Written by Emily Harstone

94 Poetry Manuscript Publishers 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. Some of the publishers are open all the time. Some have a limited window that is only a month or two long.

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 note that. On most of our lists it isn’t unusual for one or two publishers to be closed, but the numbers are much higher here, firstly because COVID-19 has particularly impacted the very small press industry that has long relied on conferences and book fairs, and secondly because poetry publishers generally have shorter submission windows.

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.

I did eliminate any press that had glaring red flags, but please research any of the presses on the list you are considering submitting to.

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.

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. 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.
  2. 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. You can learn more here.
  3. BlazeVOX
    They publish poetry and experimental literature. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.
  4. Platypus Press
    This is a UK-based publisher of poetry and prose. At the time of publishing this list, they are temporarily closed to submissions You can read our full review of them here.
  5. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Their submission period in 2022 will be between June 16th and 30th. To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  6. Deerbrook Editions
    An independent literary press publishing noteworthy or emerging authors in well-designed trade editions. They are usually open to submissions from August to September but are currently not accepting submissions until further notice.  You can read their submission guidelines 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. They primarily publish Canadian authors. You can learn more here.
  10. Northwestern University Press
    A university press open to unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  11. Cornerstone Press
    They accept fee-free submissions for their Portage Poetry series. Learn more here.
  12. Salmon Poetry
    This Irish poetry press asks that you query first. They are currently closed to new submissions. Learn more about them here.
  13. 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 will be open to submissions in 2022 from the 1st through the 30th of April and from the 1st through the 31st of October. To learn more, refer to their submission guidelines.
  14. Unicorn Press
    A North Carolina-based poetry publisher. They have one reading period a year and do not consider work outside of that. In 2022, they will be open from May 1st through June 30th. Learn more here.
  15. Black Mountain Press
    A small publisher open to poetry and a number of other literary works. They charge a small fee for Submittable submissions, but sending through the post is free. They are accepting submissions through December 2028. Learn more here.
  16. Canarium Books
    They are an independent press dedicated to publishing poetry by established and emerging authors from the US and abroad. At the time of writing this article the submission period is closed. They note it on their contact page when they reopen. Learn more here.
  17. Faber & Faber
    This respected British publisher is open to unsolicited submissions of poetry only. Learn more here.
  18. Kaya Press
    They only publish work by Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the US. To learn more, refer to their submissions page.
  19. McSweeny’s
    Started by the writer Dave Eggers, McSweeny’s is a well known and established publisher. At the time of writing they are temporarily closed to submissions. To learn more, read their submissions guidelines.
  20. Able Muse
    A small publisher that publishes a wide variety of work. They will have an open reading period in 2022 from May 1st to July 15th. Learn more here.
  21. Damaged Goods Press
    They publish poetry by queer and trans identified people. They accept chapbooks and full length manuscripts on a rolling basis. Learn more here.
  22. 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.
  23. BatCat Press
    A literary press that is planning to reopen to submissions in late 2022 or early 2023. Learn more here.
  24. Tinderbox Editions
    This poetry press has at least one short fee-free period every year in summer and winter. They ask that only those that can’t afford to pay submit with the fee-free option, on the honor system. They are a press very much worth supporting, so if you can afford to pay the submission fee, this is the place to pay it. Learn more here.
  25. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  26. 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. Learn more here.
  27. 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.
  28. Tarpaulin Sky
    They are open to poetry manuscripts every year for a period of time. Read their submissions guidelines here. You can sign up to be notified when they open on the website.
  29. Pavilion Poetry
    Part of the University of Liverpool Press, they are committed to publishing the best in contemporary poetry. They are currently not accepting submissions. Learn more here.
  30. Milkweed Editions
