Monday, January 5, 2015

21 Poetry Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

"Muse Becomes Poet" by Donald Langosy
Updated 5/4/20

There are dozens of English language poetry publishers, but not all publishing houses are created equal. Some only publish poetry that has been entered into one of their contests (for which there is a charge), others demand an upfront fee or stipulate that a certain number of books must be pre-ordered. And the largest houses only consider manuscripts submitted though agents.

This list consists of publishers that do not require an agent, and which offer royalties, however modest. All of them publish book-length collections and/or chapbooks. (I have not included literary journals on this list. For poetry journals please see: Top 5 Resources for Publishing Poetry.)

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8th House Publishing is a small company based in Montreal and New York. They publish poetry, literary novels, philosophy, and other "earnest work." Their list consists of 34 books by 26 authors. "What we like at 8th House: modern, radical, enduring, insightful, inventive... Whether it's an essay, a philosophy tract, or a novel, a book of verse, send a sample of your work (2 or 3 chapters and a full table of contents) along with a query letter to : submissions@8thHousePublishing.com" Read guidelines here.

Arte Público Press, affiliated with the University of Houston, specializes in publishing contemporary novels, short stories, poetry, and drama based on U.S. Hispanic (Cuban American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and others) cultural issues and themes. How to submit: Arte Público uses an online submission form. See submission guidelines HERE.

Black Mountain Press: "Black Mountain Press is a literary press for outstanding emerging writers publishing several different genres of books annually. For the next three years from 2014 through the end of 2017 our focus will be in collections of poetry, memoir, novels and collections of short stories. Our editors are looking for the highest quality literary fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry that combines a distinct voice and vision." Genres: Book-length literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. How to submit: Manuscripts accepted via regular mail only. Send one hard copy of your finished, book-length manuscript, along with a cover letter containing contact information, and relevant biographical information. Manuscripts should be typed on one side of the page only. Read full guidelines HERE. Small fee for online submissions. No fee for snail mail.

Black Lawrence: "We seek innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go. We accept fee-free submissions in the following categories: novel, novella, short story collection (full-length and chapbook), poetry (full-length and chapbook), biography & cultural studies, translation (from the German and the French), and creative nonfiction." How to submit: Reading periods are the month of June and the month of November. Online submissions only. Read complete guidelines HERE.

BlazeVOX [books] is an independent small press publisher located in Buffalo, New York. To date, BlazeVOX has published 280 books and over 1000 writers in their online journal and other publishing outlets. They are developing a book series that promotes the work of women who are courageous, innovative, definition-defying writers. Genres: Poetry, short stories, experimental fiction, literary criticism (including companions, studies and histories) by women authors. Submissions online. Read complete guidelines HERE.

BOA Editions: "Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor, and translator A. Poulin, Jr., BOA has published more than 300 books of American poetry, poetry-in-translation, and short fiction. The first publication bearing the BOA imprint was The Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress by W. D. Snodgrass. The Fuhrer Bunker received tremendous critical attention and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, optioned for the stage by Joseph Papp, and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theater." How to submit: Snail mail submissions only. Poets must have already published a full-length poetry book. Open reading periods appear to be randomRead full guidelines HERE.

Carcanet Press is a British publishing house specializing in poetry. "Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation." How to submit: Carcanet considers submissions and book proposals submitted in hard copy form only. Writers should send between six and ten pages of poetry and a stamped and self-addressed return envelope. Response time within eight weeks. Open reading period in July. Read full guidelines HERE.

City Lights Publishers has launched several famous poets, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. City Lights publishes 12 books a year. How to submit: City Lights accepts book proposals by snail mail only. Response time six months. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Coffee House Press is an independent book publisher and arts nonprofit based in Minneapolis, MN; through their literary publications and Books in Action program, CHP acts as a catalyst and connector—between authors and readers, ideas and resources, creativity and community, inspiration and action. Seeking: Literary novels, full-length short story collections, poetry, creative nonfiction, book-length essays and essay collections, and the occasional memoir. Read submission guidelines here.

Coach House publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction by Canadian authors onlyHow to submit: For poetry submissions, please send your complete manuscript, along with an introductory letter that describes your work and compares it to at least two current Coach House titles, explaining how your book would fit our list, and a literary CV listing your previous publications and relevant experience. Electronic submissions are preferred. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Faber & Faber is one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London. They have published books by no fewer than twelve Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize winners. Among its luminaries are T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Jean Cocteau. How to submit: Send six examples of your work to the poetry department by regular post. Email submissions are not accepted. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Futurepoem books is a New York City-based publishing collaborative dedicated to presenting innovative works of contemporary poetry and prose by both emerging and important underrepresented writers. How to submit: Futurepoem has an open reading period in December of each year. Submissions are usually from 50-200 pages. There is a $5 processing fee. Read full guidelines HERE.

