Written by Emily Harstone January 30th, 2023

95 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. Some 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 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, but I still spent about half an hour looking into each press.

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.

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. Sea Cow Press
    A small press that publishes literary fiction and poetry that was started in 2020. You can learn more here.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Their first submission period in 2023 just closed, but they often have a second one in June. To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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 will be open to submissions in 2023 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.
  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 2023, they will be open from May 1st through June 30th. Learn more here.
  14. Faber & 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 2023 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.
  17. BatCat Press
    A literary press that is planning to reopen to submissions inearly 2023. Learn more here.
  18. Tinderbox Editions
    This poetry press has at least one short fee-free period for poetry every year (and another for prose)  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.
  19. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  20. 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.
  21. 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. Their next reading period for poetry manuscripts starts at 9 a.m. CT on May 1, 2023. Learn more here.
  22. 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. Learn more here.
  23. Mansfield Press
    This small Canadian press is only open to submissions by Canadian authors. To learn more, read their submissions guidelines here.
  24. 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.
  25. BookLand Press
    This Canadian press is only open to submissions from Canadians. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and Indigenous literature. Learn more here.
  26. 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.
  27. Inside the Castle
    This small press has at least one submission period a year generally, and in 2023 the open reading period started on January 1st and will end on March 1st. You can learn more here.
  28. 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.
  29. Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
    They look for manuscripts longer than 25 pages. They are open to submissions in 2023 till March 1st. Learn more here.
  30. Lamar University Press
    They publish poetry, fiction, and drama. You can learn more here.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Nightingale & Sparrow
    They publish full-length, chapbook, and microchapbook length work. They have different reading periods for different length work. They have not announced a schedule for this year. Learn more here.
  34. 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.
  35. Biblioasis
    This literary press is based in Windsor, Ontario. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  36. Encircle Publications
    To learn more, read our review here. Their publishing slate is full through 2023.
  37. 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.
  38. Invisible Publishing
    Invisible Publishing publishes literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Read more here.
  39. Tia Chucha Press
    A cross-cultural press that is open to poetry submissions. To learn more, refer to their submission guidelines.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Deep Vellum
    They are a non-profit publisher of poetry, nonfiction, and prose, open to submissions based on queries. Learn more here.
  43. Golden Antelope
    They publish poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, and works of creative nonfiction. They reopen to submissions on April 30th. Learn more here.
  44. 404Ink
    A Scottish publisher open to international submissions, with varying reading periods. They are currently not open for submissions. Learn more here.
  45. 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.
  46. Changes Press
    They run a fee-free contest for The Bergman Prize which awards money and publication to one author every year. The reading period generally opens up on September 1st. You can sign up to be notified here.
  47. Game Over Books
    An innovative press that publishes excellent work and is periodically open to submissions. In 2023, their poetry reading period will open on May 1st and close on 31st of May. Learn more here.
  48. 11:11 Press
    A small press founded in 2018. They have yet to list their 2023 reading period. Learn more here.
  49. 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.
  50. Shearsman Books
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Read their guidelines carefully. Learn more here.
  51. BD Studios
    They publish manuscripts mostly by queer creators, but they say they are open to submissions by all. To learn more, go here.
  52. Luath Press
    This UK-based press publishes a wide variety of genres, including poetry. Learn more here.
  53. Black Ocean
    They have a number of submission periods some with limited demographics others without. Learn more here.
  54. Vine Leaves Press
    They publish poetry under their Vignettes imprint. They are currently closed to submissions till September 1st 2023. To learn more, go here.
  55. Against the Grain
    A UK-based publisher that is only open to submissions from current residents in the UK and Ireland. To learn more, go here.
  56. Alternating Currents Press
    They charge $5.99 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.
  57. Blair
    They run a free to enter poetry contest for underrepresented writers every other year. They should re-open to submissions in 2024. Learn more here.
  58. Holland Park Press
    A great small press that publishes poetry and prose. They accept submissions in both English and Dutch. Learn more here.
  59. Broadstone Books
    A small press that primarily publishes poetry. Learn more here.
  60. 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.
  61. Texas Review Press
    They have a number of reading periods a year, some are paid contests, some are free. Their free open reading period ends this year on February 28th. 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 South Carolina, next year’s state is Kentucky. To learn more, go here.
  62. Green Bottle Press
    A small UK press will be reading work for publication in 2023 throughout the month of June. To learn more, go here.
  63. Clare Songbirds Publishing House
    A small US based press that is currently closed to submissions, but plans to re-open soon. Learn more here.
  64. Jackleg Press
    This small press primarily focuses on publishing poetry and short story collections. They plan to reopen to submissions in spring 2023. You can learn more here.
  65. 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.
  66. Tin House
    This respected small press has an open reading period for poetry during the first weekend of May. To learn more, go here.
  67. Penned in the Margins
    They are only open to submissions from UK poets, or poets with clear ties to the UK. They’re currently closed to submissions but plan to reopen. Learn more here.
  68. word west
    A small press that publishes literary work including poetry. To learn more, go here.
  69. The Gallery Press
    An Irish poetry press that publishes work by Irish and Ireland based poets. To learn more, go here.
  70. Gaspereau Press
    This Canadian press only generally publishes Canadian authors. They do a great job publishing beautiful books. To learn more, go here.
  71. BloodAxe Books
    This UK-based press is established and respected, 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.
  72. Trail to Table Books
    Trail to Table Books, an imprint of Wandering Aengus Press publishes a few poetry books a year, and is open to submissions during the month of March. You can read their submission guidelines here.
  73. 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.
  74. BlazeVOX
    They publish poetry and experimental literature. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.
  75. 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.
  76. Fernwood Press
    A small royalty-paying press that publishes poetry. You can learn more here.
  77. 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.
  78. Better Than Starbucks
    This long-running literary journal is now publishing manuscripts. You can learn more here.
  79. Radix Media
    A worker-owned press that is occasionally open for fee-free poetry submissions, and sometimes charges. Always check before filling out the submission form. More details here.
  80. Woodhall Press
    A small press that publishes a variety of work including poetry. You can read our review of the press here.
  81. Wayne State University Press
    This university press publishes poetry by poets based in Michigan. Learn more here.
  82. Circling Rivers
    A small press that is open to poetry and nonfiction submissions. Learn more here.
  83. 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.
  84. Salt
    This established small press is happy to consider full-length poetry collections by Welsh, Scottish, Irish or English citizens. Learn more here.
  85. 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. They publish quality poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Learn more here
  86. 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.
  87. Brick Mantle Books
    A small press that focuses on poetry. They are currently closed to submissions. Learn more here.
  88. 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. For their catalog, go here.
  89. Emp Publishing
    A quirky press. You can get a feel for what they are seeking here.
  90. Backroom Window Press
    A small publisher located in Saint Louis, Missouri, they published their first book not by the editor in 2021. Their reading period every year starts in December and closes when they have found the manuscripts they plan to publish in the following year.  You can learn more here.
  91. 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.
  92. Ben Yehuda Press
    They only publish the work of Jewish poets (and writers). Learn more here.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.

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. If you are not opposed to paying submission fees, this website focuses on fee-charging contests and presses, 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 SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2022 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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