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 prose chaps)

Open Reading Period 1: June 1 – June 30

The St. Lawrence Book Award: July 1- August 31
(First book competition, poetry and prose)

The Fall Black River Chapbook Competition: September 1 – October 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose 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.

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press author Leigh Camacho Rourks is on board to critique fiction manuscripts. Leigh Camacho Rourks is a Cuban-American author who lives and works in Central Florida, where she is an Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Beacon College. She is the recipient of the St. Lawrence Press Award, the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize, and her work has been shortlisted for several other awards. Her fiction, poems, and essays have appeared in a number of journals, including Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, TriQuarterly, December Magazine, and Greensboro Review.

Leigh is accepting everything from flash fiction to novels for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:

  •    Flash fiction, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •    Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $55
  •    Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
  •    Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $350
  •    Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $475
  •    Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $725

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is February 28. Leigh will complete her work and respond to all participants by March 31.

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Leigh's Statement of Purpose

One of the most exciting things about storytelling is that it is not a one-size-fits all discipline. The cornerstones of narrative—character, place, plot, language—are shaped not simply by perfecting rules, but by exploration, by finding and pushing boundaries or playing within in them or even shattering them. It is the story’s voice that helps readers understand the shape of a narrative, that guides readers into a story that can and might do anything at all. It is the voice of a story that keeps them there. So as a a reader, I approach a manuscript as openly as I can, and I let it teach me where it wants to go and (perhaps more importantly) where it could go. And while there is no element of narrative that I take preference over, I do believe that looking closely at the voice of a manuscript will better guide its revision, so that is where I begin both my own exploration of the manuscript and my discussions with the author.

Once we have a better idea of how the narrative voice is functioning, we can use that as a lens through which to examine the other elements that make up the story, for they are all interconnected. For example, the voice is the lens through which readers see characters, and characters are both products of place and makers of it. Revision of a narrative, then, must take into account these interactions, it is rarely an act of brute force overhaul. Instead, I am a fan of looking at revision as a two-step process, first we see where the path we have laid out best travels, and then we fine-tune it to get it there. A good example of this method is to consider imagery—is there an image or set of imagery that is serving the story and its characters well? If so how best can we amplify it, make it resonate? 

I love stories that surprise me, but I am also amazed by the quiet stories that may not shatter my expectations, but instead just color them slightly. In other words, I like all kinds of stories, all genres, all voices. It is the diversity of narratives that I truly love. So, my goal is to help you find and fulfill the potentials of your unique story, instead of simply remaking it to fit my expectations. I am happy to read both realism and genre fiction (and all the possibilities in between).

During the month of February, Black Lawrence Press author Alexandra Lytton Regalado is on board to critique poetry manuscripts. Alexandra is author of Relinquenda, winner of the National Poetry Series (Beacon Press, 2022); the chapbook Piedra (La Chifurnia, 2022); and the poetry collection, Matria, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). Alexandra holds fellowships at CantoMundo and Letras Latinas; she is winner of the Coniston Prize, and her work has appeared in The Best American Poetrypoets.org, World Literature Today, Narrative, and Gulf Coast, among others. Her translations of contemporary Latin American poetry appear in Poetry International, FENCE, and Tupelo Quarterlyand she is translator of Family or Oblivion by Elena Salamanca and Prewar by Tania Pleitez. She is co-founder of Kalina, a press that showcases bilingual, Central American-themed books. 

Alexandra is accepting folios, chapbooks, and full-length collections for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:

  •     Single poems, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •     Folios of up to 5 poems, not to exceed 7 pages in length, $55
  •     Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
  •     Full-length collections, up to 80 pages in length, $350

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is February 28. Alexandra will complete her work and respond to all participants by March 31.

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Alexandra Lytton Regalado's Statement of Purpose


We need time and distance.

We need to get out of the way.

We need another set of eyes.

We need to trust chiming bells, listen for off-key or flat sounds.

We need to toss extras and strays into the bonepile.

We need to listen to its pulse.

We need to prune and carve. 

We need to let it be its own thing. 