Kaya Press is a publisher of Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the United States. Their diverse list of titles includes experimental poetry, noir fiction, film memoir, avant-garde art, performance pieces, and “lost” novels. How to submit: Send your manuscript in electronic format. Files must be sent in a Word document or as a PDF. They will only accept works related to the Asian diaspora. Read full guidelines HERE.

Manic D Press is an American literary press based in San Francisco, California publishing fiction novels and short stories, poetry, and graphic novels. It was founded by Jennifer Joseph in 1984 as an alternative outlet for young writers seeking to bring their work into print. Manic D Press books are distributed throughout the US by Consortium, Last Gasp, and wholesalers including Ingram and Baker & Taylor; in the UK and EU by Turnaround PSL; in Canada by Publishers Group Canada; and throughout the world by Perseus. How to submit: Email submissions are preferred. Printed manuscripts are read twice a year, during the months of January and July ONLY. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, just let them know if your work has been accepted elsewhere or if (and where) it has been previously published. Read full guidelines HERE.


Mansfield Press publishes exciting, challenging and adventurous poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction by Canadian writers at all stages of their careers. How to submit: For poetry, send the full manuscript. In your cover letter, please indicate why you believe your book belongs with Mansfield Press — reference other Mansfield titles in your explanation. Note: They expect writers to help with promotion. Read full guidelines HERE.

Measure Press publishes poetry, criticisms, and poetry instruction, as well as a semi-annual literary journal that focuses on publishing formal poetry. Poetry manuscripts should contain between 50 and 100 pages of poetry. Read full guidelines HERE.

Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit literary press, publishing between fifteen and twenty books each year. They have published nearly three hundred titles. “Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.” Milkweed publishes fiction, literary nonfiction (not academic), middle grade and YA novels, poetry collections by single authors (60+ pages). How to submit: Milkweed is currently closed for submissions, but they plan on opening submissions once they have responded to all submissions from their last reading period. Check HERE for updates and submission guidelines.

New Rivers Press is one of a handful of teaching presses in the United States. “Our mission is to publish and promote enduring contemporary literature, especially by new, emerging, and established writers.” How to submit: See submission periods. Read full guidelines HERE.

Persea Books is an independent, literary publishing house founded in 1975 by Michael Braziller and Karen Braziller, who still own and direct the company. Genres: Poetry, fiction, essays, memoir, biography, titles of Jewish and Middle Eastern interest, women's studies, American Indian folklore, and YA. Response time: Eight weeks for proposals and 12 weeks for requested manuscript. Submissions: Queries should include a cover letter, author background and publication history, a synopsis of the proposed work, and a sample chapter. Send queries and manuscripts to info@perseabooks.com or to the appropriate editor (Fiction or Nonfiction), Persea Books, 277 Broadway, Suite 708, New York, NY 10007. Read their submission guidelines here.

Plan B Press is a small independent publishing company that produces high-quality, limited-run poetry chapbooks. They are in the process of becoming a nonprofit. How to submit: Plan B accepts manuscripts from authors who have published fewer than three books (including chapbooks). Read full guidelines HERE.

Platypus Press is a small press based in the UK. Genres: Poetry, prose, short story collections. Submissions: They consider poetry manuscripts of any length. Fiction (novels, novellas, short stories) and non-fiction (memoir, essay collections) manuscripts must be at least 25,000 words. For full-length manuscripts please send half of the completed book, for chapbooks you may send the entire work. For poetry and short story collections, please ensure that at least 50% of the work is unpublished. Read their submission guidelines here.

Salmon Poetry was established in 1981 as an alternative voice in Irish literature. It has since broadened its scope to include poets from other cultures. How to submit: Email your query, with a short biographical note and 5 - 10 poems, to jessie@salmonpoetry.com Read full guidelines HERE. FULL UNTIL 2024

Wake Forest University Press publishes Irish poetry only. They do not accept manuscripts from American poets, including Irish-American poets. Submissions: "If you are a native of Ireland and wish to submit a poetry manuscript, please email a representative sampling of your poetry and your biographical information to wfupress@wfu.edu. Alternatively, you may mail a hard copy of your work, biographical and contact information to Wake Forest University Press, PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. Should you want the return of your submission, please include a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage. We consider manuscripts from September through mid-May, and the average turnaround time is three months." Read guidelines here.

5 comments:

  1. Is there any publisher that accept plays?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very few publishers accept dramatic works directly from playwrights. A Canadian company, Talon, accepts submissions. http://talonbooks.com/submission-guidelines/ You may want to check Every Writer's Resource to see if there are more.

    http://www.everywritersresource.com/bookpublishers/drama/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much for this inventory. Are they any that accept unsolicited poetry submissions from emerging African poets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. plenty are exclusive to African poets and writers. Google it.

      Delete
  4. I'n not sure what type of poetry these publishers accept. But you can always submit! I would also advise you to look at the Free Contests posted on this blog. (Click the Free Contests tab at the top of the page.) There are some specifically for African writers.

    ReplyDelete

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