During our June and November open reading periods, we accept 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 creative nonfiction. We also enthusiastically accept hybrid submissions.
We also hold several annual contests. Here is our reading schedule:
The Big Moose Prize: December 1 – January 31
(Open competition, novels)
The Hudson Prize: February 1 – March 31
(Open competition, poetry and short story collections)
The Spring Black River Chapbook Competition: April 1 – May 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose chaps)
Open Reading Period 1: June 1 – June 30
The St. Lawrence Book Award: July 1- August 31
(First book competition, poetry and prose)
The Fall Black River Chapbook Competition: September 1 – October 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose chaps)
Open Reading Period 2: November 1 – November 30
(Please note that we occasionally offer early bird specials on our contests. These specials allow authors to submit their manuscripts ahead of time at a discounted rate.)
Please submit your work to the appropriate category below. If you are submitting a hybrid manuscript, please select the submission category that best fits your work.
During the month of December, Black Lawrence Press author Adrian Van Young is on board to critique fiction manuscripts. His first book of fiction, The Man Who Noticed Everything won the St. Lawrence Book Award. His fiction and non- fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Gigantic, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The American Reader, Black Warrior Review, The Collagist, The Believer, VICE, Slate, and The New Yorker. He has taught writing at Boston College, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, in Boston. Currently, he teaches writing at Tulane University.
Adrian is accepting everything from flash fiction to novels. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:
Flash fiction, up to 2 pages in length, $25
Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $55
Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $350
Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $475
Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $725
All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font.
The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is December 31. Adrian will complete his work and respond to all participants by January 31.
Adrian Van Young's Statement of Purpose
My philosophy of critique when it comes to fiction is to always approach the narrative on its own terms. Which is to say: I will never make the story into something it's not. My foremost goal as a critical reader of manuscript drafts is to help the story be the best kind of story it wants to be in the most efficient way possible. So, if you have written a piece of domestic realism with an epiphanal climax that tapers into falling action, I will not try and make it into a gothic historical story. What I *will* do is zero in on issues of characterization, atmosphere, genre, space-time issues, point of view and, particularly, structure and pacing (my specialties!) to facilitate what I believe to be the best mode of storytelling given the specific aims of the writer. I will also place a separate, heavy emphasis on plot and narrative entertainment which is what, after all, keeps a reader turning pages, something many writers sorely underestimate. But, a word to the wise: I am not into polish. I believe in radical revision, i.e. modifying and rearranging large sections of narrative, if called for. And I do this behind the logic that the more urgently and completely a manuscript is re-engineered over a series of drafts, the better it promises to be when the final one emerges.
During the month of December, Black Lawrence Press author Michal 'MJ' Jones is on board to critique poetry manuscripts.
Michal ‘MJ’ Jones is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet & parent in Richmond, CA. Their poems have appeared in Anomaly, Kissing Dynamite, TriQuarterly Review, & wildness. Often addressing the troubling and haunting aspects of life, violence, and identity, MJ’s work blends the lyrical, documentary, and confessional modes. MJ serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Foglifter Press, a premier journal publishing trans and queer writers. They have received fellowships from Lambda Literary, Hurston/Wright Foundation, VONA/Voices, & Kearny Street Workshop. They received their MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry from Mills College, where they received the distinguished Community Engagement Fellowship. They founded & currently facilitate Litany!, a monthly workshop for a cohort of Black queer poets. They have a debut full-length poetry collection HOOD VACATIONS from Black Lawrence Press, and a chapbook, SOFT ARMOR, from Nomadic Press, both forthcoming in 2023.
MJ is accepting single poems, folios, chapbooks, and full-length collections for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:
- Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $25
- Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $55
- Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $225
- Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $350
All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is December 31. MJ will complete their work and respond to all participants by January 31.
Michal ‘MJ’ Jones' Statement of Purpose
Poetry represents an opportunity to constantly reinvent; to find new words, arrangements, landscapes, and forms with which to express the age-old. I am drawn in by poems that take and then refill my body’s breath. With softness or boldness, a poem must say something beyond beauty and lyric. It must enact. It must make a declaration. It must lead to revolution. It must shock the reader with its aliveness of witness.
When is a poem done, then? We’re rarely blessed with the final poem in our first draft. Our early versions are often akin to channeling, to birthing; revision, then, is the tender care we take to shape and raise the best of our language to fullness. As an editor and consultant, it is my task to understand why you must write, to understand how important your work is to you, to identify your unique poetic cadence. I will treat it with care and grace.
To share these tender beings we call poems with others is an act of bravery, and I am grateful to read them. I can’t wait to enter the world through your words.
During the month of December, Black Lawrence Press author Christopher Locke is on board to critique creative nonfiction manuscripts.
Christopher Locke was born in New Hampshire and received his MFA from Goddard College. His poems, fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in, among others, The North American Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry East, SmokeLong Quarterly, Verse Daily, Southwest Review, Slice, and NPR’s Morning Edition. He won the 2018 Black River Chapbook Competition for his collection of short stories 25 Trumbulls Road. His new book of poems, Music For Ghosts (NYQ Books), is forthcoming in 2022. Locke received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, and grants in poetry from Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize many times. Chris lives in the Adirondacks where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at North Country Community College.
