Publishers of Fine Verse from India


Thank you for your interest & support!

*NEW:  Q & A for our Emerging Poets Prize!*



The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective
Emerging Poets Prize

Deadline: MAY 1, 2015.
Final Judge: Jeet Thayil (poet, novelist & performance artist)
Rs. 15,000 Prize

The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective is a mentorship model literary press, bringing new poetic voices from India to the world. We are a not-for-profit, shared work literary press publishing and promoting poets with a connection to India/Indian diaspora. The Emerging Poets Prize will help nurture and bring out new poetic voices from India, the diaspora and those that have a meaningful connection to India. Up to three manuscripts will be chosen for publication, one by Jeet Thayil and the other two by the founding Collective poets. Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication.

***Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.***

Winners will receive:
• Rs 15,000 (or equivalent in local currency)
• Publication of manuscript, with a minimum press run of 250
• 20 author copies
• A book launch
• Membership in The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective for two years

About the Contest

The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective will select up to three manuscripts for publication. At least one of the manuscripts will be by a poet who lives and writes in India, and at least one manuscript will be by a woman. We reserve the right to publish no manuscript from the submission pool.

About the Judge

jeetthayilJEET THAYIL’s four poetry collections include English and These Errors Are Correct, which won the Indian Academy of Letters 2013 award for poetry in English. He is the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets. As a musician and songwriter, he is one half of the contemporary music project Sridhar/Thayil. Jeet Thayil’s debut novel Narcopolis won the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for five other prizes, including the Man Booker prize, the Man Asian Literature Prize and the Commonwealth Prize.

How the Collective Works

Under our peer mentorship model, new poets are paired with published poets to hone and fine-tune their manuscripts through a rigorous editorial process, leading to publication. Once a manuscript is ready, the poet is involved in all aspects of layout and design, working with talented graphic designers and artists. Poets who join the collective are never asked to fund the printing of their books. They give back what they have received in terms of time – one year of mentorship to a new collective member.


We publish first and second books only. Unpublished writers, poets who have published one full-length book, or chapbooks (30 pages or less), are eligible. Poets who have published two or more poetry books, whether through a press or self-publication, are not eligible.
• Poets must have a substantial connection to India or the Indian diaspora.
• Manuscripts must be in English. Translations are not eligible.
• Poets must be available to be fully engaged Collective members for two years.

How to Submit

Email the following before May 1, 2015 to

• A one-page cover letter with your name, address, email address, phone number, bio, publishing history, and the title of your manuscript.  This document, along with your statement of purpose, should include your name.

• A one-page Statement of Purpose in which you share why you would like to publish through the Collective and what skills, expertise, and activities you would like to contribute to the Collective. (For example, some of the current activities of collective members include mentoring poets, conducting workshops, organizing community poetry events, and curating poetry for our inPoetry app. Please don’t limit your ideas; we look forward to new energy and hearing how you would contribute.)

• Your unpublished, full-length manuscript. We suggest 48 to 80 pages of poetry, but no manuscript will be rejected simply because of length.  Be sure to follow the formatting guidelines below. Individual poems may have been published elsewhere (in journals, magazine or part of an anthology). Do not include your name or identifying details in this document.

• In the first round of reading, we will look at the manuscript blind. For manuscripts that advance to the second round, we will look at the statement of purpose and cover letter. Since this is a collective press, we will look at the whole package: both the merit of the work and the poets themselves and what they can bring to the collective.

How to Format Your Manuscript

• Start each poem on a new page. Number every page.
• Use 12-point font in a simple, readable typeface such as Times, Times New Roman or Arial. Please no fancy fonts for submissions.
• Include a Table of Contents.
• Include an Acknowledgments page listing previous publications of poems in the manuscript, if any.
• Send your manuscript in a single .doc, .rtf, or .docx file with no identifying information. The cover letter and Statement of Purpose should be separate files.  Attach them all to the same email.
Please name the manuscript document the same title as your manuscript.


Results will be announced on July 1. We will notify all entrants via email as well as post the results on our website and FB page.


What does being a Collective member involve?

All poets who publish through us serve as a Collective Member of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective for twenty-four months. The first 12 months are spent in peer mentorship with another Collective member, working on your own manuscript and bringing out its fullest potential. The second twelve months are spent peer mentoring a new member of the press.

Collective poets also work on projects of their choice such as curating poems for our inPoetry app, teaching workshops, organizing and appearing at eventls, social media, and administrative work for the Collective. Your Statement of Purpose should give a sense of your interests and potential contributions.

Are simultaneous submissions allowed?

Yes. Please notify us immediately to withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted elsewhere.

Can I edit a manuscript after I submit it?

No edits can be made to the manuscript after you submit it; we cannot review multiple versions of the same manuscript. However, chosen manuscripts will go through a process of peer mentorship, and changes can (and should!) be made prior to publication.

Is this a vanity or self-publishing enterprise? What is your business model?

We are not a vanity press. Poets who join the collective will never be asked to fund the printing of their books or buy a minimum number of books. We believe that writers deserve to be paid, and our budget for each book includes an author payment of 15,000 INR. We choose manuscripts through a competitive process, and we rigorously edit and mentor each writer to create the best book possible. Our press is sustained by seed money from the founders, individual donors, workshop fees, and book sales and subscriptions.

Can you give me feedback on my poetry?

We focus on the manuscripts that we’re publishing. Unfortunately we will not be able to give feedback on manuscripts that are not chosen for publication, individual poems, or previously published work. We do not review published books. The best way to work with one of our poets is through a workshop; please join our mailing list to learn about upcoming workshops.

Can I submit a Haiku/Tanka/Haibun manuscript?

Are you publishing in other languages?

For now, we’re focusing on English. In the future as our press grows, we’ll be able to consider expanding into other languages and/or translations.

Do submissions have to be by a single author?

We welcome manuscripts that are collaborations between writers. We are open to manuscripts that include artwork, but manuscripts will be judged on the basis of the quality of the poetry first.

Author agrees that the decision of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and/or the judges will be final as to all matters, including eligibility, timeliness of submissions, and compliance with these Entry Rules and the Awards.

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Twitter!

Help spread the word: “Like” and share!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 68 other followers