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.
$350.00 - 700.00

Guidelines for Full-Length Manuscripts:

Manuscripts may be up to 300 double-spaced pages in length. Please format your manuscript in 12 point font. 

Consultation Overview:

Now through February 28, we are offering consultations on creative nonfiction manuscripts. Louella Bryant, author of While in Darkness There is Light: Idealism and Tragedy on an Australian Commune is available to critique your in-progress CNF projects.

Participants may choose to send full-length manuscripts or individual essays. The consultation fees for full-length manuscripts range in price from $350 – $700 depending on length. The fees for individual essays range from $30 - $50, also depending on length.

Louella will complete all consultations by March 31, 2017.

Space in this program is limited, so be sure to submit your manuscript soon!

Want to learn more about Louella? Visit her online at louellabryant.com.

Louella Bryant's Statement of Purpose:

Great writing is meant to crush us, entertain and move us, return us to ourselves with some greater understanding of the world and its workings,” says editor Betsy Lerner in her book The Forest for the Trees. Certainly that is the response all writers want from our readers. But how do you accomplish it? First, you need commitment and perseverance, even on beautiful summer days, to sit and write and read and write more. It also helps to have a mentor, someone who sees promise in your writing and nurtures that promise. That’s where I come in.

A mentor should help a writer find the heart of a story or essay. That is, instead of criticizing and tearing down your work, I’ll help you find precisely what you’re trying to say and how to coax that heart to the forefront of the piece, and I’ll do that by showing you how to listen to your own writing and trust what it’s trying to tell you.

Once you discover what enlightenment you’re trying to offer your readers, I’ll help you find your own voice to make your stories/essays/manuscript uniquely yours. Having said that, we don’t write in a vacuum. Even though it seems like a contradiction, I’ll point you toward writers who will serve as successful examples for what you are trying to achieve in your own writing. The best writers are also readers.

You’ll get some technical tools and advice, suggestions about broad qualities such as structure and flow, and direction on more specific elements such as sentence variety and word choice. And I’ll press you to write your best.

With your submission, I’d like an informal cover letter that will tell me something about you so that I can understand where your writing is coming from. I’m eager to dig into your work, so let’s get to it!

$30.00 - 50.00

Guidelines for Essays:

Essays may be up to 20 double-spaced pages in length. Please format your work in 12 point font. 

Consultation Overview:

Now through February 28, we are offering consultations on creative nonfiction manuscripts. Louella Bryant, author of While in Darkness There is Light: Idealism and Tragedy on an Australian Commune is available to critique your in-progress CNF projects.

Participants may choose to send full-length manuscripts or individual essays. The consultation fees for full-length manuscripts range in price from $350 – $700 depending on length. The fees for individual essays range from $30 - $50, also depending on length.

Louella will complete all consultations by March 31, 2017.

Space in this program is limited, so be sure to submit your manuscript soon!

Want to learn more about Louella? Visit her online at louellabryant.com.

Louella Bryant's Statement of Purpose:

Great writing is meant to crush us, entertain and move us, return us to ourselves with some greater understanding of the world and its workings,” says editor Betsy Lerner in her book The Forest for the Trees. Certainly that is the response all writers want from our readers. But how do you accomplish it? First, you need commitment and perseverance, even on beautiful summer days, to sit and write and read and write more. It also helps to have a mentor, someone who sees promise in your writing and nurtures that promise. That’s where I come in.

A mentor should help a writer find the heart of a story or essay. That is, instead of criticizing and tearing down your work, I’ll help you find precisely what you’re trying to say and how to coax that heart to the forefront of the piece, and I’ll do that by showing you how to listen to your own writing and trust what it’s trying to tell you.

Once you discover what enlightenment you’re trying to offer your readers, I’ll help you find your own voice to make your stories/essays/manuscript uniquely yours. Having said that, we don’t write in a vacuum. Even though it seems like a contradiction, I’ll point you toward writers who will serve as successful examples for what you are trying to achieve in your own writing. The best writers are also readers.

You’ll get some technical tools and advice, suggestions about broad qualities such as structure and flow, and direction on more specific elements such as sentence variety and word choice. And I’ll press you to write your best.

With your submission, I’d like an informal cover letter that will tell me something about you so that I can understand where your writing is coming from. I’m eager to dig into your work, so let’s get to it!

Ends on March 31, 2017

Black Lawrence Press Introduces 

A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing 

Editors: Simone Muench + Dean Rader

Assistant Editors: Sally Ashton + Jackie K. White

Forthcoming in Summer 2018!

This innovative and inclusive anthology of recent collaborative writing will include poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as hybridized forms that push the boundaries of concepts like "genre" and "author.” We are looking for collaborative writing that involves more than one living writer as the primary authors. We invite works that feature identifiable alternating perspectives as well as pieces that are co-authored or group authored, making it impossible to tell which of the named authors actually "wrote" or "created" the text. Although we see the potential for future anthologies that would be “collaborations” between the person writing the story or poem and a writer or artist no longer living, like an ekphrastic poem, a cento, an erasure, or an invented interview (a la Borges), this particular anthology will focus on collaborations between living writers only.

General Guidelines for Submissions

Poems: Please submit 3 to 6 poems that are less than 100 lines each.

Fiction: Please submit a single fiction piece of up to 3000 words.

Creative nonfiction: Please submit a single creative nonfiction piece of up to 3000 words.

Hybrids: Please submit a single hybrid piece of up to 3000 words.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but request that we are immediately notified of publication elsewhere. We will only accept multiple submissions by an author if they are submitting with a different collaborator.

Collaborative work may have been previously published in literary magazines, anthologies, and/or book collections. We ask for world serial rights for any work selected, but not first serial rights. 

For this particular anthology, we aren’t currently considering translations.

Please expect to hear by late Summer 2017 (though it could be much sooner than that).

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.
Ends on March 31, 2017$25.00
$25.00

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes awarded on publication. 

Beginning with the 2014 Hudson Prize competition, all entries will be read blind by our panel of editors. 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 45-95 pages in length (poetry) or 120-280 pages in length (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. 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 for the prize is March 31.

Please enter fiction submissions here.

Past winners:

2006: Jo Neace Krause (fiction)
2007: Daniel Chacón (fiction)
2008: Abayomi Animashaun (poetry)
2009: Patrick Michael Finn (fiction)
2010: Sarah Suzor (poetry)
2011: B. C. Edwards (fiction)
2012: Jacob M. Appel (fiction)
2013: Bettina Judd (poetry)
2014: Matthew Cheney (fiction)
2015: Gillian Cummings (poetry)

2016: Caroline Cabrera (poetry)


Ends on March 31, 2017$25.00
$25.00

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes awarded on publication. 

Beginning with the 2014 Hudson Prize competition, all entries will be read blind by our panel of editors. 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 45-95 pages in length (poetry) or 120-280 pages in length (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. 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 for the prize is March 31.

Please enter poetry submissions here.

Past winners:

2006: Jo Neace Krause (fiction)
2007: Daniel Chacón (fiction)
2008: Abayomi Animashaun (poetry)
2009: Patrick Michael Finn (fiction)
2010: Sarah Suzor (poetry)
2011: B. C. Edwards (fiction)
2012: Jacob M. Appel (fiction)
2013: Bettina Judd (poetry)
2014: Matthew Cheney (fiction)
2015: Gillian Cummings (poetry)

2016: Caroline Cabrera (poetry)