Chris is accepting everything from flash-length essays to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:
- Flash Essays, up to 2 pages in length, $25
- Essays, up to 20 pages in length, $55
- Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
- Manuscripts, up to 180 pages in length, $475
- Long Manuscripts, up to 300 pages in length, $725
All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font.The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is December 31. Christopher will complete his work and respond to all participants by January 31.
Christopher's Statement of Purpose
We each have a story to tell; that’s the easy part. Yet how do we move beyond the familiar “Write what you know” into “Write what you know has meaning”? For personal writing to resonate, it certainly must be honest, but that does not mean its validity resides solely in autobiographical details; it means our work helps readers experience the small miracle of transformation—we have shifted our lives into theirs. Because even though we want our work to communicate the lived and the universal, our work also must convey surprise and emotional risk that feels more than just engaging: it feels earned.
As nonfiction writers, we should always address questions such as “What does authenticity mean?” But when completing a draft, we should also consider: “What have I revealed by what I’ve chosen to exclude?” This is critical. It is usually when we begin to feel the pull to retreat that we should put our head down and bravely proceed. And it doesn’t mean we crash our winding memories without regard, but that we enter those rooms thoughtfully, with a listening heart.
Careful writing that begs approval and always behaves usually never satisfies, (ourselves or the world). I will help you not only strengthen your own unique voice, but also help you dive deeper in your writing so you’ll look beneath the underneath you already thought you’d discovered. I will read and respond to your work in a safe, supportive atmosphere where risk is championed. Your experience level in not important—only your desire to allow your story to become deeper, richer, and more complex.
Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication.
The Big Moose Prize is open to traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.
Entries are read by senior Black Lawrence Press editors and a rotating panel of former Big Moose Prize winners. That panel currently includes:
-Tracy DeBrincat, author of Hollywood Buckaroo
-Ron Nyren, author of The Book of Lost Light
-Jill Stukenberg, author of News of the Air
All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page and table of contents. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 90-1,000 pages in length, not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). Identifying information for the author should not be included anywhere on the manuscript itself, including in the name of your file or in the "title" field in Submittable. You are welcome to include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable, which will only be made accessible to the editorial panel after the group of Semi-Finalist and Finalist manuscripts has been chosen.
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.
The annual deadline is January 31.
The previous winners of The Big Moose Prize are Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Betsy Robinson, Genanne Walsh, Megan McNamer, Robley Wilson, Shena McAuliffe, Colin Hamilton, Ron Nyren, Caroline Patterson, Jill Stukenberg, and Sara Johnson Allen. Below, you will have the option to purchase their novels for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping. While authors from around the globe may submit to the Big Moose Prize, these discounted book prices are only available to those with U.S. mailing addresses.
ABOUT THE PRIZE
The Black Lawrence Press Rhine Translation Prize for a book-length literary translation from German into English celebrates the cultural power of literature in translation, highlights the vital contributions of literature in translation to the English-speaking world, and follows Black Lawrence Press’ history of publishing some of the most important voices in German, Austrian, and Swiss literature. The Prize will be awarded every two years.
The inaugural Rhine Translation Prize will open for submissions on 1 July 2022. The deadline for entries is 31 December 2022.
Entry Fee: $30
The winning translator and author will receive a prize of $1000 (to be shared equally between translator and author––or the author’s estate, unless the work is in the public domain), book publication, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded upon publication.
Judge and Rhine Translation Prize and Series Editor: Daniele Pantano
Rhine Translation Prize Intern: Jade King
RULES & ELIGIBILITY
1) Translators and authors may be of any nationality.
2) Manuscripts must be original book-length translations. The prize is open to any novel, novella, collection of short stories, collection of poetry, literary nonfiction, or hybrid form(s).
3) Trade, technical, or academic writing, as well as anthologies, are not eligible.
4) Translations-in-progress are not accepted. Only full manuscripts are eligible.
5) It is the translator’s responsibility to secure all relevant and appropriate translation rights.
5) No more than two manuscripts can be submitted per award year and per translator.
6) Only translators who have not previously published with Black Lawrence Press will be considered for the Black Lawrence Rhine Translation Prize and Series.
7) The Judge and Black Lawrence Press Editors reserve the right to choose no translation manuscript for the Rhine Translation Prize and Series during any given award year.
Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($30) exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.
1) All manuscripts should include a title page, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page and table of contents.
2) Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman.
3) Manuscripts should be 70–1,000 pages in length, not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.).
4) Please include a cover letter containing relevant autobiographical information about the author and the translator and a short description of the manuscript. Please also include a list of the author's published works, if available.
