Written by Emily Harstone January 29th, 2024

102 Traditional Poetry Manuscript Presses Who Do Not Charge Reading Fees

Most traditional poetry manuscript publishers charge their readers a fee to submit. You can read about why that is the case here. This article focuses on a number of poetry manuscript publishers who do not charge submission fees to writers, which is good news for poets.

This is the longest and most accurate list of poetry manuscript publishers who do not charge fees for online or postal submissions. A number of the publishers on this list have at least one free reading period a year, where they will consider all the manuscripts submitted to them. A few of the publishers are open all the time. Some have a limited window that can be as short as two days, or as long as three months.

Not all of the publishers are currently open to submissions. Some have newsletters that notify potential submitters when they re-open. If that is the case I mention that as part of the listing.

On most of our lists it isn’t unusual for a few of the publishers to be closed, but the numbers are much higher here, because poetry publishers generally have shorter submission windows, and some only read submissions through fee-free contests. 

The presses listed here change dramatically every year, even if the number listed doesn’t shift that much. That is because between presses closing (to submissions or period), or moving towards a paid model, it’s normal for me to remove up to twenty presses a year, and then add new ones.

A number of them have geographic or other limitations, but the majority are open to authors of any nationality and background. The list is in no particular order.

Unlike other lists and reviews on Authors Publish, I do not do full background checks or complete reviews on all the publishers. 

That is partially because the task would be overwhelming in terms of time and also because most poetry presses are small and it is hard to find out that much about them, but I still spend at least fifteen looking into most of the presses before adding them.

I eliminated any press that had glaring red flags, but please research any of the presses on the list you are considering submitting to. To learn more about what to look out for, please go here.

Also it’s important to note, that just because a press qualifies for this list, it in no way makes it an automatic good fit for your poetry manuscript. 

There are a lot of presses on this list that I would not submit to. Some I admire, but my poetry would not be a good fit. Some don’t have good enough distribution for my personal needs. These are just two examples, but I hope they help make my point, that you should make sure that presses meet your personal criteria and are a good fit for your work before submitting work to them. 

Please spend time with the presses catalog and submission guidelines before proceeding to make sure your work is a good fit, and appropriately submitted.

Three people work on this list every year, and I am grateful for everyone’s contributions. On average it takes over 30 hours to update and add to this list, a process we undertake yearly. It is far from our most successful list, but it is the one closest to my heart. 

If you know of another publisher who belongs on this list, or if you find an error or an update for this list, please email support@authorspublish.com.

