputable small press, please do not send your manuscript. We receive up to 100 manuscripts or offers of publication each week, and most authors submitting to us will have a track record of previous publication in magazines or pamphlets. If you do not have a track record of previous publication of this kind, please do not send us your work.


CRITICAL RESPONSE

We regret that we aren't able to offer detailed criticism of poetry submitted for publication. That's not the publisher's "job". But there are specialist organisations offering critical services (e.g. the Poetry Society) and others which organise writers' courses and workshops (e.g. the Arvon Foundation and the Poetry School). The links page of the Bloodaxe website lists many more poetry organisations offering a variety of services.

If it’s not possible for you attend workshops or courses, we recommend Peter Sansom’s highly readable guide, Writing Poems, published by Bloodaxe. Drawing on his extensive experience of poetry workshops and courses, Peter Sansom shows you not how to write but how to write better. This practical handbook is illustrated with many examples.


NORTH AMERICAN POETS

Bloodaxe is maintaining its programme of publishing books by leading poets from the US and Canada. However, our programming does not permit us to publish more than four North American poets in any year (which is four more than most UK publishers!), and our commitments in that area now cover the next few years. We receive hundreds of unsolicited submissions from American poets because we are one of the few British publishers with an American poetry list. Regrettably, we can no longer consider unsolicited submissions from American poets. We are continuing to develop our American list, but our future publication of American poets will be by invitation or recommendation only. So sorry you guys: you've flooded us with your stuff and we just can't handle this volume of work we are never going to be in a position to publish, excellent though the work may be.


LITERARY CRITICISM

Please note that we no longer publish books of literary criticism (apart from titles published with Newcastle University).


POETRY PUBLICATION: SOME POINTERS

Reading: If you do not read much contemporary poetry, or if you write poetry 'as a hobby', we're unlikely to be interested in your work. You may disagree, but we believe that no one can write poetry of quality unless they read other poets and are in touch with the literary culture.

Magazines: It is advisable to submit poems to magazines before thinking about putting a book together. Such a "track record" is not used by publishers as a guarantee of quality, but as an indication that the writer has spent time building up a publishable collection. Poets under 30 can apply for a Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. This can be a good stepping-stone to publication. For a comprehensive listing of poetry magazines, see these two websites: The Poetry Library (UK) and Poetry Magazines

Market: Don't submit to publishers unless you've read their books, or to magazines unless you're familiar with the kind of work they publish. Every imprint is different, and you will not be able to publish much unless you research the field and send to the publishers or magazines whose output you like and respect. You can read back issues of many of the leading British poetry magazines on the Poetry Library's poetry magazines site (see above).

Recommended articles: If you'd like to gain a greater understanding of the editorial process, we recommend this article by Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley offering advice to new authors in a Guardian poetry guide, and this article by poet Roddy Lumsden from the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook called Approaching a poetry publisher.


VANITY PUBLISHERS

There are certain firms which charge writers to publish their work or which require the writers to pay for copies of anthologies in which their work appears as a condition of publication: please note that this type of publication does not count as a "track record of previous publication". Listing such publishers and anthologies when submitting work to reputable publishers will be counterproductive: it gives the editor an immediate indication that this writer's work has been published not because of literary merit but because the writer has paid to have it printed. For more information about so-called "vanity publishing", see the web page Vanity Publishing – Advice and Warning and also the advice offered by this Society of Authors webpage.

Reputable publishers or magazines of any size will pay authors for their work, usually with royalties in the case of books. If you are asked to pay for the production of your book by a “publisher” who sends you a flattering “reader’s report” on your work, try asking a local printer to give you an estimate for printing a few hundred copies of the book. The likelihood is that the cost to you will be considerably lower, and if you want your work to be read by friends, colleagues and people in your local community, the circulation you will achieve by this DIY method will be more effective. The normal arrangements for publishing also involve the author receiving complimentary copies of a book or a free contributor’s copy of a magazine or anthology: if you’re asked to pay to see your own work in print, you are paying to have it published.

Self publication: As an alternative to using a local printer, we recommend the self-publishing website www.lulu.com which offers a distribution channel as well as well-produced books and e-books.

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