The immigrant narrative is at the heart of the American experiment. However, despite the contributions of immigrants to the cultural, financial, scientific, and artistic makeup of the United States, there is no clear home for new immigrant writings in the United States. To remedy this, Black Lawrence Press proudly announces the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series, an innovative program designed to provide a home for new immigrant writings in the United States and fill a much needed gap in the American literary community. The Series will remain a self-standing body with complete autonomy within Black Lawrence Press, and its editorial and advisory boards will be composed of immigrant writers and/or authors whose works explore the immigrant experience.
The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series aims to provide a clear and consistent home for new Immigrant Writings in the U.S. Book selections will be made by a four-member editorial board composed of writers in the U.S. who are either immigrants or whose works focus on the immigrant experience. Selections will be based on merit with the goal of publishing the best works by immigrants. Poets and authors, at any stage of their careers, who identify as immigrants are welcome to submit a book manuscript of poetry or prose or a hybrid text for consideration. Submissions are accepted year-round. However, selections are made in June and November for a total of two books per year. In addition to publication, marketing, and a standard royalties contract from Black Lawrence Press, authors chosen for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series will receive a travel stipend of $500, which can be used for book tours or in any manner chosen by the authors.
Sun Yung Shin
Barbara Jane Reyes
Rules & Eligibility
1. Works by immigrants will be considered for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series.
2. Submission is open to any individual living in the U.S. who identifies as an immigrant and who either (i) was born in another country, (ii) has at least one parent who was born in another country (iii) is a refugee, or (iv) lives in the United States under Asylum or a Protection Program, such as TPS or DACA .
3. No more than two book manuscripts can be submitted per year per author.
4. A third book manuscript submitted in a given year by an author will not be considered for the Writing Series.
5. All manuscripts received after May 31st will be considered for the November Reading Period.
6. All manuscripts received after October 31st will be considered for the June Reading Period.
7. Only books of poetry, prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose will be considered for the Writing Series.
8. An author whose book manuscript has previously been selected for the Writing Series and published through Black Lawrence Press will not be considered a second time for the Series. However, the author in question is welcome to send new book manuscripts to Black Lawrence Press (BLP) for consideration during BLP’s June and November Open Reading Periods.
9. Only authors who have not previously published with Black Lawrence Press will be considered for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series.
10. Aside from Rules 1 through 9, there are no conditions for submitting manuscripts.
11. There are no entry fees.
12. Submissions are accepted year-round.
*13. Only one book manuscript will be selected for the June Reading Period, and only one book manuscript will be selected for the November Reading Period, for a total of two books per year. (* If no book manuscript is chosen for a June Reading Period, the Series Editors reserve the right to choose two book manuscripts (instead of one) in the November Reading Period immediately following the June Reading Period in question)
14. The Series Editors reserve the right to choose no book manuscript for the Writing Series during any given year or any Reading Period.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you define an immigrant?
Anyone who identifies as an immigrant and who either (i) was born in another country, (ii) has at least one parent who was born in another country, (iii) is a refugee, or (iv) lives in the United States under Asylum or a Protection Program, such as TPS or DACA
2. I live outside the United States, can I submit my work?
No, immigrant authors must be living in the United States when they submit their work for consideration
3. Can I submit an anthology for consideration?
No, anthologies will not be considered for the Writing Series. However, Black Lawrence Press (BLP) welcomes proposals for anthologies during its June and November Open Reading Periods
4. Are collaborations welcome?
No, works should be by one author only. However, collaborations are welcome during BLP’s June and November Open Reading Periods
5. Are BLP’s June & November Open Reading Periods the same as those of the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series?
No, these are different and distinct programs within the Press. While the readings occur concurrently, The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series is a self-standing entity with its own eligibility and rules and editorial and advisory boards. The editorial board, composed of immigrant authors, has complete autonomy in selecting book manuscripts for the Writing Series. Each year, these editors recommend up to two books for publication through Black Lawrence Press. Please see the program’s mission statement , rules and eligibility, and bylaws.
6. How many book manuscripts can I submit in a given year?
Only two book manuscripts will be considered each year per author
7. Can I submit two book manuscripts in different genres?
No, each author can submit no more than two manuscripts in a given year, regardless of genre
8. I am an immigrant and I have two book manuscripts, can I submit both at once or at different times of the year?
Yes. Each author is welcome to submit a maximum of two books per year either together or at different times in the given year
9. It’s the end of June or November and there’s been no announcement yet on the manuscript selected for the Writing Series. What’s going on?
Thanks for your patience. The four-member editorial board will announce the selected manuscript as soon as they’ve made a decision. That said, the editors also reserve the right to choose no manuscript during a reading period.
10. I have other questions not addressed here. Who should I contact with my questions?
Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may send an email to the same address to request a copy of the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series bylaws.
Please note: this category is open only to our current BLP authors (those with forthcoming or previously published chapbooks or full-length titles). Submissions entered via this category from writers who are not currently published by BLP will not be considered. If you are not a current BLP author, please exit out of this category and submit through the relevant open category or contest. Our full reading schedule appears on our Submittable page. Thank you!
Current BLP authors: We're so happy that you'd like us to consider another manuscript from you. Please submit it here.