72 Poetry Manuscript Publishers Who Do Not Charge Reading Fees

Written by Emily Harstone | January 22, 2018

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. A few 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. 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.

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.

I try to update and add to this list once a year.

  1. A-Minor Press
    A-Minor Press was founded in December 2012. They are a small press that primarily publishes poetry. To learn more, or submit visit their website here.
  2. 8th House Publishing
    8th House Publishing is a newer publisher based out of Montreal and New York. They publish poetry, novels with a literary bent, and nonfiction. You can get a better idea of the poetry they have previously published here. You can read our full review of them here.
  3. Platypus Publishing
    This is a new UK-based publisher of poetry and prose. You can read our full review of them here.
  4. Measure Press
    Measure Press is a small press that publishes poetry, criticism, and poetry instruction as well as a semi-annual literary journal that focuses exclusively on publishing formal poetry. You can read our full review of them here.
  5. 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, visit their website here.
  6. solid objects
    solid objects is a publisher of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction based out of New York. You can read our full review here.
  7. Wiseblood
    Wiseblood is a Christian publisher that is deeply influenced by Flannery O’Connor’s work. They publish poetry and other work that has literary merit. You can read our full review here.
  8. Breakaway Books
    Breakaway Books publishes literary and thoughtful writing on sports — fiction, poetry, and essays on the athletic experience. To learn more or submit, visit their website here.
  9. Anansi Press
    This is an established Canadian press that also published nonfiction and literary fiction. However they are only open to submissions from Canadian citizens, although they do occasionally make exceptions.  You can learn more here.
  10. Another Sky
    This is an unusual publisher that gives away digital versions of their texts for free. To learn more or to submit, visit their website here.
  11. BlaxeVOX
    They publish poetry and experimental literature. Learn more at their website here.
  12. Blood Axe
    This is a British publisher of poetry manuscripts. They expect poets to have been previously published in literary journals. Learn more at their website here. Unfortunately they cannot currently accept unsolicited manuscripts from North American poets.
  13. Broadstone Books
    They are a small publisher of poetry. You can learn more on their website here.
  14. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  15. Colbalt
    A literary journal and press that is looking for poetry manuscripts. Learn more at their website.
  16. Counterpath Press
    A small not-for-profit publisher of poetry manuscripts that requires writers to query first. To learn more, visit their submission guidelines here.
  17. Deerbrook Editions
    An independent literary press publishing noteworthy or emerging authors in well-designed trade editions. They are open to submissions from August to January. You can read their submission guidelines here.
  18. Ekstais Editions
    A Canadian publisher of poetry manuscripts. They have been around for 30 years. To read their submission guidelines, go here.
  19. Hiraeth Press
    They publish between 2-4 books of nonfiction or poetry a year. To learn more, visit their submission manager here.
  20. Harbor Mountain Press
    A non-profit poetry press based in Vermont, they prefer queries before submissions. To learn more, visit their website here.
  21. Lapwing Publications
    A small publisher of poetry based out of Belfast. You can learn more here.
  22. DoubleBack Books (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. Sundress Publishing as a whole has an open reading period for books that have never been previously published, and you can either pay a 13 dollar submission fee or buy a book or broadside instead. So they are not fee free, but you get something out of it. You can learn more here.
  23. Mongrel Empire
    They are particularly interested in cross-genre and multi-disciplinary work. They appear to be closed to submissions but not to queries. To learn more about them and to submit, visit their website here.
  24. New Binary
    To learn more about them and to read their submission guidelines, go here.
  25. Winter Goose Publishing
    They are open to a wide variety of genres, including poetry. They ask that you only submit 15 poems from the manuscript initially. To learn more, go here.
  26. Coach House Books
    Coach House Books publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction by Canadian authors only. You can learn more here.
  27. Northwestern University Pre
    A university press open to unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  28. Pinyon Publishing
    Pinyon Publishing is a small company located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Learn more at their website here.
  29. Salmon Poetry
    This Irish poetry press asks that you query first. Learn more about them here.
  30. Nine Arches Press
    A small poetry publisher. To learn more, visit their website here.
  31. Skylight Press
    A British press with great covers. Learn more about what they accept here.
  32. Unicorn Press
    A California-based poetry publisher. Learn more here.
  33. Black Mountain Press
    A small publisher open to poetry and a number of other literary works. Learn more here.
