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: November 1 – January 31
(Open competition, novels)

The Hudson Prize: January 1 – March 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose 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: June 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 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.

Joe Dornich is a graduate of Texas Tech’s creative writing program where he was the managing editor of Iron Horse Literary Review. His stories have won contests and fellowships from The Master’s Review, Carve Magazine, South Central MLA, Key West Literary Seminars, and the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Joe lives in Knoxville and teaches at the University of Tennessee.

Joe will provide detailed comments on your manuscript as well as a cover letter. After receiving these files, participants who submit chapbooks and full-length manuscripts may also book phone/video conferences with Joe at no additional charge.

Joe 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, $275
  • Novellas, up to 100 pages in length, $425
  • Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $550
  • Novels, up to 300 pages in length, $795

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is May 31. Joe will complete his work and respond to all participants by June 30.

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Joe's Statement of Purpose


The workshops I conduct with my graduate and undergraduate creative writing students are driven by intentionality, and my approach to manuscript consultations is no different. As such, you and I will have a virtual conversation - questions and follow-up questions - about the story you want to tell, why you want to tell it, what's happening on the sentence level, and also between the lines. We'll focus on pacing and plot points, characters and causality, to best convey the story you want to tell in your voice and style.    

While my feedback will be driven by your intentions, I'll also capitalize on my objective stance as a reader to see the unexplored potential of the piece. I'll use this duality - combining where the story can go/what it can do, with what you'd like to it ultimately become - to assist you in creating a stronger, tighter, and more realized draft.

David Rigsbee, the author of 23 books and chapbooks, has been recipient of two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has appeared in AGNI, The American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, The Ohio Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, and many others.

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

  • Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $55
  • Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $275
  • Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $425

David will provide detailed comments on your manuscript as well as a cover letter. After receiving these files, participants who submit chapbooks and full-length manuscripts may also book phone/video conferences with David at no additional charge.

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.

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

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David Rigsbee's Statement of Purpose

Poems begin in subjectivity, in what Yeats memorably called “the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.” But they can’t remain there and be poems. Because their origin is in the poet’s particular experience—imaginative, emotional, expressive—they have to be transformed into speech acts, or better still, into song. The transformation can be daunting. This is where the poet’s work comes in, and I believe that work benefits considerably from collaborative thinking that involves ways to use and enhance poetic intelligence, from word-choice and image, to acoustic and metrical composition, to architectural development and closure. I also believe the specific skills to accomplish that work can be passed on from poet to poet.

In my consultations, I try to help poets identify and take advantage of the opportunities—rhetorical, stylistic, musical, metaphorical—inherent in early drafts. I like to encourage thinking about poems as rhetorical performances intended to invite readers into the suggestive spaces a poem provides. At the same time I’m interested in understanding the difference between poems that work toward a resonant simplicity and those that, in Linda Gregg’s phrase, “tap-dance” and so often skirt the deeper commitments good work requires.

I want to make sure that structure and detail are crafted, sturdy, precise, and aesthetically compelling. Russell Edson once said that “of all the things that could have happened, this is the very thing that happens.” An unfinished poem can go in many directions, but in the end it only goes in one—one that turns both inwardlly, acknowledging its origins (the rag-and-bones) and outwardly, as it hooks up with the larger world. Contemporary poets whose work I follow, read, and reread include Gerald Stern, Jorie Graham, Terrance Hayes, Robert Pinsky, and Robert Hass, to name just a few.

Christopher Locke is the author of 12 books and chapbooks. His latest collection of poetry Music for Ghosts (New York Quarterly Books) and memoir Without Saints (Black Lawrence Press) were both released in 2022. He received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, and grants in writing from Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize many times. Chris teaches English and creative writing at SUNY Plattsburgh in the Adirondacks.

