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, and creative nonfiction.  We also enthusiastically accept hybrid submissions. 

We also hold several annual contests. Here is our reading schedule: 

The Big Moose Prize: November 1 – January 31
(Open competition, novels)

The Hudson Prize: January 1 – March 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose 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: June 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 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.

If you require a fee waiver, please contact editors@blacklawrencepress.com at least seven days before the submission deadline.

Rebecca Turkewitz is a writer and high school English teacher living in Portland, Maine. She is the author of the story collection Here in the Night (Black Lawrence Press), which was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award and named one of Debutiful’s Best Debuts of 2023. Her fiction and humor writing have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Mystery and Suspense 2024, Alaska Quarterly Review, Electric Literature, Best Microfiction 2023 and 2024, The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in fiction from The Ohio State University. 

Rebecca will provide detailed comments on your manuscript as well as a cover letter. After receiving these files, participants who submit chapbooks and full-length manuscripts may also book phone/video conferences with Rebecca at no additional charge.

Rebecca is accepting everything from flash fiction to novels for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are 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, $275
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $425
  • Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $550
  • Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $795

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is July 31. Rebecca will complete her work and respond to all participants by August 31.

 ----------------------------------------------------------

Rebecca Turketwitz's Statement of Purpose

In both my writing and reading, I’m drawn to worlds I can get lost in, characters who take risks, and work that surprises. I love fiction that challenges genre expectations and has a strong and distinctive voice. I’m compelled by the way point of view and perspective can change the shape of a narrative. I read widely and with varied tastes, but am especially passionate about literary horror, gothic fiction, crime fiction, literary fiction, and the uncanny. I am an avid reader of novels, and have a special place in my heart for short stories and flash fiction. 

When providing feedback, I first try to grasp the purpose and intentions of the project: What is the narrative trying to accomplish? What are its most compelling strengths? What is at the heart of the work? This way, I can begin to understand how to judge the work on its own terms, and help it become the best version of itself. I provide commentary on both the micro level (language, dialogue, description, syntax) and the macro level (structure, plot, character, atmosphere). I love seeing the possibility in a work-in-progress, and supporting writers in seeing these possibilities in their own work. 

My own fiction focuses on place and landscape, questions of identity, and the power of stories and storytelling. Some of my favorite authors are Shirley Jackson, Jesmyn Ward, Stephen Graham Jones, Louise Erdrich, ZZ Packer, Gwen Kirby, Dan Chaon, Alice Munro, and Victor LaValle. 

Isaac Pickell is a poet, PhD candidate, editor, and adjunct instructor in Detroit. A Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, Isaac is a graduate of Miami University's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. He is the author of two collections of poetry,everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) andIt’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, 2023), and his most recent work can be found in Brevity, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, diode poetry journal, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Isaac’s taken a seat in all fifty states and has so much to look forward to.

Isaac is accepting everything from single poems to full-length collections. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Single poems up to 2 pages in length, $25
  • Folios of up to 5 pomes, up to 7 pages in length $55
  • Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $275
  • Full-length manuscripts, up to 80 pages in length, $425

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is July 31. Isaac will complete his work and respond to all participants by August 28. 


-----------------------

Isaac Pickell's Statement of Purpose

A poem is built from remembering but is less static than memory, designed to keep feeling for itself long after the poet has stopped tinkering with it. I am drawn to poetry both for what it says and for what it does and keeps doing, in and out of our hands. For me, poetry is not just a way to comment on things we already know, but a way to feel things out, a kind of sensory organ like whiskers or fingertips in the dark. And while a poem is never finished, a good poem, the kind that sticks with a reader, keeps feeling for days or months after you’ve written it.

When I work with poets in manuscript consultation, I seek out and showcase those whiskers, like the smallest details that somehow contend with the whole scope of the world. My aim as an editor is to invest in those moments and pick at them, magnify them, or ask them to take up more space on the page. 

That being said, when providing feedback I begin and end with the poet's own intentions, what they are trying to accomplish in the piece, so that I can find and feature the heart of the work. Once I'm there, my suggestions will focus on style (language, sound, tone) and form (line breaks, stanzas, shape). I’m also a bit of a grammarian, so despite my love of spatial experiments, I’m committed to the fact that even poets are in the business of writing sentences—I love helping you employ syntax with intention.

But really, I do all of this because I love editing poetry. I love editing poetry because I love writing poetry and editing poetry is the next best thing, uncovering where a poem might go next, right alongside the poet. Thank you for sharing your work.

EJ Colen is a PNW-based educator, writer, and editor interested in long-form poetry, the lyric essay, literary and visual collage, and research-based approaches to storytelling and memoir. She is the author of What Weaponry, a novel in prose poems, poetry collections Money for Sunsets (Lambda Literary Award and Audre Lorde Award finalist) and Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies, flash fiction collection Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake, long poem / lyric essay hybrid The Green Condition, and fiction collaboration True Ash. With more than two decades of social justice activism, EJ remains committed to centering marginalized voices in all the work that she does. Nonfiction editor at Tupelo Press and freelance editor/manuscript consultant, she teaches in the English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Departments at Western Washington University.

EJ is accepting everything from short 2-page pieces of work to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

• Short pieces up to 2 pages in length, $25

• Folios of up to 5 pieces of work, up to 7 pages in length $55

• Extended pieces/chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $275

• Short manuscripts, up to 90 pages in length, $425

• Long manuscripts, up to 200 pages in length, $625

All manuscripts should be double-spaced and formatted in 12-point font. 

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is July 31. EJ will complete her work and respond to all participants by August 31.

---------------------

EJ Colen's Statement of Purpose
 

Genre is a story we tell ourselves in order to make the world understandable. Like the moon is to the east of the north star this day. Like north is north and east is east. The moon doesn’t believe in east, and the star doesn’t know what north is. It only knows its fission, which it doesn’t have a name for anyway.

