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 in 6 days, 21 hours $15.00 - 700.00
$15.00 - 700.00

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press authors Adam Prince and Kelly Magee are on board to critique fiction manuscripts; and they are 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, $15
  •     Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  •     Chapbooks, up to 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. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by March 31.

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

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.

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Kelly's Statement of Purpose

I’m most drawn to stories that have a sense of urgency – that feel like they needed to be written. Discovering subject matter that ignites the imagination is important, as is being willing to take risks with form and content. But channeling and sustaining that urgency is a matter of technique. Sometimes it’s what hovers around the edges of a story that is most vital, or sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right container to deliver the content. I am interested not just in where a story goes, but where else it might go: what submerged themes might surface, what layers might be more consciously developed, what surprising threads might emerge with a few well-placed cuts. 

When working with a fiction manuscript, my first goal is analysis: what are the stories doing, what is their ambition, what are the reasons behind the choices and directions they’ve taken. Then I examine how are they working together as a collection/cohesive narrative. I strive to honor the ambition of the story or collection, and then to consider how it might more strongly fulfill its own goals. This can happen at the macro level, by examining plot, structure, character, setting, point of view, and scenes; or at the micro level, by sharpening word choice and sensory detail, attending to the musicality and pace of the sentences, and condensing the language. The work of revision is, as Heather Sellers says, to identify ways to intensify the experience for the reader…whatever that experience might be.     

I’m delighted by work that blurs genre, finds the magic in the everyday, and uncovers the “consistent inconsistencies” in each character and setting. I love a story that asks me to sympathize with a villain or second-guess a hero. I am a particular fan of fabulism and fairy tales, as well as realist work of all genres that addresses identity and intersectionality (such as recent work by Kelly Link, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Diane Cook, and Maggie Nelson). In my own writing, I gravitate toward difficult characters and questions, especially as approached irreverently or with humor. I favor active settings that don’t just channel characters’ emotions but influence the plot. And while I enjoy playing with unconventional points of view and experimental forms, my fidelity is always to the well-told story. 

Above all, the experience of reading a work of fiction is a relationship between the reader and the text, one built, as Michael Chabon says, on “mutual support through intertwining, like a pair of trees grown together.” My job is to support your text through careful analysis of its aims and pleasures, and by proposing ways to heighten the experience of reading it.  

Ends in 6 days, 21 hours $15.00 - 700.00
$15.00 - 700.00

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press authors Adam Prince and Kelly Magee are on board to critique fiction manuscripts; and they are 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, $15
  •     Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  •     Chapbooks, up to 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. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by March 31.

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

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.

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

Adam's Statement of Purpose

Though my writing education started with the short story, I’ve recently branched out a great deal—into novel writing, creative nonfiction, screenplays, and even some poetry. In all of this, though, my emphasis is narrative. I live in awe of the many various forms stories can take. Often, it’s just a matter of following our stories rather than trying to control them. We think we’re shaping the work, but the work has a shape of its own, if only we can find it.

I don’t believe in rules, but I do believe in choices. Writing any narrative is a series of choices—about who our characters are, about tone, point of view, plot, genre and so on. Many of these may be subconscious, but they’re choices we make all the same.

My Ph.D. helped me learn about the wide variety and deep history of narrative. So, when I’m working through a conundrum in my own work, I can often look into how other writers have tackled similar conundrums. As an editor and teacher of writing, then, I see my role as helping the writer see some of the choices open to them. For the most part, I focus on the bigger picture issues that give a narrative life and shape.

As a reader, my interests tend to vary quite a lot. I love the giant drama of Charles Dickens and Patrick O'Brian. I love the quiet precision of Virginia Woolf and James Salter, the sheer mastery of James Baldwin and Alice Munro, the imaginative force of George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman, the quirk of Kazuo Ishiguro and George Saunders, the lyrical power of Toni Morrison and Jhumpa Lahiri. And on and on . . .

Really, I can fall in love with any good story, no matter the genre or subject matter. And I don’t believe that my interests need to be your interests. More, I want to help you see what’s happening in your work already, and how you might help it along. I love diving into the guts of a narrative to really see how its built—and how it might be made even better.

Ends on March 31, 2018$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.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.

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, and Beth Mayer. 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, 2018$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.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.

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, and Beth Mayer. 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.