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 30, 2017$20.00
$20.00

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. 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.

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 90-1,000 pages in length, 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.

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 is January 31.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Submit your manuscript by November 30 and enjoy a $5 discount on the entry fee!

The previous winners of The Big Moose Prize are Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Betsy Robinson, Genanne Walsh, Megan McNamer, Robley Wilson, and Shena McAuliffe. Below, you will have the option to purchase their novels for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping.


Ends on November 30, 2017$700.00
$700.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press authors Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Adrian Van Young, Genanne Walsh, and Erica Wright are on board to critique your fiction. 

Tracy DeBrincat has elected to take novels under her wing. Novels submitted for this consultation program may be up to 300 pages in length. All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in twelve point font. 

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is November 30. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by December 31.

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

Tracy DeBrincat's Statement of Purpose

No one really wants to read your book.

Unless, of course, the first pages grab them by the throat and they can’t stop (though I don’t mind when a book grabs me by the heart, brain or guts either – as long as there’s grabbing going on).

They’re looking for the book that won’t let them stop turning pages, devouring sentences, creating movies in their heads, building new worlds or plunging more deeply into familiar ones.

The book that invites us to be more intimate with its characters than we are with our families, than we dare to be with ourselves. That inspires us to love or hate the mirrors those characters create, and reflects truths about ourselves we never knew.

The book that twists us with a surprising story, that offers up images that shimmer with subtle revelation. Dialogue layered with truth, emotion, and yearning.

The book that makes us read slower and slower 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 so we can slam the damn thing shut, reborn as a person who’s been moved by something that never really happened.

Except that it did.

That’s the book I want to read.

It’s the book I want to help you create.

Ends on November 30, 2017$250.00 - 700.00
$250.00 - 700.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press authors Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Adrian Van Young, Genanne Walsh, and Erica Wright are on board to critique your fiction. 

Jen Michalski has elected to take novels and novellas under her wing.The fees and parameters for page lengths for each of these categories is as follows:
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $250
  • Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

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

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is November 30. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by December 31.

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

Jen Michalski's Statement of Purpose

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” 

― W. Somerset Maugham

It often feels like that, doesn't it? In my experience as a writer, however, readers respond to novels in three ways: they are drawn to plot, character, and the writing. In my consultations, I'll discuss your manuscript with you in these three areas, as well as provide my general impressions in terms of tone and intent to make sure the novel you're sending to agents and publishers most closely reflects your vision.  

Ends on November 30, 2017$45.00 - 700.00
$45.00 - 700.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press authors Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Adrian Van Young, Genanne Walsh, and Erica Wright are on board to critique your fiction. 

Adrian Van Young has elected to take novels, novellas, short story collections, and individual stories under his wing. The fees and parameters for page lengths for each of these categories is as follows:
  • Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  • Shot story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $350
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $250
  • Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

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

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is November 30. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by December 31.

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

Adrian Van Young's Statement of Purpose

My philosophy of critique when it comes to fiction is to always approach the narrative on its own terms. Which is to say: I will never make the story into something it's not. My foremost goal as a critical reader of manuscript drafts is to help the story be the best kind of story it wants to be in the most efficient way possible. So, if you have written a piece of domestic realism with an epiphanal climax that tapers into falling action, I will not try and make it into a gothic historical story. What I *will* do is zero in on issues of characterization, atmosphere, genre, space-time issues, point of view and, particularly, structure and pacing (my specialties!) to facilitate what I believe to be the best mode of storytelling given the specific aims of the writer. I will also place a separate, heavy emphasis on plot and narrative entertainment which is what, after all, keeps a reader turning pages, something many writers sorely underestimate. But, a word to the wise: I am not into polish. I believe in radical revision, i.e. modifying and rearranging large sections of narrative, if called for. And I do this behind the logic that the more urgently and completely a manuscript is re-engineered over a series of drafts, the better it promises to be when the final one emerges.

Ends on November 30, 2017$15.00 - 700.00
$15.00 - 700.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press authors Tracy DeBrincat, Jen Michalski, Adrian Van Young, Genanne Walsh, and Erica Wright are on board to critique your fiction. 

Erica Wright has elected to take flash fiction, fiction chapbooks, novels, novellas, short story collections, and individual stories under her wing. The fees and parameters for page lengths for each of these categories is as follows:
  • Flash fiction, up to two pages in length, $15
  • Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  • Fiction chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $150
  • Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $350
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $250
  • Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $700

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

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is November 30. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by December 31.

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

Erica Wright's Statement of Purpose

In my favorite craft essay, “Writing Off the Subject,” Richard Hugo offers the following advice: “When you are writing, glance over your shoulder, and you’ll find there is no reader. Just you and the page. Feel lonely? Good.” And it’s thrilling, isn’t it, to be in that room by yourself, working on something that matters to you. You might find as the hours (and days and months) progress that new themes emerge, new characters and conflicts. Working on a novel’s first draft can feel a bit magical.

The process doesn’t end in that empty room, though. Eventually you’ll want to share your manuscript, which is why it can be helpful to work with another writer. Personally, I like the revision phase, and I hope that you can find some joy in this step, as well. Sometimes a fresh perspective is needed when trying to determine what’s missing from your story. Together we can tackle major elements such as pacing and plot. A few questions we might consider are:

  • Are those important first pages going to grab an agent’s or editor’s attention?
  • Are any scenes rushed? Do we need more details there?
  • Is the dialogue doing enough?
  • Is there a need for research? And if so, how do we incorporate that information naturally?
  • Is the ending satisfying? Is it fair to the readers and the characters?

I’m also happy to work with writers on their independently determined goals. If you think it’s time to open your door and let someone peek over your shoulder, I can help.

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.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit creative nonfiction manuscripts to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Creative Nonfiction submissions should be double-spaced and 45-500 pages in length. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit fiction chapbooks to our open reading period here. Chapbooks should be 16-36 pages in length, double-spaced for fiction.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit novels to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Novel submissions should be double-spaced and 120-500 pages in length. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit novellas to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Novella submissions should be double-spaced and 50-110 pages in length. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit poetry chapbooks to our open reading period here. Chapbooks should be 16-36 pages in length.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit full length poetry collections to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Full-length poetry collection submissions should be 45-120 pages in length. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Submit short story collections to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Full-length short story collection submissions should be double-spaced and 90-300 pages in length. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

Ends on November 30, 2017$12.00
$12.00

Black Lawrence Press publishes translations from German and French. Submit translations to our open reading period here.

All manuscripts should include a title page (including your name and contact info), 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. Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

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

Black Lawrence Press is happy to select many of our titles through our twice-annual Open Reading Periods in June and November. We ask all submitters to select one Black Lawrence Press publication at a discounted price ($12, including shipping for print editions). Proceeds from the open reading period will go directly back into supporting the activities of the press.

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.