  1. Doubleback Books and Sundress Publishing
    Doubleback Books is an imprint of Sundress Publishing that reprints books from small independent presses that have closed. They host one open reading period a year, generally from May to August with submissions made via email. Sundress Publishing as a whole has an open reading period for books that have never been previously published, and they offer free submissions to BIPOC poets. You can learn more here and here.
  2. Sea Crow Press
    A small press that publishes literary fiction and poetry that was started in 2020 that is seeking poetry manuscripts with New England themes only. You can learn more here.
  3. Arte Público Press
    Arte Público Press, affiliated with the University of Houston, specializes in publishing contemporary novels, short stories, poetry, and drama based on U.S. Hispanic (Cuban American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and others) cultural issues and themes. To learn more, refer to their submissions page.
  4. June Road Press
    A small US-based press that publishes wonderful poetry collections, and they do not accept work from international writers. They are currently closed to submissions, but plan to reopen later this year. You can learn more here.
  5. House of Anansi Press
    This is an established Canadian press that also publishes nonfiction and literary fiction. They only accept submissions from Canadian citizens and residents. According to their Submittable page, there’s currently no open call for submissions, but they are generally open to submissions prose and poetry during February and August. You can learn more about them here.
  6. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. They have one to two reading periods a year with specific limitations (for example, during their next submissions window, 1 – 21 March 2024, they are accepting Classics only). To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  7. Ekstasis Editions
    A Canadian publisher of poetry manuscripts. They have been around since 1982. They usually consider submissions from Canadians only. To read their submission guidelines, go here. You can visit their main page here.
  8. Coach House Books
    Coach House Books publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction, primarily by Canadian authors. They accept only 10 or so submissions per year. You can learn more here.
  9. Northwestern University Press
    A university press open to unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  10. Cornerstone Press
    They accept fee-free submissions for their Portage Poetry series. Learn more here.
  11. Salmon Poetry
    This Irish poetry press asks that you query first. They are currently closed to new submissions. Learn more about them here.
  12. Nine Arches Press
    A small poetry publisher. You must have a track record or a small audience in the UK to be seriously considered by them. They generally have two open reading periods a year, in April and October. To learn more, refer to their submission guidelines.
  13. Unicorn Press
    A North Carolina-based poetry publisher. They have one reading period a year and do not consider work outside of that. In 2024, they will be open from May 1st through June 30th. Learn more here.
  14. Faber
    This respected British publisher is open to unsolicited submissions of poetry only. Learn more here.
  15. Able Muse
    A small publisher that publishes a wide variety of work. They will have an open reading period in 2024 from May 1st to July 15th. Learn more here.
  16. Acre Books
    Acre Books is an imprint of The Cincinnati Review. They focus on publishing literary fiction and poetry. They are interested in novels and short story collections. They are not accepting submissions of full manuscripts. They ask that authors query first. Read our review here.They have two submission periods a year.
  17. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  18. Astrophil Press
    A small press based out of the University of South Dakota. They do not accept unsolicited submissions but they do have some open reading periods, and ask writers to reach out directly to learn more. Learn more here.
  19. Coffee House Press
    This respected independent publisher is open to poetry manuscript submissions at different time periods every year. They are not currently accepting submissions. They have a newsletter that notifies you when they open. Learn more here.
  20. Apogee Press
    They print beautiful books by a wide variety of new and established poets. They are currently not open to submissions. You can learn more here.
  21. Holy Cow! Press
    This small press has been around for over forty years. They publish poetry and a variety of other genres. To learn more, go here.
  22. ECW Press
    They are only open to fiction and poetry books submitted by Canadians; there are no citizenship restrictions on writers submitting nonfiction. Learn more here.
  23. Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
    They look for manuscripts longer than 25 pages. They generally have one reading period a year. Learn more here.
  24. Lamar University Press
    They publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. You can learn more here.
  25. Wolsak and Wynn
    They publish books by Canadian authors mainly, and discourage non-Canadian residents from submitting. They accept submissions from January 1st to March 31st each year. Learn more here.
  26. Two Plum Press
    Two Plum Press produces slim volumes of literary works both contemporary and classic. Titles include works of poetry, essays, fiction, philosophy, visual art, travel, and food writing. You can learn more about them here.
  27. Brick Books
    An established and respected Canadian publisher, they are open only to submissions from Canadians. The submission period is from February 1st to May 31st. To learn more, go here.
  28. Biblioasis
    This literary press is based in Windsor, Ontario. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  29. Clash Books
    Clash Books started in 2015, They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Learn more here.
  30. Invisible Publishing
    Invisible Publishing publishes literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Read more here.
  31. Tia Chucha Press
    A cross-cultural press that is open to poetry submissions. To learn more, refer to their submission guidelines here.
  32. Alaska Literary Series
    Published by the University of Alaska Press, this series publishes only work by those with a connection to or writing about Alaska, or the circumpolar north. Learn more here and here, make sure to click on the subheading for the University of Alaska Press.
  33. Broken Sleep Books
    A UK-based company that publishes contemporary poetry of a more experimental slant. They have four open reading periods a year each with different parameters. Learn more here.
  34. Deep Vellum
    They are a non-profit publisher of poetry, nonfiction, and prose, open to submissions based on queries. Learn more here.
  35. 404Ink
    A Scottish publisher open to international submissions, with varying reading periods. They are currently not open for submissions. Learn more here.
  36. Green Writers Press
    Green Writers Press is a rural Vermont-based publishing house that aims to spread environmental awareness and social justice. They publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and youth literature. They run the literary journal The Hopper. Learn more here.
  37. Changes Press
    They run a fee-free contest for The Bergman Prize which awards money and publication to one author every year. You can sign up to be notified here.
  38. Game Over Books
    An innovative press that publishes excellent work and is periodically open to submissions. Learn more here.
  39. Bad Betty Press
    They are a UK-based publisher of chapbooks and full length manuscripts. They are currently closed to submissions, but you can join their mailing list to learn when their next submission window will be. Learn more here.
  40. Shearsman Books
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Read their guidelines carefully. Learn more here.
  41. BD Studios
    They publish manuscripts mostly by queer creators, but they say they are open to submissions by all. To learn more, go here.
  42. Luath Press
    This UK-based press publishes a wide variety of genres, including poetry. Learn more here.
  43. Black Ocean
    They have a number of submission periods, some with limited demographics, others without. Learn more here.
  44. Vine Leaves Press
    They publish poetry under their Vignettes imprint. To learn more, go here.
  45. Against the Grain
    A UK-based publisher that is only open to submissions from current residents in the UK and Ireland. I hesitated to leave them on the list only because they will post an update of when they will reopen near the end of 2024 at the earliest. To learn more, go here.