    This respected non-profit publisher only considers fee-free manuscript submissions for the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, which is only available to poets based in the upper Midwest. The prize is open till 15th of February 2022. Learn more here.
  31. Mansfield Press
    This small Canadian press is only open to submissions by Canadian authors. To learn more, read their submissions guidelines here.
  32. Phoenicia Publishing
    They accept unsolicited manuscript submissions during reading periods, but only after receiving and responding to a query letter from the poet. They are currently closed to submissions. Learn more here.
  33. 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.
  34. BookLand Press
    This Canadian press is only open to submissions from Canadians. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and Indigenous literature. Learn more here.
  35. 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.
  36. The 87 Press
    They aren’t reopening to submissions till November 2023, so I hesitated  to include them, but the books they publish are beautiful and vital and so I want them to be here for next year’s update. To learn more go here.
  37. Whisky Tit
    Whisky Tit is a small press that publishes a variety of quirky literary work. They publish poetry. They are open to submissions year round. To learn more, go here.
  38. Grayson Books
    Grayson Books only publishes a few books a year, they find some through contests (a fee is involved) and others through general submissions. To learn more, go here.
  39. City Lights
    The famous publisher of many beat poets, City Lights is based out of San Francisco and they accept unsolicited poetry manuscript proposals. Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this article, they were not accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions. You can learn more here.
  40. Inside the Castle
    This small press has at least one submission period a year generally, but they are not accepting submissions in 2022. I will remove them from the list if they don’t reopen next year. You can learn more here.
  41. 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.
  42. Disorder Press
    This small press is looking for unapologetic writing. They publish poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Learn more here.
  43. Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
    They look for manuscripts longer than 25 pages. After six years of being open to unsolicited submissions they are taking a temporary break. Learn more here.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. Nightingale & Sparrow
    They publish full-length, chapbook, and microchapbook length work. They have different reading periods for different length work (full-length submissions will open in May 2023; chapbook submissions will open in August 2022; and microchapbook submissions will open in January 2023). Learn more here.
  47. Adelaide Books
    They publish a wide range of books, including poetry collections. From January 1, 2022, they are not accepting unsolicited submissions. They are only considering manuscripts from established literary agencies or authors they have already published. You can learn more here.
  48. 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.
  49. Biblioasis
    This literary press is based in Windsor, Ontario. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  50. Encircle Publications
    To learn more, read our review here. Their publishing slate is full for 2021 to 2022.
  51. Clash Books
    Clash Books started in 2015, they also publish Clash Magazine and the literary journal Black Telephone Magazine. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They charge a submission fee of $25 for Black Telephone Magazine. Learn more here.
  52. Invisible Publishing
    Invisible Publishing publishes literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. They will reopen their unsolicited submissions on February 1, 2022. Read more here.
  53. Inanna Press
    This feminist press is based in Canada but publishes authors from around the world. They have paused new manuscript submissions until further notice. Learn more here.
  54. High Plains Press
    A respected regional press, they publish one poetry title a year in a series called “Poetry of the American West.” Learn more here.
  55. Tia Chucha Press
    A cross-cultural press that is open to poetry submissions. To learn more, refer to their submission guidelines.
  56. 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.
  57. Broken Sleep Books
    A UK-based company that publishes contemporary poetry of a more experimental slant. They are currently open to submissions. Learn more here.
  58. Deep Vellum
    They are a non-profit publisher of poetry, nonfiction, and prose, open to submissions based on queries. Learn more here.
  59. Golden Antelope
    They publish poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, and works of creative nonfiction. They reopen to submissions on May 1st. Learn more here.
  60. 404Ink
    A Scottish publisher open to international submissions, with varying reading periods. They are currently not open for submissions. Learn more here.
  61. Panhandler Books
    This Florida-based press will reopen in 2022. Learn more here.
  62. 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.
  63. Game Over Books
    A wonderful and innovative press that publishes excellent work and is periodically open to submissions. Learn more here.
  64. 11:11 Press
