Thursday, July 12, 2018

13 Feminist Publishers - No agent required

New Woman by Frances Benjamin Johnston - Wikimedia Commons
Updated 12/8/19

Although there are many women authors, publishing is a man's world. In 2017, Quartz examined literary prizes in the US and found that since 1950, only a quarter have gone to women. What's more, author Nicola Griffith discovered that from 2000 to 2015, not one of the 15 Pulitzer Prize-winning books were written from the point of view of a woman or girl, regardless of who wrote them. In same period, eight of the 15 Pulitzers were given to male novelists who wrote books about men or boys.

To compensate for the domination of the male voice in the publishing world, a number of houses have sprung up that cater exclusively to women writers. The majority are feminist, meaning they represent a female perspective. Most of these are small presses, which means they rarely offer advances. All offer royalties. None require an agent.

Note: For a list of over 150 publishers accepting work directly from writers, no agent required, see: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts. Also see: 34 Feminist and Women's Publications That Pay Writers

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13th Moon Press publishes and promote women’s writing and art work, and to that end we also publish men’s translations of or writings about women writers. They want: Fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, both new works and reissues of out-of-print works important to feminists and / or adventurous readers of literature; Children’s books for feminist  families, or on specific issues trade  publishing is neglecting. Read guidelines HERE. (Note: Their website is hideous.)

Aunt Lute Books is a nonprofit multicultural women’s press based in San Francisco. "For over thirty years, we have been publishing literature that voices the perspectives of women from a broad range of communities. We have published a number of well-known feminist and lesbian authors, including Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria AnzaldĂșa, Judy Grahn, LeAnne Howe, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker." They seek manuscripts, both fiction and nonfiction, by women from a variety of cultures, ethnic backgrounds and subcultures. Read guidelines HERE.

BLF Press is an independent Black feminist press dedicated to amplifying the work of women of color. "We strive to create a space for forward thinking, creative women of exceptional talent.  We embrace difference, and envision BLF Press as an outlet for the expression of various types of writing that exemplify the experiences of women of color in the United States." They are especially interested in literary fiction and short story collections. Read guidelines HERE.

Caitlin Press was established in 1977 by Carolyn Zonailo as a feminist literary press. In the 1980s, Caitlin Press expanded its mandate to that of a BC literary press. Their focus is mainly on topics concerning or by writers from the BC Interior and stories about and by BC women. In a normal year they publish twelve to fourteen books, most of which are regional non-fiction (e.g. pioneer history or exploration, industry, politics, guide books, contemporary creative non fiction). The remaining titles are literary selections such as a works of fiction, short fiction, poetry or prose. Read guidelines HERE.

Dirt Road Press features women’s and LGBTQ literature across all genres. They specialize in fiction, but are not limited to it. Read guidelines HERE. (Website is terrible)

The Feminist Press is an educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women's rights and amplify feminist perspectives. FP publishes classic and new writing from around the world, creates cutting-edge programs, and elevates silenced and marginalized voices in order to support personal transformation and social justice for all people. They publish fiction and nonfiction. No poetry, drama, doctoral dissertations, or literary criticism. Read guidelines HERE.

Honno publishes Welsh women writers – for the purposes of submission to Honno this means that you must be a woman born in Wales or resident in Wales at the time of submission. Honno also publishes titles of exceptional interest to women within Wales from writers who may not meet the first two criteria i.e. that they are female and that they are of Welsh birth or residence. They publish full length works of fiction and non-fiction for adults (manuscripts of between 60,000 and 120,000 words). Honno is open to all genres of fiction and is particularly interested in increasing the number of literary fiction, crime/thriller, commercial women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy titles it publishes. Honno is also building a list of non-fiction works to include biography (untold tales of remarkable Welsh women, places and industries), memoir, nature and travel writing. Read guidelines HERE.

Inanna Publications and Education Inc. (Canada) was founded in 1978 with the goal of making current writing and research on a wide variety of feminist topics accessible to the largest possible community of women. "We welcome fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and essays on ideas, society, politics, culture and the arts that speak to the diverse lives of women around the world. While we do not restrict our always-expanding sense of what makes a contribution "feminist" -- we strive for a presentation of different perspectives -- we will not publish writing that is sexist, racist, homophobic or in any other way discriminatory or harmful to women." Read guidelines HERE.

Resolute Press publishes books rooted in African American culture and/or same-gender loving experiences. "We welcome submissions from new and established women of color writers that are committed to great storytelling and are also passionate readers." Read guidelines HERE.

Second Story Press is a Canadian feminist press publishing books of special interest to women. Their list is a mix of fiction, non-fiction, and books for young readers. They look for manuscripts dealing with the many diverse and varied aspects of the lives of girls and women, as well as social justice, diversity, and children's empowerment. They not publish poetry, short story collections, traditional romance novels, rhyming picture books, or books with anthropomorphized animals. Canadian authors only. Read guidelines HERE.

Shade Mountain is committed to publishing literature by women, especially women from marginalized/underrepresented communities. They seek literary fiction that’s politically engaged, that challenges the status quo and gender/class/race privilege. We look for work that’s wise, raucous, joyful, angry, alive. Both realism and its various alternatives (magic realism / fabulism / slipstream / the fantastic / dystopianism) are welcome, as long as the work is literary rather than genre fiction. Read guidelines HERE.

Women’s Press is Canada’s oldest English language feminist publisher. For over forty years, Women’s Press has played an integral role in the proliferation of high-quality Canadian writing in the fields of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies. Scholarly nonfiction only. Read guidelines HERE.

Women Unlimited, a non-profit trust, is an associate of Kali for Women, India’s first and oldest feminist press, established in 1984. They publish scholarly and academic books in the social sciences; fiction; general interest non-fiction; autobiography and memoirs; books for young adults; pamphlets and monographs; and activist material. "We explore new issues, anticipate trends, develop new perspectives and offer the best of feminist scholarship, activist material and creative writing, in India and South Asia." They accept queries at womenunltd@gmail.com.

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