  46. Holland Park Press
    A great small press that publishes poetry and prose. They accept submissions in both English and Dutch. Learn more here.
  47. Broadstone Books
    A small press that primarily publishes poetry. Learn more here.
  48. Lily
    A small press that publishes excellent poetry. They charge for general submissions, but offer free submissions for poets who identify as Black. Learn more here.
  49. Texas Review Press
    They have a number of reading periods a year, some are paid contests, some are free. Although currently they are reading for the TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series which highlights a first full-length collection by emerging authors from each state in the southern United States. There is no reading fee. This year’s state is Kentucky. To learn more, go here.
  50. Green Bottle Press
    A small UK press. To learn more, go here.

  51. Jackleg Press
    This small press primarily focuses on publishing poetry and short story collections. They only consider queries from US based writers. You can learn more here.
  52. threadsuns press
    Threadsuns is High Point University English Department’s teaching press. They are open to submissions year-round. They publish poetry as well as prose. To learn more, go here.
  53. Tin House
    This respected small press has a very short open reading period for poetry once a year. They haven’t updated their 2024 schedule yet. To learn more, go here.
  54. word west
    A small press that publishes literary work including poetry. To learn more, go here.
  55. The Gallery Press
    An Irish poetry press that publishes work by Irish and Ireland based poets. To learn more, go here.
  56. BloodAxe Books
    This UK-based press is established and respected, and will only consider poets who have not already published full length collections, but have published widely in literary journals. They do not plan to be open to submissions this year because they currently have a full schedule. They are remaining on the list because they have a long track record of regularly being open to submissions. Learn more here.
  57. Trail to Table Books
    Trail to Table Books, an imprint of Wandering Aengus Press, publishes a few poetry books a year. They recently added a note to their website saying they are going to restructure their submission process. If they add a fee as part of this please reach out to us at support@authorspublish.com. You can read their submission guidelines here.
  58. Action Books
    A small press that publishes a range of genres including poetry, you can learn more about them here. You can sign up to be notified of when they reopen to submissions here.
  59. Fernwood Press
    A small royalty-paying press that publishes poetry. You can learn more here.
  60. Wesleyan University Press
    They publish select poetry collections, and work in other genres. They are currently closed to poetry submissions. You can learn more here.
  61. Woodhall Press
    A small press that publishes a variety of work including poetry. You can read our review of the press here.
  62. Wayne State University Press
    This university press publishes poetry by poets based in Michigan. Learn more here.
  63. Circling Rivers
    A small press that is open to poetry and nonfiction submissions. Learn more here.
  64. Hub City Press
    A respected press with great distribution. They publish books of literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, regional nonfiction, nature, and art. They only publish writers living in or from the southern US. They charge for some submission periods but not others. Learn more here.
  65. Giramondo
    Giramondo doesn’t have any strict guidelines in terms of geography, but they do appear to have a track record of publishing primarily writers from Australia and New Zealand, and they expect submitting writers to be familiar with their catalog. They publish quality poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. They have limited submission windows. Learn more here.
  66. Fremantle Press
    They accept submissions of unsolicited manuscripts from authors of Western Australian origin or whose main place of residence is Western Australia, or non-Western Australian authors whose work has a strong Western Australian focus. They publish nonfiction, fiction and narrative nonfiction, poetry, and books for children and young adults. Learn more here.
  67. Bottom Dog Press/ Bird Dog Publishing
    They describe themselves as seeking work that contains the following themes:
    “Sense of Place (ie. the Midwest), Working-Class Culture and Values–American Zen Writing–African-American Writing from the Midwest—Literary, Biography–Family and Spirit–Peace and Justice”. To read their submission guidelines, go here.
  68. Black Lawrence Press
    This press charges fees for most submissions but has one series that focuses on publishing the writing of Immigrants to the US, is open to fee-free submissions by authors that are Immigrants to the US. Learn more here.
  69. Ben Yehuda Press
    They only publish the work of Jewish poets (and writers). Learn more here.
  70. University Professors Press
    The poetry books from this publisher are almost exclusively mental health professionals and academics in their Poetry, Healing, and Growth Series. Manuscripts that do not carefully follow their submission guidelines and include all required information are not reviewed. To learn more go here.
  71. Arteidolia Press
    An artist-run press based out of Ridgewood, Queens with focus on publishing collections of poetry, visual poetry, essays &  experimental writing. You can learn more here.
  72. Blue Cactus
    They accept submissions for full-length manuscripts by women, transgender and gender-nonconforming People of Color in the Pacific Northwest on a rolling basis. They are not interested in receiving manuscript submissions from someone who doesn’t match this description. Their focus is primarily on nonfiction work including poetry. Learn more here.
  73. Yellow King Press
    A small press open to submissions of poetry and short stories. They ask that you submit “no more than five poems or two short stories in a single word dos” Learn more here.
