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 in 3 days, 16 hours $30.00 - 50.00
$30.00 - 50.00

Have a short story that could use an expert eye? Trying to get your collection into tip-top shape? This month, Thomas Cotsonas is on deck to critique both individual short stories and full-length collections. Winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award for his exhilarating, multi-voiced, genre-twisting collection Nominal Cases, Thomas also teaches creative writing a the university level. In short, he’s got some serious skills and he’s ready to put them to work on your fiction.

Details

The fees are $30-$50 for individual stories and $250-$350 for collections; pricing is dependent on the length of the manuscript. All submissions must be formatted in 12-point font and double spaced. Thomas will complete all consultations by April 30, 2017. Space in this program is limited, so be sure to submit your manuscript soon!

Thomas Cotsonas' Statement of Purpose

“Language is a drug,” Ben Marcus tells us, and our stories are the delivery system. I want stories that know this, stories that take hold, stories that get to my nerve endings and into the lining of my veins. I want to see, more than anything else, a mind at work. I want to be exposed. I want to come in contact with the strong and the strange, the idiosyncratic. I want stories that mean it.

When I read your work at first, I’ll read to see what it seems to want to do. I’ll concentrate on what I think the work’s intentions are, and what it does or does not do to fulfill those intentions. We may differ in this respect, but whatever differences we have are what makes the consultation a conversation, a shared back-and-forth to make the work as strong as possible. I’ll give you technical advice as well, observations and suggestions concerning elements such as structure, point of view, narration, characterization, dialogue, and syntax & diction.

I am completely without bias with respect to genre. I draw no meaningful distinctions between what’s called Realism, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Crime, Gothic—whatever. I am drawn to fiction writers who often think like poets, fiction writers for whom there are no genres. Prose writers I read and love include Nicholson Baker, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Jorge Luis Borges, Lydia Davis, Don DeLillo, William H. Gass, Maggie Nelson, and Marilynne Robinson. I take any chance I get to praise the staggeringly underrated and -read Sarah Orne Jewett, whose 1896 book Country of the Pointed Firs is possibly the best short story cycle in U.S. lit.

In my own work—especially with shorter texts—I like to play with form. I’m interested in consciousness, memory, the concept of time, paradoxes, and characters who may not know the difference between certainty and uncertainty. I like puzzles, but never at the expense of character, and never with indifference to the reader.

If possible, I’d appreciate an informal cover letter with your submission. Nothing elaborate: just a short bio type-thing. I look forward to reading, to getting to work on your work!

$250.00 - 350.00

Have a short story that could use an expert eye? Trying to get your collection into tip-top shape? This month, Thomas Cotsonas is on deck to critique both individual short stories and full-length collections. Winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award for his exhilarating, multi-voiced, genre-twisting collection Nominal Cases,  Thomas also teaches creative writing a the university level. In short, he’s got some serious skills and he’s ready to put them to work on your fiction.

Details

The fees are $30-$50 for individual stories and $250-$350 for collections; pricing is dependent on the length of the manuscript. All submissions must be formatted in 12-point font and double spaced. Thomas will complete all consultations by April 30, 2017. Space in this program is limited, so be sure to submit your manuscript soon!

Thomas Cotsonas' Statement of Purpose

“Language is a drug,” Ben Marcus tells us, and our stories are the delivery system. I want stories that know this, stories that take hold, stories that get to my nerve endings and into the lining of my veins. I want to see, more than anything else, a mind at work. I want to be exposed. I want to come in contact with the strong and the strange, the idiosyncratic. I want stories that mean it.

When I read your work at first, I’ll read to see what it seems to want to do. I’ll concentrate on what I think the work’s intentions are, and what it does or does not do to fulfill those intentions. We may differ in this respect, but whatever differences we have are what makes the consultation a conversation, a shared back-and-forth to make the work as strong as possible. I’ll give you technical advice as well, observations and suggestions concerning elements such as structure, point of view, narration, characterization, dialogue, and syntax & diction.