This is to say, I don’t believe in genre. I believe a work stands or it falls regardless of what it’s called. The moon still there, nameless.

That is not to say there are no rules.

In the second century b.c., Terence said, “There’s nothing to say that hasn’t been said before.” The first rule is to make it beautiful, to push it up against some newness in presentation. Since, after all, you’re just repeating. The first rule is to bring focus into qualitative control. Where the reader looks, where the eye lingers, where the moon’s dark leaves a wet ring on the coffee table. The first rule is balance.

I read best from a surface place of enjoyment, loving the words for what they are, stung cold when they don’t perform, worse yet when a writer packs a page with loose and unnecessary sounds. Condense, condense. While I read to understand the deeper intentionality of a piece, it is the line-level urgency of communication I’m most interested in.

When constructing a whole book, the manuscript should move forward by way of narrative, concept, sound, or the building of image, accruing meaning through both intention (content) and intuition (sound).

My aesthetics are informed by ravenous reading habit, 2-4 books a week, with a focus on work that doesn’t rely on conventional means. It is my hope that by reading everything, all the secrets of language and story will unlock themselves, matrix-like before me. Writers I currently cannot live without include Maggie Nelson, Roland Barthes, John Keene, Rachel McKibbens, Carmen Machado, Gertrude Stein, Selah Saterstrom & Craig Santos Perez.

$28.00

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award the St. Lawrence Book Award for an unpublished collection of poetry or prose. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection in any genre. 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.


Beginning with the 2021 contest, the St. Lawrence Book Award is judged by a revolving panel of judges, in addition to the Executive Editor and other members of the BLP editorial staff. The judging panel is comprised previous St. Lawrence Book Award Winners, including: Jody Chan, Anna B Sutton, Brad Ricca, KMA Sullivan, Kim Sousa, Jason Tandon, Katie Umans, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Shubha Sunder, Yelitzaveta P Renfro, and Max McDonough.


 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 (prose), 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 August 31. Please enter poetry submissions here.


 The past winners of The St. Lawrence Book Award are Marcel Jolley, Stefi Weisburd, Jason Tandon, Fred McGavran, Yelizaveta P. Renfro, Brad Ricca, Katie Umans, Adrian Van Young, Craig Bernier, KMA Sullivan, Thomas Cotsonas, Alexandra Lytton Regalado, Vedran Husic, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Jody Chan, Anna B Sutton, Kim Sousa, Shubha Sunder, and Max McDonough. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping. While authors from around the globe may submit to The St. Lawrence Book Award, these discounted book prices are only available to those with U.S. mailing addresses.

$28.00

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award the St. Lawrence Book Award for an unpublished collection of poetry or prose. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection in any genre. 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. 


Beginning with the 2021 contest, the St. Lawrence Book Award is judged by a revolving panel of judges, in addition to the Executive Editor and other members of the BLP editorial staff. The judging panel is comprised previous St. Lawrence Book Award Winners, including: Jody Chan, Anna B Sutton, Brad Ricca, KMA Sullivan, Kim Sousa, Jason Tandon, Katie Umans, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Shubha Sunder, Yelitzaveta P Renfro, and Max McDonough.


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 (prose), 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 August 31. 

Please enter prose submissions here.


The past winners of The St. Lawrence Book Award are Marcel Jolley, Stefi Weisburd, Jason Tandon, Fred McGavran, Yelizaveta P. Renfro, Brad Ricca, Katie Umans, Adrian Van Young, Craig Bernier, KMA Sullivan, Thomas Cotsonas, Alexandra Lytton Regalado, Vedran Husic, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Jody Chan, Anna B Sutton, Kim Sousa, Shubha Sunder, and Max McDonough. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping. While authors from around the globe may submit to The St. Lawrence Book Award, these discounted book prices are only available to those with U.S. mailing addresses.

Black Lawrence Press now offers scholarships for our consultation program. Although we work hard to keep the costs of our consults as low as possible, we understand that many writers are not able to afford these services. 

We plan to award a total of $1,000 in scholarships per month. The deadline to submit your manuscript is July 22. We will award the scholarships in the first week of August. If your manuscript is not selected for the scholarship, please feel free to apply again in the future.

Scholarship recipients will be chosen by senior Black Lawrence Press editors and will be selected based on the merit of the submitted work. While we do not request that submitters disclose any personal financial information, we want to be clear that these scholarships are intended for writers who would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of our consultation service. 


 

FAQ
 

1. Who is eligible for this scholarship?

Any writer who is looking for feedback on their work and would not otherwise be able to pay for a manuscript consultation is eligible. Applicants may be at any stage in their writing careers and we heartily welcome new writers. 

2. I'm not currently a student, may I apply?

Yes. This scholarship is open to both students AND applicants who are not currently pursuing degrees or otherwise enrolled in academic institutions. 

3. Do I need to demonstrate need to receive this scholarship?

No. We do not require any such demonstration.

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.

Mission Statement:

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.

Editorial Board:
Sun Yung Shin
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Ewa Chrusciel
Abayomi Animashaun

Advisory Board:
Barbara Jane Reyes
Ilya Kaminsky
Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka
Virgil Suarez

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 full length manuscripts of poetry (at least 45 pages), prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose (at least 100 pages) will be considered for the Writing Series. We are not accepting chapbook manuscripts at this time.

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 immigrantwritingseries@blacklawrencepress.com. 

You may send an email to the same address to request a copy of the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series bylaws.7. Only full length manuscripts of poetry, prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose will be considered for the Writing Series. We are not accepting chapbook manuscripts at this time.

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.

Black Lawrence Press