It’s great when we learn to trust our instincts for editing. To understand that we need to separate ourselves from our creations, to strangify the work so that we can see how it resonates, revise without remorse, go deeper if needed, abandon or amplify ideas, test new strategies. Maybe it’s enough to let that new poem sit for a while and have another look when the dizzy haze of excitement, the thrill of completion have burned away with the morning’s light. Some subjects feel too close to us we feel the urge to stick the whole manuscript in a drawer and look at it years later. Sometimes, what tips off that editing process is honest and clear feedback from a trusted reader.


I cannot read a book without a pencil in my hand. I engage with the text in the margins—asking questions, making exclamations of praise or surprise. After letting that first impression wash over me if the poem is really good I’ll re-read it and try to figure out its dance moves, try to discover the architecture, and see what tricks and tips I can add to my toolkit. Reading good poetry spurs my own creative impulse—I make notes on ideas for my own work, sometimes I magpie-steal a great word or phrasing style. I like to approach the poem cold, then I gather some information about the author, I might read a review, I might look for older work to compare the range and development of style. Poets that I have been reading or re-reading lately and that serve as tuning fork for my own writing are Ada Limón, Natalie Diaz, Tracy K. Smith, Paisley Rekdal, Carolina Ebeid, Tarfia Faizullah, Ilya Kaminsky, Aracelis Girmay, Patrick Rosal, Eduardo C. Corral, Yusef Komunyakaa, Eavan Boland, Robert Hass, Larry Levis, Sylvia Plath, and Ranier Maria Rilke.


I am an editor, translator, and writer and in my own experience it has been useful to switch hats throughout the process of writing a manuscript. In the past three years I have been a judge for national literary competitions in poetry and in fiction in El Salvador. I have an MFA in poetry as well as an MFA in fiction and I love writing that pushes genre categories.  


When I consider a manuscript I approach the work openly and try my best to engage with it. I approach from different perspectives—I see the bird’s eye view of the manuscript and also focus on the individual parts of the poems, the verses, the words, and sounds. Big picture concerns: How does the structure work towards strengthening the main themes and ideas? How is the manuscript formulated? Is it an A/B side of a record, is it a series of boxes you go opening up, is it Act 1, Act 2, Act 3? Why does this poem exist? Here, we consider intention/urgency/innovation. What is it saying and how is it saying that in a new/different/unexpected way?


Zooming in then: When I annotate your manuscript I present an ex-ray of what is going on my mind as a reader so you can see if the results are in line with your intentions. I ask questions, make comments about what resonates and what is in discord; I consider word choice/image. Sometimes it’s about adding more, considering another layer, going deeper—sometimes we haven’t fully committed to an experiment and we need to underline our intentions, go to the next level—but most of the time it’s about sifting through the noise and cutting out the flab, paring away to the core, discovering the strengths of the poems and building on those, sharpening, clarifying. What I most appreciate is an authentic voice and when editing, my ultimate goal is to respect the writer’s style and intentions. I do offer suggestions and alternatives, but mostly, I ask questions. So, this February, with thanks to BLP, I offer you my eyes and my honest feedback.

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 (prose), 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, essays, 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 prose 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, Alan Chazaro, Gwendolyn Paradice, Ananda Lima, Raena Shirali, and JoeAnn Hart. 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 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 (prose), 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, Alan Chazaro, Gwendolyn Paradice, Ananda Lima, Raena Shirali, and JoeAnn Hart. Below, you will have the option to purchase a selection of their titles for a discounted fee, which includes the cost of shipping.

The immigrant narrative is at the heart of the American experiment. However, despite the contributions of immigrants to the cultural, financial, scientific, and artistic makeup of the United States, there is no clear home for new immigrant writings in the United States. To remedy this, Black Lawrence Press proudly announces the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series, an innovative program designed to provide a home for new immigrant writings in the United States and fill a much needed gap in the American literary community. The Series will remain a self-standing body with complete autonomy within Black Lawrence Press, and its editorial and advisory boards will be composed of immigrant writers and/or authors whose works explore the immigrant experience.