  34. Canarium Books
    They are an independent press dedicated to publishing poetry by established and emerging authors from the US and abroad. Learn more here.
  35. Ninebark Press
    They are committed to publishing literature that crosses boundaries of genre, culture, and aesthetic. Visit their website here.
  36. Faber & Faber
    This respected British publisher is only open to unsolicited submissions of poetry. Learn more here.
  37. Kaya Press
    They only publish work by Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the US. To learn more, visit their website here.
  38. McSweeny’s
    Started by the writer Dave Eggers, McSweeny’s is a well known and established publisher transitioning into becoming a non-profit. To learn more, visit their website here.
  39. Able Muse
    A small publisher that publishes a wide variety of work. Learn more here.
  40. Black Ocean Press
    They generally consider manuscripts only for a limited period in the spring. Visit their website here.
  41. 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.
  42. Octopus Books
    This small publisher traditionally considers new poetry manuscripts only in April. Learn more here.
  43. BatCat Press
    A literary press that considers work in the fall. Learn more here.
  44. Tinderbox Editions
    This poetry press has at least one short fee free period every year. Usually in July. Learn more here.
  45. Lummox Press
    A small publisher of literature. They publish manuscripts and chapbooks. You can learn more here.
  46. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  47. Manic D Press
    A small publisher. Learn more here.
  48. Brick Road
    They publish full length poetry manuscripts. Learn more here.
  49. Coffee House Press
    This respected independent publisher is open to poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  50. Tarpaulin Sky
    They are open to poetry manuscripts every year for a period of time. Visit their website here.
  51. Pavilion Poetry
    Part of the University of Liverpool Press, they are committed to publishing the best in contemporary poetry. Learn more here.
  52. Milkweed Editions
    This respected non-profit publisher only considers manuscripts during yearly open reading periods. Although they are closed to submissions for 2018, they plan to reopen next year. Learn more here.
  53. Mansfield Press
    This small Canadian press is only open to submissions by Canadian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  54. New Rivers Press
    Through Minnesota State University Moorhead, New Rivers Press offers students the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Publishing. Learn more about their open submission period here.
  55. Arktoi Books
    This press only publishes work by lesbian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  56. Wake Forest University Press
    This small poetry press only publishes the work of Irish poets. To learn more, visit their website here.
  57. Prolific Press
    Accepts full-length poetry, fiction, and non-fiction manuscripts. Learn more here.
  58. Seven Stories Press
    This established independent publisher is open to poetry submissions. You can learn more here.
  59. Phoenicia Publishing
    They accept unsolicited manuscript submissions during reading periods, but only after receiving and responding to a query letter from the poet. Learn more here.
  60. Apogee Press
    They print beautiful books by a wide variety of new and established poets. You can learn more here.
  61. Boosthouse
    This small press tries to respond to all submissions within three months. To learn more, go here.
  62. Steel Toe Books
    There is no reading fee although they ask (but don’t demand) that all submitters purchase a book directly from their website. To learn more, visit their website here.
  63. Bookland Press
    This Canadian press is only open to submissions from Canadians. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and Indigenous literature. Learn more here.
  64. Holy Cow Press
    This small press has been around for forty years. They publish poetry and a variety of other genres. To learn more, go here.
  65. El Balazo Press
    El Balazo is a small press and funky fresh literary blog. They like publishing unusual stuff. To learn more, go here.
  66. 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.
  67. City Lights
    The famous publisher of many beat poets, City Lights is based out of San Fransisco and they accept unsolicited poetry manuscript proposals. You can learn more here.
  68. Inside the Castle
    This small press is always open to unsolicited submissions. You can learn more here.
  69. Four Way Books
    This established publisher has a number of open reading periods and contests each year, however only one is open to fee-free submissions, and it is only open to authors living in the five boroughs of New York City. You can learn more here.
  70. Plan B Press
    This small press is open to submissions for full length books and chapbooks. Authors must have published less than three books previously. To learn more, go here.
  71. Keyhole Books
    This small press publishes short work online as well as book- length manuscripts. To learn more, visit their website.
  72. Salò Press
    An independent micro publisher focusing on poetry & fictions of an experimental / weird / surreal nature. To learn more, go here.

Bio: Emily Harstone is the pen name of an author whose work has been published internationally by a number of respected journals. She is a professional submissions adviser. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/emilyharstone/