Written by Emily Harstone February 29th, 2024

Baobab Press: Accepting Manuscript Submissions

Baobab Press is a small press that publishes a wide variety of material. Full disclaimer, even before we get into the review proper, they charge for submissions in some genres currently, this includes adult fiction and poetry manuscripts. As part of our guiding principles we don’t cover presses that charge overall, but as they are open to free unagented submissions in a variety of other genres including creative nonfiction manuscripts, children’s books, and comics (including cartoons and graphic narratives), they do qualify to be listed with us.

In this review I’m not covering any of the genres they charge a fee to submit to, but I am covering the press as a whole. Their website is well organized and easy to navigate. They are upfront about their masthead, which lists Christine E. Kelly as the Publisher & Executive Editor, Danilo John Thomas as the Managing Editor & Prose Editor, and Laura Wetherington as the Poetry Editor.

Christine E. Kelly doesn’t have much listed experience online that I could find outside of running Baobab, but she does also run a bookstore in Reno Nevada called Sundance Bookstore. The websites for both companies link to and promote each other, which is a good sign. The bookstore appears very active and is well reviewed on Google. I’m not sure what kind of distribution Baobab has outside of this bookstore.

For most of their submission guidelines and their about page, they say they are seeking “books that communicate and support their themes through new and well-articulated means. We like risk. We like invention. More importantly, we look for a quality of thought that adds depth to a writer’s concerns. And although it is not an official requirement, we tend to select literary work with a strong sense of place at its core. Ultimately, our goal is to publish work that resonates in the contemporary climate and that will continue to resonate in years to come.”

It’s a little strange that they use this for children’s books, and comic books, as well as creative nonfiction as the statement feels like it more accurately describes some categories of what they publish than others.

They are seeking comic manuscripts or graphic novels with finished artwork that is between 50-150 pages in length. Currently the only comics they’ve published are collections of Pickles cartoons.

They ask that you let them know if any of the comics have been published in a previous format. They are not interested in reprinting previous books or work that has already been published in a collected format. Please submit one manuscript at a time.

They don’t have many children’s books in their catalog so far, but you can get a feel for what they have published by going to their catalog here, and selecting the last listed category, children’s. They are only interested in submissions of picture books and board books.

In terms of creative nonfiction they are open to submissions of memoir, hybrid, and collections of essays that are between 125-400 pages in length. They only have a few books in their catalogue in the nonfiction section.

As an aside they are closing to submissions for an anthology of Women’s Novellas on May 1st at 3 AM ET. If interested please read those guidelines here.

To read their full submission details go here. They prefer submissions via Submittable but if you need to send a print version they have a mailing address (which is not coincidentally the bookstores address). Please only submit if you feel like your work is a good fit.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Subm   issionsSubmit, 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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