Mission Statement:

The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series aims to provide a clear and consistent home for new Immigrant Writings in the U.S. Book selections will be made by a four-member editorial board composed of writers in the U.S. who are either immigrants or whose works focus on the immigrant experience. Selections will be based on merit with the goal of publishing the best works by immigrants. Poets and authors, at any stage of their careers, who identify as immigrants are welcome to submit a book manuscript of poetry or prose or a hybrid text for consideration. Submissions are accepted year-round. However, selections are made in June and November for a total of two books per year. In addition to publication, marketing, and a standard royalties contract from Black Lawrence Press, authors chosen for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series will receive a travel stipend of $500, which can be used for book tours or in any manner chosen by the authors.

Editorial Board:
Sun Yung Shin
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Ewa Chrusciel
Abayomi Animashaun

Advisory Board:
Barbara Jane Reyes
Ilya Kaminsky
Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka
Virgil Suarez

Rules & Eligibility

1. Works by immigrants will be considered for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series. 


2. Submission is open to any individual living in the U.S. who identifies as an immigrant and who either (i) was born in another country, (ii) has at least one parent who was born in another country (iii) is a refugee, or (iv) lives in the United States under Asylum or a Protection Program, such as TPS or DACA .

3. No more than two book manuscripts can be submitted per year per author.

4. A third book manuscript submitted in a given year by an author will not be considered for the Writing Series.

5. All manuscripts received after May 31st will be considered for the November Reading Period.

6. All manuscripts received after October 31st  will be considered for the June Reading Period.

7. Only books of poetry, prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose will be considered for the Writing Series.

8. An author whose book manuscript has previously been selected for the Writing Series and published through Black Lawrence Press will not be considered a second time for the Series. However, the author in question is welcome to send new book manuscripts to Black Lawrence Press (BLP) for consideration during BLP’s June and November Open Reading Periods.

9. Only authors who have not previously published with Black Lawrence Press will be considered for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series.

10. Aside from Rules 1 through 9, there are no conditions for submitting manuscripts.

11. There are no entry fees.

12. Submissions are accepted year-round.

*13. Only one book manuscript will be selected for the June Reading Period, and only one book manuscript will be selected for the November Reading Period, for a total of two books per year. (* If no book manuscript is chosen for a June Reading Period, the Series Editors reserve the right to choose two book manuscripts (instead of one) in the November Reading Period immediately following the June Reading Period in question)

14. The Series Editors reserve the right to choose no book manuscript for the Writing Series during any given year or any Reading Period.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you define an immigrant?
Anyone who identifies as an immigrant and who either (i) was born in another country, (ii) has at least one parent who was born in another country, (iii) is a refugee, or (iv) lives in the United States under Asylum or a Protection Program, such as TPS or DACA

2.  I live outside the United States, can I submit my work?
No, immigrant authors must be living in the United States when they submit their work for consideration

3. Can I submit an anthology for consideration?
No, anthologies will not be considered for the Writing Series. However, Black Lawrence Press (BLP) welcomes proposals for anthologies during its June and November Open Reading Periods

4. Are collaborations welcome?
No, works should be by one author only. However, collaborations are welcome during BLP’s June and November Open Reading Periods

5. Are BLP’s June & November Open Reading Periods the same as those of the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series?
No, these are different and distinct programs within the Press. While the readings occur concurrently, The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series is a self-standing entity with its own eligibility and rules and editorial and advisory boards. The editorial board, composed of immigrant authors, has complete autonomy in selecting book manuscripts for the Writing Series. Each year, these editors recommend up to two books for publication through Black Lawrence Press. Please see the program’s mission statement , rules and eligibility, and bylaws.

6. How many book manuscripts can I submit in a given year?
Only two book manuscripts will be considered each year per author

7. Can I submit two book manuscripts in different genres?
No, each author can submit no more than two manuscripts in a given year, regardless of genre

8. I am an immigrant and I have two book manuscripts, can I submit both at once or at different times of the year?
Yes. Each author is welcome to submit a maximum of two books per year either together or at different times in the given year

9. It’s the end of June or November and there’s been no announcement yet on the manuscript selected for the Writing Series. What’s going on?
Thanks for your patience. The four-member editorial board will announce the selected manuscript as soon as they’ve made a decision. That said, the editors also reserve the right to choose no manuscript during a reading period.

10. I have other questions not addressed here. Who should I contact with my questions?
Please send questions to immigrantwritingseries@blacklawrencepress.com. 

You may send an email to the same address to request a copy of the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series bylaws.

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