Chris is accepting everything from flash-length essays to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:

  •    Flash Essays, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •    Essays, up to 20 pages in length, $55
  •    Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $275
  •    Manuscripts, up to 180 pages in length, $550
  •    Long Manuscripts, up to 300 pages in length, $795

Chris will provide detailed comments on your manuscript as well as a cover letter. After receiving these files, participants who submit chapbooks and full-length manuscripts may also book phone/video conferences with Chris at no additional charge.

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in 12-point font.The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is May 31. Christopher will complete his work and respond to all participants by June 30. 


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Christopher's Statement of Purpose 


We each have a story to tell; that’s the easy part. Yet how do we move beyond the familiar “Write what you know” into “Write what you know has meaning”? For personal writing to resonate, it certainly must be honest, but that does not mean its validity resides solely in autobiographical details; it means our work helps readers experience the small miracle of transformation—we have shifted our lives into theirs. Because even though we want our work to communicate the lived and the universal, our work also must convey surprise and emotional risk that feels more than just engaging: it feels earned.

As nonfiction writers, we should always address questions such as “What does authenticity mean?” But when completing a draft, we should also consider: “What have I revealed by what I’ve chosen to exclude?” This is critical. It is usually when we begin to feel the pull to retreat that we should put our head down and bravely proceed. And it doesn’t mean we crash our winding memories without regard, but that we enter those rooms thoughtfully, with a listening heart.

Careful writing that begs approval and always behaves usually never satisfies, (ourselves or the world). I will help you not only strengthen your own unique voice, but also help you dive deeper in your writing so you’ll look beneath the underneath you already thought you’d discovered. I will read and respond to your work in a safe, supportive atmosphere where risk is championed. Your experience level is not important—only your desire to allow your story to become deeper, richer, and more complex.

$18.00

You're in the submission form for poetry. If you're intending to submit prose (fiction, creative non-fiction, etc.), please return to the main page and select the prose category instead. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.)

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose 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 without identifying information by our panel of editors. 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 (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.

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 the BRCC–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 the BRCC.

  • 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.
  • Prose category: Beginning with the Spring 2019 contest, our category previously titled “fiction” has been re-categorized as “prose” to accommodate fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.)
  • We cannot accept translations for the BRCC.
  • 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. Please do not include suggested cover artwork with your submission.

  The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31.

Optional book bundle: Interested in reading a few of our chapbooks while we read yours? Below you will have the option to purchase a bundle of five of our chapbooks, which includes Primitivity by Amy Sayre Baptista, Atlas of the Body by Nicole Cuffy, This is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album by Alan Chazaro, Mountain Redemption by Nick McRae, and Jim's Book by James Reidel. The discounted price of $39.95 for this chap bundle includes the cost of shipping. Purchase not required for submission to the BRCC!

$18.00

You're in the submission form for prose. (This includes fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts.) If you're intending to submit poetry, please return to the main page and select the poetry category instead. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.)

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose 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 without identifying information by our panel of editors. 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 (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.

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 the BRCC–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 the BRCC.

  • 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.
  • Prose category: Beginning with the Spring 2019 contest, our category previously titled “fiction” has been re-categorized as “prose” to accommodate fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.)
  • We cannot accept translations for the BRCC.
  • 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. Please do not include suggested cover artwork with your submission.

The annual deadlines for the prize are May 31 and October 31.

Optional book bundle: Interested in reading a few of our chapbooks while we read yours?  Below you will have the option to purchase a bundle of five of our chapbooks, which includes Primitivity by Amy Sayre Baptista, Atlas of the Body by Nicole Cuffy, This is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album by Alan Chazaro, Mountain Redemption by Nick McRae, and Jim's Book by James Reidel.The discounted price of $39.95 for this chap bundle includes the cost of shipping. Purchase not required for submission to the BRCC!

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 full length manuscripts of poetry (at least 45 pages), prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose (at least 100 pages) will be considered for the Writing Series. We are not accepting chapbook manuscripts at this time.

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.7. Only full length manuscripts of poetry, prose (fiction or nonfiction), and hybrid texts of poetry and prose will be considered for the Writing Series. We are not accepting chapbook manuscripts at this time.

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