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 enthusiastically accept hybrid submissions. 


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. If you are submitting a hybrid manuscript, please select the submission category that best fits your work.

Ends on November 30, 2019$25.00 - 700.00
$25.00 - 700.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press author Erica Wright is on board to critique fiction manuscripts, and she is accepting everything from flash fiction to full-length novels.The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Flash fiction, up to two pages in length, $25
  • Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $50
  • Fiction chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $195
  • Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $450
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $325
  • 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.

Ends on November 30, 2019$20.00 - 325.00
$20.00 - 325.00

During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press author Michele Battiste is on board to critique poetry manuscripts; and she is accepting everything from individual poems to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $20
  • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $50
  • Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $195
  • Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $325

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.

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

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

----------

Michele's Statement of Purpose

I am compelled by what poems say, but I’m intrigued and mystified by how they say it. I love poetry because of its alchemic properties, its ability to use common language to transform and to conjure, to make language transcend itself. And I am most transported by a poem that has abandoned its relationship with the writer to establish a relationship with its reader.

When working with other poets, my focus is less on what their poems say, more on the actions their poems take. My first responsibility when considering your work is understanding what it wants to achieve and honoring that. In other words, I’ll concentrate on the poem’s intentions (or what I perceive to be its intentions) and what it does to fulfill them. You and I may differ in what we think the poem’s purpose is, and the space between our differences is where we’ll work. That space is what makes the consultation interesting and worthwhile.

I’ll also explore what the poem accomplishes beyond its intentions or the potential directions the poem make be taking, possibly without your awareness. While I’ll do my best to put myself in your shoes as the writer of the poem, I am, first and foremost, the reader. And so I come to your work with – and make use of – dual experiences: analyzing what the poem is doing and my reaction to it.

In my own work, I like to play with documentation, narrative arc, the aural quality of language, and variations on a theme. I may push a sequence further than it should go, and I probably have more poems about “place” that one poet should. In other people’s poems, I enjoy language play, engagement with the external world, a clever volta, and an unapologetic voice that doesn’t claim universality. Poets I read and enjoy range from Gertrude Stein to Albert Goldbarth, and I spend most of my reading time with playful contemporary American poets, though I’m often most moved by poets working with gravid subject matter (Claudia Rankine, Julie Carr).

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.

The Big Moose Prize is open to traditional novels as well as novels-in-stories, novels-in-poems, and other hybrid forms that contain within them the spirit of a novel.

All entries are read blind by our panel of editors. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page and table of contents. 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, Shena McAuliffe, Colin Hamilton, and Ron Nyren. Below, you will have the option to purchase their novels for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping. While authors from around the globe may submit to the Big Moose Prize, these discounted book prices are only available to those with U.S. mailing addresses.


Ends on November 30, 2019$12.00
$12.00

Black Lawrence Press welcomes proposals for bold and engaging anthologies that have the potential of contributing to our understanding of literature and the genres within it. Proposals by and/or about historically marginalized groups are especially encouraged.

Please include bios for the anthology editor(s), an abstract and proposed outline, and sample selections. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. 

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, 2019$12.00
$12.00

Submit biography and cultural studies 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. Biography & Cultural Studies 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, 2019$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, 2019$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, 2019$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, 2019$12.00
$12.00

Submit poetry chapbooks to our open reading period here. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.) Chapbooks should be 16-36 pages in length.

*Please note: if you have submitted this same chapbook manuscript to the Black River Chapbook Competition that has just closed, there is no need to re-submit during the Open Reading Period.  

All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents (if applicable), 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 16-36 pages in length, not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). 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.
  • Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript during a given open reading period) are permitted, however we recommend you allow us to read only one manuscript from you at a time.
  • Collaborative collections are welcome.
  • Hybrid/multi-genre submissions are also welcome; please enter under the submission category that best fits your work.
  • We will consider submissions including visual art (i.e. interior illustrations or photographs), but please note we do not regularly publish chapbooks with interior art. The best way to submit a manuscript including artwork is to attach a text-only version to your submission on Submittable. Then follow the instructions on Submittable for sending along a supplementary PDF of the manuscript, including the art. Please do not include suggested cover artwork with your submission.

A note regarding previously published work: Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible for consideration–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your chapbook–or a significant portion of the work included in your chapbook–has been previously published as a book or chapbook-length 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 for consideration.

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, 2019$12.00
$12.00

Submit prose chapbooks (fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid) to our open reading period here. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.) Chapbooks should be 16-36 pages in length, double-spaced.

*Please note: if you have submitted this same chapbook manuscript to the Black River Chapbook Competition that has just closed, there is no need to re-submit during the Open Reading Period.  

All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents (if applicable), and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for fiction and creative non-fiction), not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). 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.
  • Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript during a given open reading period) are permitted, however we recommend you allow us to read only one manuscript from you at a time.
  • Collaborative collections are welcome.
  • Hybrid/multi-genre submissions are also welcome; please enter under the submission category that best fits your work.
  • We will consider submissions including visual art (i.e. interior illustrations or photographs), but please note we do not regularly publish chapbooks with interior art. The best way to submit a manuscript including artwork is to attach a text-only version to your submission on Submittable. Then follow the instructions on Submittable for sending along a supplementary PDF of the manuscript, including the art. Please do not include suggested cover artwork with your submission.

A note regarding previously published work: Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible for consideration–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your chapbook–or a significant portion of the work included in your chapbook–has been previously published as a book or chapbook-length 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 for consideration.

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.

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.

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, 2019$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 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