    A small press founded in 2018. They are open for submissions for their “Nothing Exists Alone” series from January 1, 2022 until March 31, 2022. Learn more here.
  65. 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.
  66. Shearsman Books
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Read their guidelines carefully. Learn more here.
  67. BD Studios
    They publish manuscripts mostly by queer creators, but they say they are open to submissions by all. To learn more, go here.
  68. Luath Press
    This UK-based press publishes a wide variety of genres, including poetry. Learn more here.
  69. Black Ocean
    They consider submissions of manuscripts year-round. Learn more here.
  70. University Professors Press
    To learn more about their poetry, healing, and growth series, go here.
  71. Vine Leaves Press
    They publish poetry under their Vignettes imprint. To learn more, go here.
  72. Sphinx Moth
    A brand new small press that accepts submissions from people who cannot pay contests fees. Learn more here.
  73. Against the Grain
    A UK based publisher that is only open to submissions from current residents in the UK and Ireland. They are open to submissions from the 1st through the 30th of November in 2022. To learn more go here.
  74. Alternating Currents Press
    They charge 6.99 for submissions from many authors, but they are on this list because they do an excellent job and are open to free submissions from Black and Native American authors. Learn more here.
  75. Blair
    They run a free to enter poetry contest for underrepresented writers every other year. They should re-open to submissions in 2022. Learn more here.
  76. Holland Park Press
    A great small press that publishes poetry and prose. They accept submissions in both English and Dutch. Learn more here.
  77. Line Rider Press
    Their motto is “working class poetry”. They publish individual poems and collections. They are not accepting new submissions until further notice. Learn more here.
  78. Red Sweater Press
    They publish poetry and prose by Alaskans. You can learn more here.
  79. Broadstone Books
    A small press that primarily publishes poetry. They are currently closed to submissions but plan to reopen in the spring of 2022. Learn more here.
  80. Red Mountain Press
    They are open to direct submissions. To learn more go here.
  81. Bloof Books
    A small publisher of books and chapbooks. They have wonderful covers and plan to be open to longer books in early 2022. To learn more go here.
  82. 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.
  83. Texas Review Press
    They have a number of reading periods a year, some are paid contests, some are free. Their free open reading period starts on April 1st and ends on May 31st. 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 West Virginia. To learn more go here.
  84. Green Bottle Press
    A small US press will be reading work for publication in 2023 throughout the month of June in 2022. To learn more go here.
  85. Clare Songbirds Publishing House
    A small US based press, that is currently closed to submissions, but plans to re-open soon. Learn more here.
  86. threadsuns press
    The teaching press the High Point University English Department, they are open to submissions year round. They publish poetry as well as prose. To learn more go here.
  87. Soft Skull Press
    An imprint of Catapult that is generally open to free submissions once a year for about a month. You can learn more about last years call here.
  88. Tin House
    This respected small press has an open reading period for poetry during the first weekend of May. To learn more go here.
  89. Holm Press
    They are currently reading for their Beggar Poet series and are hopeful to publish the first book in it in spring 2023. To learn more go here.
  90. Penned in the Margins
    They are only open to submissions from UK poets, or poets with clear ties to the UK. They’re currently reading proposals for books which will be published in 2022/23. Learn more here.
  91. Mad Creek Books
    The literary trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. With a mission to foster creativity, innovate, and illuminate, Mad Creek Books champions diverse and creative literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. To learn more go here
  92. The Gallery Press
    An Irish poetry press that publishes work by Irish and Ireland based poets. To learn more go here.
  93. Gaspereau Press
    This Canadian press only generally publishes Canadian authors. They do a great job publishing beautiful books. To learn more go here.
  94. BloodAxe Books
    This UK based press is established and respected and only takes on a few new poets every year and will only consider poets who have not already published full length collections but have published widely in literary journals. Learn more here.
  95. Sea Cow Press
    A small press that publishes literary fiction and poetry that was started in 2020. You can learn more here.

Also, while not free, Gold Wake Press has a good deal during their two submission periods; buy a book of theirs through Submittable, and you can submit your manuscript. Sunbury Press accepts submissions for $2.95 to cover their Submittable fees. If you are not opposed to paying submission fees this website focuses on fee-charging contests and presses, and they sometmes help writers pay the fees.

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