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 February 28, 2019$15.00 - 700.00
$15.00 - 700.00

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press author Tracy DeBrincat is on board to critique your in-progress works of fiction. Tracy, who won The Big Moose Award with her novel Hollywood Buckaroo, has also authored two short story collections--Troglodyte and Moon Is Cotton & She Laugh All Night.

This month's program is open to a wide variety of fiction manuscripts. The fees and page length parameters are as follows:

- Flash Fiction, up to 2 pages in length, $15

- Short Stories, up to 20 pages in length, $45

- Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $150

- Novellas, up to 100 pages in length $250

- Short Story Collections, up to 180 pages in length, $350

- Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

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

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is February 28. Tracy will complete her work and respond to all participants by March 31.


Tracy DeBrincat's Statement of Purpose

No one really wants to read your stuff.

Unless, of course, the first sentence—whether by word choice or structure or simple statement of fictional fact—makes them think about the world in a new light. 

Unless the first paragraph hints at such an intriguing set-up that it’s absolutely clear not reading further would be a mistake.

Unless the first page has opened that intriguing set-up to include a familiar emotion, compelling character or indelible image.

Unless subsequent pages grab the reader by the throat or the heart, the brain or guts, with exquisite scenes delineating compelling events.

Unless the ending suggests that the life of the story itself is never ending.

These aren’t rules, merely suggestions. As a reader I’m looking for the story that won’t let me stop reading it, the story that invites me to devour its sentences, to create a movie or a dream in my head, to dive into exciting new worlds or gain surprising insight into familiar ones.

I’m looking for – and am constantly striving to create – stories that allow the reader to be more intimate with its characters than we are with our families, than we dare to be with ourselves. Stories that inspire us to love or hate the mirrors those characters create, and that reflect truths about ourselves we never knew. 

Stories that twist us with surprising turns, that conjure images that shimmer with subtle revelation. Dialogue layered with truth and emotion, yearning and humor. 

Stories that make us read more slowly to forestall the inevitable, the climax where we hold our breath, the resolution that lets us breathe again, the ending finally having its way with us, until we are reborn as a person who’s been moved by something that never really happened. 

Except: something very important happened indeed.

Whether they’re flash fiction, short stories, chapbooks, collections, novels or novellas, these are the kinds of narratives I love to read. They’re the kinds of stories I want to help you create.

Ends on February 28, 2019$10.00 - 250.00
$10.00 - 250.00

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press author Jenny Drai is on board to critique in-progress poetry manuscripts. Jenny is an award-winning author who has published two chapbooks, three full-length poetry collections, and a novella. She is accepting everything from individual poems to full-length manuscripts for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:

  • Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $10
  • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $30
  • Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $150
  • Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $250

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is February 28. Jenny will complete her work and respond to all participants by March 31.

----------

Jenny Drai's Statement of Purpose

As an editor, I begin by trusting the writing. I view each poem or manuscript as a world-building exercise in and of itself. When consulting on your manuscript, I’ll step into the world you’ve created and work within the given parameters to strengthen the building blocks of that world, from the ground level up. When necessary, I’ll gently encourage you to broaden the horizons of this world and I’ll offer concrete advice on how to accomplish this.

In general, my taste in poetry is truly eclectic, but I especially enjoy work that engages with and/or interrogates myth, fairy tales, history, and other works of, or traditions within, literature. I’m also interested in how/if/when poetry can intersect with genre writing (i.e., science fiction, fantasy, etc.).

Some questions I’ll ask as I consult on your manuscript:

Does the writing grab and hold my attention? (I’ll draw on my experience as a reader for a chapbook contest and as an editor for a literary journal here.) In cases where the writing doesn’t grab my attention, where can the writer push gently to get more out of the language? 

Is there an overall arc to the collection? Do the poems talk to each other and create compelling connections as they are ordered in the manuscript? 

How well are line breaks working in individual poems, or in the case of prose poetry, is there enough tension in the language to create energy as one sentence flows into another?

Is the imagery specific and evocative, or are there instances where the writing may be too abstract?

How does form help to create meaning in the individual poems and within the overall scope of the manuscript? Are there instances when slight alterations in form might serve to clarify what the poem is trying to say?

And more… 

Select links to my published work:

Poems from “antipsychotica” at Queen Mob’s Tea House.

Poems from “antipsychotica” at Foundry Journal.

Excerpts from The New Sorrow Is Less Than the Old Sorrow (prose poetry) at Horse Less Review. 

Poems, “[a little bit gone]” and “[a new genre of honest phrases]” in Dusie.

Poem, “Hearst Castle Lullaby II,” at Everyday Genius.

Story excerpt, “Where Our Lives Take Place,” at OmniVerse.

Story excerpt, “A Brief History of One Bath,” in Pleiades.

Essay, “Bewildered Physical Spaces,” at Banango Street.



Ends on March 31, 2019$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. 

All entries 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, which will only be made accessible to the editorial panel after the group of Semi-Finalist and Finalist manuscripts has been chosen.

A note regarding previously published work: Manuscripts containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your manuscript 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.

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.

Hybrid/multi-genre submissions are also welcome; please enter under the submission category that best fits your work.

Please enter fiction submissions here. The annual deadline for the prize is March 31.

The past winners of The Hudson Prize are Jo Neace Krause, Daniel Chacón, Abayomi Animashaun, Patrick Michael Finn, Sarah Suzor, B. C. Edwards, Jacob M. Appel, Bettina Judd, Matthew Cheney, Gillian Cummings, Caroline Cabrera, Beth Mayer, and Alan Chazaro. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping.

Ends on March 31, 2019$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. 

All entries 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, which will only be made accessible to the editorial panel after the group of Semi-Finalist and Finalist manuscripts has been chosen.

A note regarding previously published work: Manuscripts containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your manuscript 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.

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.

Hybrid/multi-genre submissions are also welcome; please enter under the submission category that best fits your work.

Please enter poetry submissions here. The annual deadline for the prize is March 31.

The past winners of The Hudson Prize are Jo Neace Krause, Daniel Chacón, Abayomi Animashaun, Patrick Michael Finn, Sarah Suzor, B. C. Edwards, Jacob M. Appel, Bettina Judd, Matthew Cheney, Gillian Cummings, Caroline Cabrera, Beth Mayer, and Alan Chazaro. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping.

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.
Black Lawrence Press