I am completely without bias with respect to genre. I draw no meaningful distinctions between what’s called Realism, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Crime, Gothic—whatever. I am drawn to fiction writers who often think like poets, fiction writers for whom there are no genres. Prose writers I read and love include Nicholson Baker, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Jorge Luis Borges, Lydia Davis, Don DeLillo, William H. Gass, Maggie Nelson, and Marilynne Robinson. I take any chance I get to praise the staggeringly underrated and -read Sarah Orne Jewett, whose 1896 book Country of the Pointed Firs is possibly the best short story cycle in U.S. lit.

In my own work—especially with shorter texts—I like to play with form. I’m interested in consciousness, memory, the concept of time, paradoxes, and characters who may not know the difference between certainty and uncertainty. I like puzzles, but never at the expense of character, and never with indifference to the reader.

If possible, I’d appreciate an informal cover letter with your submission. Nothing elaborate: just a short bio type-thing. I look forward to reading, to getting to work on your work!

Ends in 3 days, 16 hours

Black Lawrence Press Introduces 

A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing 

Editors: Simone Muench + Dean Rader

Assistant Editors: Sally Ashton + Jackie K. White

Forthcoming in Summer 2018!

This innovative and inclusive anthology of recent collaborative writing will include poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as hybridized forms that push the boundaries of concepts like "genre" and "author.” We are looking for collaborative writing that involves more than one living writer as the primary authors. We invite works that feature identifiable alternating perspectives as well as pieces that are co-authored or group authored, making it impossible to tell which of the named authors actually "wrote" or "created" the text. Although we see the potential for future anthologies that would be “collaborations” between the person writing the story or poem and a writer or artist no longer living, like an ekphrastic poem, a cento, an erasure, or an invented interview (a la Borges), this particular anthology will focus on collaborations between living writers only.

General Guidelines for Submissions

Poems: Please submit 3 to 6 poems that are less than 100 lines each.

Fiction: Please submit a single fiction piece of up to 3000 words.

Creative nonfiction: Please submit a single creative nonfiction piece of up to 3000 words.

Hybrids: Please submit a single hybrid piece of up to 3000 words.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but request that we are immediately notified of publication elsewhere. We will only accept multiple submissions by an author if they are submitting with a different collaborator.

Collaborative work may have been previously published in literary magazines, anthologies, and/or book collections. We ask for world serial rights for any work selected, but not first serial rights. 

For this particular anthology, we aren’t currently considering translations.

Please expect to hear by late Summer 2017 (though it could be much sooner than that).

Ends in 3 days, 16 hours $25.00
$25.00

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. 

Beginning with the 2014 Hudson Prize competition, all entries will be 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 (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. 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 for the prize is March 31.

Please enter fiction submissions here.

Past winners:

2006: Jo Neace Krause (fiction)
2007: Daniel Chacón (fiction)
2008: Abayomi Animashaun (poetry)
2009: Patrick Michael Finn (fiction)
2010: Sarah Suzor (poetry)
2011: B. C. Edwards (fiction)
2012: Jacob M. Appel (fiction)
2013: Bettina Judd (poetry)
2014: Matthew Cheney (fiction)
2015: Gillian Cummings (poetry)

2016: Caroline Cabrera (poetry)


Ends in 3 days, 16 hours $25.00
$25.00

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. 

Beginning with the 2014 Hudson Prize competition, all entries will be 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 (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. 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 for the prize is March 31.

Please enter poetry submissions here.

Past winners:

2006: Jo Neace Krause (fiction)
2007: Daniel Chacón (fiction)
2008: Abayomi Animashaun (poetry)
2009: Patrick Michael Finn (fiction)
2010: Sarah Suzor (poetry)
2011: B. C. Edwards (fiction)
2012: Jacob M. Appel (fiction)
2013: Bettina Judd (poetry)
2014: Matthew Cheney (fiction)
2015: Gillian Cummings (poetry)

2016: Caroline Cabrera (poetry)

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.