Through our annual contests and open reading periods, we seek innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go.

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 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 fiction chaps)

Open Reading Period 1: June 1 – June 30

The St. Lawrence Book Award: July 1- August 31
(First book competition, poetry and short story collections)

The Fall Black River Chapbook Competition: September 1 – October 31
(Open competition, poetry and fiction 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.
Ends on November 1, 2017$15.00
$15.00

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

All entries are read blind by our panel of editors. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for fiction), 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.

Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible for the BRCC–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your chapbook has been previously published as a collection (including publication with a press, self-publication, online/digital publication, and publication in a small, limited-edition print run), then the manuscript is not eligible for the BRCC.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted. Collaborative collections are welcome. We cannot accept translations.

The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31. Please enter poetry submissions here.

Ends on November 1, 2017$15.00
$15.00

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

All entries are read blind by our panel of editors. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for fiction), 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.

Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible for the BRCC–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your chapbook has been previously published as a collection (including publication with a press, self-publication, online/digital publication, and publication in a small, limited-edition print run), then the manuscript is not eligible for the BRCC.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted. Collaborative collections are welcome. We cannot accept translations.

The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31. Please enter fiction submissions here.

Ends on September 30, 2017$45.00
$45.00
So you're getting ready to query agents? Congratulations! That's a big step right there, and it can take a lot of polishing to get your materials in tip-top, query-ready shape. In the month of September, Black Lawrence Press Senior Editor Kit Frick is again offering consultation packages for writers preparing to query a complete fiction manuscript. Consultation packages are first come, first served for the first 15 writers to sign up. 

In addition to her editorial role at BLP, Kit is also the founding editor of Copper Lantern Studioan independent editing studio offering a wide range of services to authors, writers, businesses, and organizations. Kit began her career as an intern at The Overlook Press, then as an intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster. In 2009, she joined the editorial team at Black Lawrence Press, where she is currently a Senior Editor. She has studied with copyeditors, book editors, and literary agents through the Center for Publishing at New York University. 

Kit is also a writer. Her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, summer 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018). Kit studied writing and literature at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr. After surviving the query trenches and making it to the other side, Kit now loves working with querying fiction writers on getting their materials in the best possible shape.

If you'd like to work with Kit but aren't quite ready to hit send with your materials, don't worry! You can find Kit after September at Copper Lantern Studio, where she works with querying writers year-round. But if you're ready to go, here's the deal:

Query Letter Consultation
($45 for up to three reads of a completed draft)

Writing a successful query letter is no easy feat! Whether you're just getting started and need some guidance on how to approach your query, or whether you've been querying for a while without much luck, I can help. You'll send in your completed query letter draft, and I'll do up to three rounds of edits. The first with lots of editorial comments, questions, and ideas; the second with targeted feedback on your revisions; and the third to polish up the writing to perfection

(Note: If you want a consultation on both your query letter AND your sample pages, please exit out of this category and select the correct category from the main page!)

Real talk: 

So if I sign up for a query consultation, I'm guaranteed to sign with an agent / land a book deal / sell a million copies / have my book optioned for tv & film / earn a six-figure advance, right?

In the publishing business, there are no guarantees, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying to you, plain and simple. Here's what you can count on: if we work together, your writing will receive close, personal editorial attention. My focus will be on bringing your materials into the best possible light to help you meet your writing and publishing goals. Can I guarantee that this project will land you an agent or sell a million copies? I cannot, and nor could anyone else. What I can promise is to help you level up your writing, polish your materials, and give your manuscript the best possible chance to succeed.
$80.00
So you're getting ready to query agents? Congratulations! That's a big step right there, and it can take a lot of polishing to get your materials in tip-top, query-ready shape. In the month of September, Black Lawrence Press Senior Editor Kit Frick is again offering consultation packages for writers preparing to query a complete fiction manuscript. Consultation packages are first come, first served for the first 15 writers to sign up. 

