12 Publishers That Accept Memoir Submissions (No Agent Required)

Written by Emily Harstone

Memoir publishers that don’t require an agent to submit are few and far between. However, there are still options out there.  Some are old and respected, others are new and still figuring things out.

Not all the publishers on this list are currently open to submissions, but most are.

Persea Books

Persea Books is an independent book publisher based out of New York that was established in the 1970s. Since then they have gained a reputation for publishing thoughtful books in a variety of literary genres, including memoir.

Chicago Review Press

Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction. They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews. Curt was the former editor of the literary journal the Chicago Review. Their imprint Academy Chicago publishes memoirs and is open to unsolicited submissions.

City Lights Books

City Lights Books is based out of San Francisco and is indeed part of the famous bookstore there. City Lights Books was started by the famous poet and writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti. They are most often linked to the beat poetry movement. They have published New York Times best-selling books, and have been a publisher for over 60 years. They publish about a dozen books each year, including a number of memoirs.

Three Rooms Press

Three Rooms Press is an independent press that is inspired by “Dada, Punk, and Passion”. They were founded in 1994. They have good distribution. As one can see by their tagline, they have a very clear sense of what they like and what they are interested in publishing. They publish fiction, nonfiction (including memoirs), and YA.

Schaffner Press

Schaffner is an established press with distribution through IPG. They publish literary fiction, short fiction collections, and crime fiction. They also publish a wide variety of non-fiction including memoir, autobiography, biography, journalistic expose or narrative, true crime, art, culture, pop culture, world history, current events, science, and music.

Ad Luman Press

Ad Lumen Press was founded at American River College in Sacramento, California in 2013. The founder is author and professor Christian Kiefer. They are the only university-style press based out of a community college in the United States. They have an open reading period every year where they accept submissions of previously unpublished, full-length literary novels and memoirs from authors. They are open to submissions every summer.

New Harbinger

New Harbinger is an established publisher of self-help books that focus on psychology, health, and personal growth. The books they publish are grounded in science, research, and clinical practice. They have been around for over 35 years. They publish self-help books, psychology workbooks, professional books, memoirs, and gift books, all focused on mental health. Many but not all of their books are based on the cognitive-behavioral approach.

Clash Books


Clash Books started in 2015, they also publish Clash Magazine and the literary journal Trash Panda. They publish fiction, nonfiction (including memoir), and poetry.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsThe 2019 Guide to Manuscript PublishersSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The Authors Publish Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Publishing.

She occasionally teaches a course on manuscript publishing, as well as a course on publishing in literary journals.



 

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