Written by Emily Harstone September 23rd, 2021

Trouble Department: Accepting Manuscript Submissions Until September 30th

Trouble Department is a small literary press, that is open to submissions through September 30th. Every year their open reading period is during the month of September. They started publishing work in 2019. Their goal is to publish 2-4 titles a year. They are based in Colorado.

They do not appear to have distribution, but they have an easy-to-navigate site. You can get a better feel for it here.

They publish poetry, both chapbook-length and full manuscripts. Poetry collections must be between 30 and 150 pages in total length. Poets they particularly enjoy include Hanif Abdurraqib, Fatimah Asghar, Kendra DeColo, Ilya Kaminsky, and Danez Smith.

They also publish fiction, including full and chapbook-length collections of short stories, novels, novellas, and experimental works. Fiction manuscripts should be between 15,000 and 80,000 words in total length. In terms of fiction, the authors they particularly appreciate include Kelly Link, Aimee Bender, Carmen Maria Machado, Lydia Millet, and Jonathan Lethem.

Finally, just this year, they’ve started to publish nonfiction, although their requirements for that are very specific and are as follows: “Starting with our 2021 open submissions period, we will be considering nature field guides that cover specific regions within North America. We are particularly interested in work pertaining to foraging and herbalism, as well as guides to specific regional biomes and habitats (e.g. high desert, tall grass prairies, tidal pools), but we are open to any topics within the broader fields of zoology, botany, mycology, geology and other ecological categories. We are also interested in fictional works that use a similar field guide format (see above guidelines for fiction). Field guides intended to have illustrations or photography must have all images included in the submission, as we are not currently able to source the images ourselves.” Field guides must be over 30 pages in length, including images.

Do not submit to them unless your work seems like a good fit.

If they accept your work they pay between $200-500 advance depending on length, plus “a standard royalty” (although they do not go into details in terms of what that means).

To learn more or to submit, 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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