In addition to her editorial role at BLP, Kit is also the founding editor of Copper Lantern Studio, an independent editing studio offering a wide range of services to authors, writers, businesses, and organizations. Kit began her career as an intern at The Overlook Press, then as an intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster. In 2009, she joined the editorial team at Black Lawrence Press, where she is currently a Senior Editor. She has studied with copyeditors, book editors, and literary agents through the Center for Publishing at New York University. 

Kit is also a writer. Her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, summer 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018). Kit studied writing and literature at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr. After surviving the query trenches and making it to the other side, Kit now loves working with querying fiction writers on getting their materials in the best possible shape.

If you'd like to work with Kit but aren't quite ready to hit send with your materials, don't worry! You can find Kit after September at Copper Lantern Studio, where she works with querying writers year-round. But if you're ready to go, here's the deal:

Query Letter and Sample Pages Consultation

($80 for up to three reads of a completed query letter draft + feedback on the first 10 manuscript pages)

Writing a successful query letter is no easy feat! Whether you're just getting started and need some guidance on how to approach your query, or whether you've been querying for a while without much luck, I can help. You'll send in your completed query letter draft, and I'll do up to three rounds of edits. The first with lots of editorial comments, questions, and ideas; the second with targeted feedback on your revisions; and the third to polish up the writing to perfection.

Many agents will ask to see sample pages along with your query letter. Even if they don't, if they like your query, they'll be requesting your full or partial manuscript next—and your opening pages have to really shine for that agent to keep reading. The Query Letter and Sample Pages Consultation includes up to three reads of a completed query letter draft plus a one-page letter assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the first 10 pages of your manuscript and suggested line edits.

(Note: If you want a consultation on your query letter ONLY--no sample pages--please exit out of this category and select the correct category from the main page!)

Real talk: 

So if I sign up for a query consultation, I'm guaranteed to sign with an agent / land a book deal / sell a million copies / have my book optioned for tv & film / earn a six-figure advance, right?

In the publishing business, there are no guarantees, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying to you, plain and simple. Here's what you can count on: if we work together, your writing will receive close, personal editorial attention. My focus will be on bringing your materials into the best possible light to help you meet your writing and publishing goals. Can I guarantee that this project will land you an agent or sell a million copies? I cannot, and nor could anyone else. What I can promise is to help you level up your writing, polish your materials, and give your manuscript the best possible chance to succeed.

Abstract

Poetry manuals, at their most essential, are aimed at demystifying aspects of poetry (especially for beginner poets) in order to make poets’ journeys easier and less daunting. Such manuals are also reminders that poetry itself is a discipline with a landscape and a history.

With this anthology, we aim to build on the long body of work in this tradition by bringing a number of established and emerging poets together in a single volume to welcome new and beginner poets to the art. Multiple voices, we believe, are essential to the poet’s journey.

Call for Submissions

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for a new anthology of essays.

Poets in the United States and abroad are encouraged to submit essays aimed at welcoming new and beginner poets to the discipline of poetry.

Contributors are encouraged to provide anecdotes and advice, instructions and suggestions, fun exercises and crazy ideas, or individual failures and encouraging words, in order to better prepare new poets for the long journey through poetry.

Essays should be between 700-5000 words on any of the following broad themes (other themes will be considered):

  1. First Words

  2. Poetry Workshop

  3. The Poet’s Journey

  4. Family & Work

  5. The Poet in the World

Essays can be creative or academic. However, they have to be accessible since they are also for a general audience.

Abayomi Animashaun will serve as editor. Please contact him at abayo.animashaun@gmail.com with questions.

Submissions will be accepted via Submittable. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2017.

About the Editor

Abayomi Animashaun is the author of two poetry collections, Sailing for Ithaca and The Giving of Pears, and editor of two anthologies, Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa and Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America. He teaches writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin with his wife and two children. 

Note: Should contributors be interested in familiarizing themselves with Abayomi's work, we are offering his Black Lawrence Press titles at a discounted rate. The option to purchase one or more of his titles appears near the end of the submission form. Please note that these purchases are optional.

Please note: this category is open only to our current BLP authors (those with forthcoming or previously published 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.