Tin House: Accepting Manuscript Submissions Soon

Written by Emily Harstone

Important: Read This Before Submitting Your Manuscript

Seven common manuscript submissions mistakes that are very easy to avoid.

Tin House is an established and respected small press. They used to be responsible for one of the most respected and established literary journals, although that closed a few years ago. They still run residencies, workshops, and bookstore in Portland, Or. They still publish a wide variety of respected and admired books, including some bestsellers. They publish fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, and poetry. This includes essay and short story collections, as well as novels. They also are open to graphic nonfiction and graphic novels.

They have excellent distribution, have published some of my favorite books in the last decade, and publish books with appealing covers. They recently brought on one of my favorite writers, Hanif Abdurraqib, as their Editor-at-Large, and he will acquire three nonfiction books  a year for them.

This is what Abdurraqib has said about what he’s searching for:

“My world was built reading writers who wrote, relentlessly, away from the comfortable center and into the so-called ‘margins,’ where one could be a little more free, a little more playful, a lot braver. Punk writers who scrawled things in zines, aspiring rappers who filled notebooks that few people would ever read, and so on. This is the work that renews me and that challenges my own writing.”⁠

In the past decade they have not really been open to unsolicited submissions, but recently they have announced that they will be open to three submission periods a year for fee-free submissions in the hopes of finding more previously underrepresented writers including “—but not limited to—those who are Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, neurodivergent, trans and LGBTQIA+, debuting after 40, and without an MFA.”

In order to submit you must not currently have an agent, and you cannot have previously published a book (although chapbooks are permissible).

The following is their proposed schedule for reading periods in 2021-22:

First weekend in September (9/4–9/5, 2021): Nonfiction (including Memoirs and Graphic nonfiction)

First weekend in January (1/1–1/3, 2022): Debut novels (including Graphic novels)

  • Note: this deadline is extended due to the holiday

First weekend in May (5/7–5/8, 2022): Poetry collections + Essay collections + Short Story collections

Usually we only review a press when they are open to submissions, but given our publication schedule and their limited submission windows, that was not the case in this particular situation.

To learn more or to submit (during a reading period), go here.

Emily Harstone
is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2021 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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