Prole Laureate Competition

Winner: £200, Publication in Prole 19 in April 2016
Publication on the Prole website
2 x runner up prizes of £50, possible publication in Prole 19
Publication on the Prole website

KateWe’re thrilled to have Kate O’Shea as our judge this year. One time tabloid hack, Kate is probably the best-known unknown poet in Dublin and is widely published in international journals, anthologies and online. Her latest publications were in The Saranac Review, Orbis, Cyphers, Outburst, and Prole. Her chapbook, Crackpoet, is available on Amazon. She was short listed for the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition and the Patrick Kavanagh Award twice. Most recently she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in America. Kate’s work has featured on radio and has been translated into several languages.
Eight new poems will be published later this year in three anthologies.
To read some of Kate’s recent work, click here and here.
Entries will be anonymised before being sent to judge.

Time scale
We will receive entries from October 1st 2015 to January 31st 2016.
Winners will be announced in issue 19 of Prole in April 2016 and on our website by April 20th 2016.

We are, as ever, open regarding style, length and content. What we are after is poetry that epitomises the editorial values of Prole: to make writing engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging. Quality is all.
All work must be the original work of the writer and be unpublished.

£3.00 for first entry, £2.00 for any subsequent entries.

For full details of how to enter please see our website:


Poetry Pamphlets – Indigo Dreams spills the beans…

IndigoWe had been looking to create a poetry pamphlet division for some time, as it’s a format we enjoy. As a self-funding indie company we had to be certain the time was right and last year we made our entry to this market. We wanted our pamphlets to show the same production values we give to their big brothers, be perfect bound and have identity branding.

We like poetry pamphlets for many reasons. Among them is the thread that runs through many poetry pamphlets, a general theme that, although sometimes less obvious than others, unifies under one title. There may be insufficient numbers of such poems to fill a full-length collection, so they would be a section of the whole. Here they can be the entirety.

A glance through some of the pamphlets we have published to date show themes as different as the people of a village in Italy, the natural world, the human body, the various guises of ‘gods’, railways – even a correlation between poetry and poultry! Those yet to be published have themes as varied as the Solway Firth, the theatre, a relationship with a grandson…we love the diversity!

They are affordable (or more affordable) and can easily be read in one sitting, should the reader choose to do so. They no longer serve as an introduction to new poets, but are now an established and respected form in their own right.  And pamphlets do of course have their own awards and prizes, like the Michael Marks and Callum MacDonald, Templar,  Poetry Book Society, Cinnamon and, shortly, Indigo Pamphlets.

Brett cover

Bretts poem

Indigo Dreams has a very strong commitment to poetry, (and we were delighted to receive the Ted Slade Award for Services to Poetry this year) and will continue to combine new poets with the more established. One example of a first publication success was Brett Evans pamphlet, The Devil’s Tattoo. It can only help a newly published poet to not only be runner-up in its category in the recent Saboteur Awards, but also to read comments like ‘these poems cut like rust’, ‘a deeply divine read’, ‘displays both vulnerability and wit’, ‘eye-opening soul baring magic’. Greg Freeman’s ‘Trainspotters’ was read by Brian Patten who wrote to Greg saying his pamphlet has “more going for it than many a fatter collection. The poems are snapshots of gone and going worlds, more evocative than any photo.” That quickly made it to the back cover!

This year we will publish almost twenty pamphlets, some new voices with a track record in magazines but no previous publication, some by established poets including Bernard Kops, William Oxley and –don’t edit this out! – Abegail Morley. Your own pamphlet, Abegail, is a perfect example of how a pamphlet fills a void – a short series of poems based on the ruins at Scotney Castle, too small for a large collection, but perfect for a pamphlet.

Its popularity among poets is proven by the number of enquiries and submissions we receive each month. Along with our three magazines, collections and anthologies, our pamphlet division is here to stay. The amount we publish will, as ever, be determined by what we enjoy, our physical capacity and the quality of submissions we receive.
Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn BaulingCapture




Prole – interview with Brett Evans

prole11Earlier this month I caught up with Brett Evans, one of the editors at Prole and asked him a few questions about the magazine and the press.

When was Prole established and when did your first magazine appear?

Prole became a twinkle in both editors’ eyes over a few pints of Guinness in The Hope and Anchor in Heaton, Bolton, in the summer of 2009. My co-editor to be, Phil Robertson, and myself felt that many literary magazines were embracing an elite while distancing themselves from the general reader (only some I hasten to add. There are many that I admire and several I subscribe to) where style seemed to dominate accessibility and quality. We felt sure there was a space in the market for a journal which offered engaging and accessible poetry and prose. By accessible, I do not in any way mean lacking in quality. We quickly decided that we wanted our little baby to be fully independent, therefore we did not seek funding and decided to dig into our own shallow pockets.

Prole’s embryonic stages of doubt lasted until a business account was set up in February 2010 and issue 1 was born, to our delight, on April 6th of that same year – fathers and child all well.

What is it you look for in poetry submissions?

The short answer to that would be – great poetry. But poems can strike in so many different ways: the poem that grabs you by the throat with its first line and drags you along breathlessly, the more subtle and reflective poem that can appeal at once or become richer with every reading, the poem that lightly amuses or results in a belly laugh, but whatever the poem’s style or content it is weight and balance that are important. Is the poet verbose in what they are saying? And that old cliché, show don’t tell, still holds true.

Prole considers all poetry, and the wider the variety an issue contains the better, but it is the execution which must wow both editors. From the start our policy was that for a piece to be featured both editors would have to believe in it 100%. Contrary to popular belief editors are only human and sometimes a piece may be rejected not because it is bad writing but simply that the editors could not agree upon it. On occasion we have worked alongside contributors to strengthen a piece until editors and author all agree that it works better than when originally submitted.

You have very clear submission guidelines on your site, when it comes to a covering letter what information do you want to see?

Just common courtesy (and submissions to the correct address – poetry or prose – saves time). We get some submissions without so much as a ‘Hello’ which I find rude but if the work speaks for itself it will be considered.

Humour is always very nice to see in a cover letter or bio – even if the submission is not successful, making us smile goes a long way. We aim to respond to submissions within 3 – 4 weeks as both editors know what it is like to have publications sit on your submissions for months on end.

I’m really interested in the Prole Laureate competition, can you tell me more about it?

The Prole Laureate competition (along with its prose equivalent, The Prolitzer Prize) is an annual comp that offers cash and publication in Prole for the winner and two runners up. Each year there is a different judge (a poet we respect) and the editors filter the entries and send a selection of anonymous poems to said judge.

Unlike a lot of journals, Prole pays its contributors a profit share four months after each respective issue. As we do not rely on, nor seek any funding, the profits from our competitions go back into ensuring the continuation of Prole.

Outside of Prole, Prolebooks have published a handful of poetry pamphlets and collections with more to come later this year and in the new year. Our journey saw us starting on a steep learning curve. While we hope always to be learning more, it has been fun – our editorials outrageous fun at times – and we are pleased to have made positive and reaffirming relationships with our contributors and others. We hope to continue making many more. Prole never sleeps just passes out on occasion.

For further information our website can be found here http://www.prolebooks.co.uk/

and Prole can be followed on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prole/236155444300?ref=hl

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