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.
$ 150.00

During the month of May, Joe Wilkins is offering consultations on in-progress flash fiction manuscripts. And he's accepting both chapbooks and full-length collections.

Manuscripts should be formatted in 12 point font. Chapbooks may be up to 36 pages in length. Full-length collections may be up to 120 pages. The consulting fees are $150 for chapbooks and $250 for full-length collections.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is May 31, 2016. Joe will respond with his critiques by June 30.

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

____________________________________

JOE WILKINS' STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

I fell into flash fiction by way of poetry. Or, to put a finer point on it: by way of fear. As a poet, someone working with small, sharp, lean things, a whole sprawling story seemed so big, so scary! I didn’t think I could do that. But a flash, a short, a sudden—well, that I might be able to do.

Though it wasn’t nearly as easy as I hoped, I did soon find that flash fiction demands many of the same things that poetry demands: clear, specific, often trembling images; an immediate sense of rhythm and musicality; an arresting, engaging voice; and above all a keen attention to language. Yet jettisoning the line demands a certain velocity, a natural quickening through time and thought and action. And this velocity is often interestingly balanced or complicated or upended by the brevity of the piece, or, in a flash sequence, the leap from fragment to fragment.

When I read flash fiction, both stand alone pieces and series (which I find myself particularly interested in), I’m reading to see how the author wields these and other techniques. I’m reading as well for how the piece is pushing on me as a thinking, feeling human being. Thus, I see my responsibility to your work as two-fold: first, I’ll let you know at the level of technique what I think is working and what can be improved; second, in a generative, process-oriented way, I’ll discuss with you what’s coming up for me emotionally and intellectually as I read, how I think the piece might make, or be making, meaning.

Though as writers we all have our obsessions—writing about your love of landscape? Poverty? Grief? Fathers and sons? I’m in—I am an omnivorous reader. A quick scan of my bookshelf reveals flash fiction (and flash nonfiction and prose poetry) by the likes of James Galvin, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Claudia Rankine, Dave Eggers, Sandra Cisneros, Rochelle Hurt, Nick Flynn, Donald Barthelme, and others. Stories matter deeply to me. All kinds of stories. When I read, I try, always, to fall in love with what’s before me, to reckon with how this new love might transform the world around me.

During the month of May, Joe Wilkins is offering consultations on in-progress flash fiction manuscripts. And he's accepting both chapbooks and full-length collections.

Manuscripts should be formatted in 12 point font. Chapbooks may be up to 36 pages in length. Full-length collections may be up to 120 pages. The consulting fees are $150 for chapbooks and $250 for full-length collections.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is May 31, 2016. Joe will respond with his critiques by June 30.

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

____________________________________

JOE WILKINS' STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

I fell into flash fiction by way of poetry. Or, to put a finer point on it: by way of fear. As a poet, someone working with small, sharp, lean things, a whole sprawling story seemed so big, so scary! I didn’t think I could do that. But a flash, a short, a sudden—well, that I might be able to do.

Though it wasn’t nearly as easy as I hoped, I did soon find that flash fiction demands many of the same things that poetry demands: clear, specific, often trembling images; an immediate sense of rhythm and musicality; an arresting, engaging voice; and above all a keen attention to language. Yet jettisoning the line demands a certain velocity, a natural quickening through time and thought and action. And this velocity is often interestingly balanced or complicated or upended by the brevity of the piece, or, in a flash sequence, the leap from fragment to fragment.

When I read flash fiction, both stand alone pieces and series (which I find myself particularly interested in), I’m reading to see how the author wields these and other techniques. I’m reading as well for how the piece is pushing on me as a thinking, feeling human being. Thus, I see my responsibility to your work as two-fold: first, I’ll let you know at the level of technique what I think is working and what can be improved; second, in a generative, process-oriented way, I’ll discuss with you what’s coming up for me emotionally and intellectually as I read, how I think the piece might make, or be making, meaning.

Though as writers we all have our obsessions—writing about your love of landscape? Poverty? Grief? Fathers and sons? I’m in—I am an omnivorous reader. A quick scan of my bookshelf reveals flash fiction (and flash nonfiction and prose poetry) by the likes of James Galvin, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Claudia Rankine, Dave Eggers, Sandra Cisneros, Rochelle Hurt, Nick Flynn, Donald Barthelme, and others. Stories matter deeply to me. All kinds of stories. When I read, I try, always, to fall in love with what’s before me, to reckon with how this new love might transform the world around me.

$ 15.00

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are 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 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for 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, 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. Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted. Collaborative collections are welcome. We cannot accept translations.

The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31. Please enter poetry submissions here.

$ 15.00

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are 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 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for 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, 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. Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted. Collaborative collections are welcome. We cannot accept translations.

The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31. Please enter fiction submissions here.

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.