  74. Peepal Tree Press
    Peepal Tree specializes in Caribbean and Black British writing. They publish poetry and fiction. Learn more here.
  75. Cybirdy publishing
    A new small press based out of England that is interested in poetry manuscripts, along with other genres. Learn more here.
  76. North Dakota State University Press: Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series
    The goal of this series to feature the authentic stories, poetry, and scholarly works of Native Americans, First Nations, Maori, Aborigines, Indians, and more to give voice to contemporary Indigenous peoples. NDSU Press considers book-length manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for publication in this series. Learn more here.
  77. Book *hug Press
    A Canadian small press only open to submissions from Canadians, they focus on publishing literary works, including poetry. Learn more here.
  78. Counterpath Press
    This small literary press only responds to queries they are interested in. Assume rejection if you have not heard from them in 90 days. Learn more here.
  79. Get Fresh Book Publishing
    A poetry-only nonprofit press. Learn more about them here.
  80. The African Poetry Book Funds Award: Sillerman First Book Prize University of Nebraska Press
    This prize is for poets born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African, and who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published. Details here (guidelines) and here (Submittable).
  81. Great Place Books
    They publish literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and work in translation. They accept queries. You can learn more here.
  82. Beautiful Days Press
    A small press that focuses on poetry. They are currently closed to submissions but they alert subscribers to their newsletter when they reopen. Learn more here.
  83. Lamar University Literary Press
    Accepting submissions in April and November only, they also publish literary fiction and creative nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  84. Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets
    They accept submissions every May for this prestigious and highly competitive series. You can learn more here.
  85. Bottlecap Press
    A small press that publishes primarily poetry, both in chapbook and manuscript form. Learn more here.
  86. Codhill Press: Guest Editors Poetry Series
    Launched last year from an established press, they plan to be open to submissions again this April. Learn more here.
  87. Lavender Ink and Diálogos
    A small press focused on publishing poetry and poetic fiction. Learn more here.
  88. Mason Jar Press, The 1729 Book Prize in Poetry
    Launched last year, they choose one book of poetry to publish, each year. The first year’s judge was Chen Chen. They generally plan to open to submissions in April. To learn more go here.
  89.  Moon Tide Press
    A small poetry focused press based out of Southern California, you can learn more here, and here.
  90.  Phoenix Poets Series: University of Chicago Press
    The 2024 reading period opens on October 1st. All submitting poets must be over 21 and publishing their first or second book. Learn more here.
  91. Freelines Press
    This experimental small press publishes a variety of genres including plays and poetry. To learn more go here.
  92. Hidden Peak Press
    A small Colorado-based press that also publishes a literary journal. They’ve only published one book not by the editor/founder at this point, but they are open to manuscript submissions if you scroll down to the bottom of this page.
  93. BkMk Press
    A small press that has published some very respected works, they are currently not open to submissions. They always update their status at the top of this page.
  94. Better Than Starbucks Press
    The long-time literary journal, Better Than Starbucks, went on hiatus in 2022 but the press, which is newer, is still going strong and open to submissions. You must have a working PayPal account to publish with them, as that is how they pay their authors. You can learn more here.
  95. Nightwood Editions
    A small press focused on publishing work of literary merit in Canada. They are only accepting work from Canadian writers. Learn more here.
  96. The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
    The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize supports the publication of a first full-length book of poems by a Latinx poet residing in the United States. It is awarded every year and generally submissions close in February. The title will be published by the University of Nevada Press. You can learn more here.
  97. At Bay Press
    A respected Canadian publisher, they only accept submissions from Canadian authors, something they only make clear as part of their submission form. They only publish a few titles every year, including poetry and literary fiction. Learn more here.
  98. Curious Curls Publishing
    A small press based out of Pittsburgh that is open to full-length poetry manuscript submissions as well as other genres. Learn more here.
  99. Louisiana University State Press
    They accept a wide variety of submissions including poetry. Learn more here.
  100. Wet Cement Press
    They publish 3-5 books a year, and poetry is one of the genres they publish. Learn more here.
  101. Turnstone Press
    A small Canadian press, open to submissions from Canadian authors only. Learn more here.
  102. Third Man Books
    They publish only six titles a year across many genres, but are open to submissions. Learn more here.

    Also, If you are not opposed to paying submission fees, this Substack focuses on poetry manuscript publishing opportunities, and they sometimes help writers pay the fees. I found some of the fee-free presses listed there and I think they are very much worth supporting.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Submissions, Submit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2023 Guide to Manuscript Publishers. She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


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