Celebrating femininity and empathy through images and words

Pamphlet Prize


Thanks for your interest in the inaugural MOTHER’S MILK BOOKS PAMPHLET PRIZE. We hope the pamphlet prize will generate interest in our little press and our books that aim to normalize breastfeeding and mindful parenting. It is also hoped that it will stimulate creativity and produce some great poetry! If you’re interested in submitting work, please do read all the below. Thanks for stopping by and good luck.



Publication of the winning pamphlet by Mother’s Milk Books in either 2017 or 2018, depending on how ready the manuscript is. 10 complimentary copies of the pamphlet and the chance to buy more at trade price. Royalties (at 10% of the RRP of the pamphlet) will be paid on all copies sold.

We also hope to be giving out commendations to the runners-up who, we very much hope, will each find a publishing home for their pamphlet.


Angela Topping

Author of Letting Go and co-author of Hearth

Angela ToppingAngela Topping writes for both adults and children and her work is family-friendly. She has run workshops and given readings for many years and performed at festivals including StAnza, Ledbury, Cheltenham Poetry, Wenlock Poetry, Sefton Arts and others. She has headlined at many poetry nights including at The Poetry Cafe in London, Word Soup in Preston, Zest! in Chester, The Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool and many others. She loves doing library events, and led several for Time to Read, a North West reading development initiative. Among her ten solo publications with reputable publishers, two are for children.

Angela is a poetry expert, with a background in education (teaching English and Drama from 1992 – 2009). She has co-authored textbooks on poetry for Oxford University Press and written several critical books for Greenwich Exchange. She has carried about many poets in schools all over the country. Angela collaborated with artist Maria Walker and their work has toured Cheshire and appeared in Scotland. Some of the poems from The Lightfoot Letters exhibition are included in Letting Go. In 2013, she won first prize in Buzzwords competition and in 2012 was highly commended in the Cheshire High Sherriff’s prize for Children’s Literature. Her work has appeared in over 60 anthologies published by Macmillan, OUP, Red Squirrel, Collins and many others. She has edited and co-edited several anthologies, for example Sculpted, Poems of The North West (2013) and The Robin Hood Book (2012), which was a book of protest poems against the austerity cuts. In 2013, she was awarded a prestigious residency at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, where she led a workshop and led two evening events, as well as developing new poems.

More about Angela can be found here: http://angelatopping.wordpress.com

Angela Topping was the adjudicator of the Poetry Category (for both adults and children) for the Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize in 2013. You can read her report on the winning entries here.


THE POET: This Pamphlet Prize is intended for debut poets as well as more experienced poets who may, or may not, have had full collections published beforehand. We welcome both women and men entering and we are always on the lookout for BAME writers.

THEME: There does not need to be an overall theme to the pamphlet, although themed pamphlets are welcomed too. However, the poetry and prose must be in keeping with the remit of Mother’s Milk Books i.e. mindful parenting, empowering of mothers, fathers and children, breastfeeding, gentle discipline, family/sibling relationships, familial love, home etc. To best find out what we consider to be in our ‘remit’ of suitable work, check out some of our titles: Musings on Mothering edited by Teika Bellamy, Letting Go by Angela Topping, Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant, as well as our writing prize anthologies and our latest pamphlets: Echolocation by Becky Cherriman and Hearth, by Sarah James and Angela Topping. We can only accept entries written in English.

COPYRIGHT: Poetry submitted may have been published elsewhere i.e. in magazines, journals or on blogs/websites, but they cannot be taken from a poet’s previous full collection of poetry. A large portion of the poetry MUST be new work. If poems have been published elsewhere please let us know when and where. Copyright will always belong to the poet, although Mother's Milk Books will ask for the right to publish the pamphlet of winning poems in its entirety.

ENTRY FEE: Any purchase made to the value of £8 or above (before postage costs have been added to it) through THE MOTHER’S MILK ONLINE STORE, (or made directly through Teika Bellamy or one of her authors) as of 1st FEBRUARY 2016, with an accompanying invoice number will count as ONE valid entry. The purchase MUST include a book of poetry. So, if you buy one pamphlet and two greetings cards (to the value of £8+) using Paypal through the online store that’s one entry fee paid for. The idea behind this is simple: Mother’s Milk Books (which is not profit-making) can’t survive and continue to support writers and artists (as well as charities like La Leche League GB, to which almost £1000 in royalties has so far been fundraised) without making sales. So your entry fee gets you a ‘something’ that, hopefully, you will find inspiring, beautiful and useful (hopefully, all three!) and which will give you an idea as to the kind of poetry we publish. There is also no time limit to your invoice ‘fee’ expiring, as long as the work is submitted before the competition deadline. For example, a purchase made in March 2016 can be used for a submission entered in June 2016 (as long as the valid invoice number is attached). Entrants can enter as many pamphlet submissions as they like, as long as they have a valid, separate invoice number for each entry. Entries can be submitted either online or by post.


  1. Poetry: Poems in any style – formal or free verse – are welcomed. We need you to send us 10 poems as a sample of the pamphlet manuscript (at this stage, the pamphlet does not need to be 100% complete but an almost finished MS would mean the publishing schedule would be expected to be shorter). The pamphlet, when finished will be no more than 36 pages in length, so a MS would need to include between 20 - 30 poems (depending on the length of each poem).
  1. Bio: A one paragraph biography about you as a writer and anything that may be of relevance to Mother’s Milk Books would be helpful (i.e. to do with mothering, fathering or breastfeeding experience/thoughts on breastfeeding).
  1. Outline for promoting the pamphlet: Although this will in no way alter the judge’s final decision as to who the winner of the Pamphlet Prize is, I (as the publisher) would appreciate a one page breakdown of ideas for how the poet will promote, market and sell their pamphlet. It will show me that the poet has a good understanding of how the publishing (and poetry) world works and how pamphlets sell.



  1. Please submit your 10 poems, bio and outline all together as a single Word document (.doc or .docx file) making sure to have one poem per page and then email it to me with PAMPHLET PRIZE 2016 in the title of the email. Please number the pages. Please put your name and the working title of the pamphlet on each page in the header. In the first instance, it will be necessary to have this information for reasons of filing, but when the writing is passed on to the judge, all names will be removed so that the poetry can be judged anonymously.
  1. In your email, please include the details of your entry fee, i.e. the invoice number as provided to you by THE MOTHER’S MILK ONLINE STORE… or if you are making a direct purchase in person, the invoice number you will receive beginning with the letters NM. Please include an email address, a postal address and telephone number, so that I can get back in contact with you if you are successful.
  1. Email it to writingprize@mothersmilkbooks.com and you will then receive an email acknowledgement of your submission. Or, you can post paper copies of your submission to: Mother’s Milk Books, 30 Brockwood Crescent, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5HQ. (Please do not send the only copy of your work since I cannot be held responsible for the loss of an entrant’s work.) If you would like to receive acknowledgement of your submission, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. When submitting by post, please do not put your name in the header, only the working title of the pamphlet, which you should mention in your outline.


Closing date for entries:

Midnight (GMT) 31st JULY 2016

The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence regarding the judging can be entered into.

The winner and commended entrants will be announced no later than the end of October 2016, and one of the poems from the winning pamphlet will be published on the Mother’s Milk Books website soon after.