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.

During the month of June, Black Lawrence Press author Abayomi Animashaun is offering consultations on in-progress works of creative nonfiction. Abayomi is an award-winning poet and the editor of three anthologies of essays including 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.

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

  • Short pieces, up to 2 pages in length, $15
  • Essays, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  • Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $150
  • Manuscripts, up to 180 pages in length, $350
  • Long manuscripts, up to 300 pages in length, $700

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

The deadline to submit work for this  consultation program is June 30. Abayomi will complete his work and  respond to all program participants by July 31.

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

___________

Abayomi's Statement of Purpose:

Creative nonfiction, for me, provides a place where I can hold myself  accountable - a place where I can unabashedly return to, map out, and  almost systematically study my own biography and the landscape of my own  understanding. It is a genre that allows me to question myself and my  writing and allows me to approach elements that make up my imagination,  hold them to the ground, and tease open their jackets to better learn  the “how” and “why”, the “where from”, and the “how long” of their  make-up.

Given its fluid form, I approach creative nonfiction with  the same inclusive sensitivity I bring to poetry. I understand that  approaches to it are infinite and the themes explored within it are  myriad. Because of this, I try to listen and understand by entering a  dialogue with the author. I ask myself “what is the author trying to  do?”, “what issue is he/she addressing?”, and “with whom is he/she in  conversation?” I pay attention to subject matter and movement of prose,  narrative intent and the possibilities available to shape the piece in  question to the author’s patent and/or inchoate goals.

__________

Feedback From Previous Participants

"...I want to express my deepest gratitude for [Abayo's] lovely and  insightful comments on my essay...[his] careful reading, [his] gentle  inquiries and suggestions, allowed me to make the essay stronger in all  the right ways." --Joey G.

"...I found [Abayo's] advice very  useful. [He] provided clear and concise ideas about what is working well  in pieces and gave me lots of wonderful ideas for areas of improvement.  I look forward to jumping into some revision and writing more..."  --Colleen W.

"[I] thank [Abayo] for the helpful and inspiring  comments. It’s such a help to have fresh, insightful eyes look  critically but kindly at a long piece and comment in a way that makes  the writer want to get back to wrestling in the weeds with it. [His]  broad feedback was very useful, especially when backed with examples." --Frank L.

"Thank you so much [Abayo] [for] your thoughtful comments on my essays. More than just thoughtful, they were so engaged. It feels to me that you really “listened” to them. Your comments are pointed, curious, and written with such care."  - Bridget K.

"Thank you so much [Abayo] for your thoughtful words and comments. I found that the way you approached my essay was exactly what I was looking for; I knew it still needed some work but had trouble identifying the problems...I appreciate your feedback more than you can know." - Maija M.

"Abayo, thanks again for your help with [my essay]. It was just published in [a magazine], which is put out by the MFA program at Columbia College-Chicago." - M D.  

Ends in 5 days, 12 hours $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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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.

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 in 5 days, 12 hours $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.

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

Manuscripts should be 120-280 pages in length, not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). 

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 fiction submissions here.

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

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, and Leigh Camacho Rourks. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping.

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

Manuscripts should be 45-90 pages in length, not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). 

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 fiction submissions here.

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

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, and Leigh Camacho Rourks. 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.