12 Publishers That Accept Memoir Submissions (No Agent Required)

Written by Emily Harstone

Memoir publishers that don’t require an agent to submit are few and far between. However, there are still options out there.  Some are old and respected, others are new and still figuring things out.

Not all the publishers on this list are currently open to submissions, but most are.

City Lights Books

City Lights Books is based out of San Francisco and is indeed part of the famous bookstore there. City Lights Books was started by the famous poet and writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti. They are most often linked to the beat poetry movement. They have published New York Times best-selling books, and have been a publisher for over 60 years. They publish about a dozen books each year, including a number of memoirs.

Persea Books

Persea Books is an independent book publisher based out of New York that was established in the 1970s. Since then they have gained a reputation for publishing thoughtful books in a variety of literary genres, including memoir.

Soft Skull Press

Soft Skull Press is a small respected publisher of fiction and nonfiction. They are only open to unagented submissions of nonfiction work. The nonfiction they publish includes history, memoir, literary biography, religion and philosophy, and natural history. Soft Skull Press was recently purchased by Catapult/Black Balloon.

Chicago Review Press

Chicago Review Press was founded over 40 years ago. They are an established independent publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction. They were founded by Curt Matthews and his wife, Linda Matthews. Curt was the former editor of the literary journal the Chicago Review. Their imprint Academy Chicago publishes memoirs and is open to unsolicited submissions.

Filles Vertes

Filles Vertes Publishing was founded in 2016. It is a new publisher with only a few books under their belt and a few forthcoming books as well. They have print and electronic versions of all their books. They accept submissions of middle-grade readers, young adult books, adult fiction, and adult fiction in all genres, which is a broad spectrum to publish. They have previously published a historical thriller/mystery, a memoir about life at sea, and a mystery book set in the Pacific Northwest.

Three Rooms Press

Three Rooms Press is an independent press that is inspired by “Dada, Punk, and Passion”. They were founded in 1994. They have good distribution. As one can see by their tagline, they have a very clear sense of what they like and what they are interested in publishing. They publish fiction, nonfiction (including memoirs), and YA.

Schaffner Press

Schaffner is an established press with distribution through IPG. They publish literary fiction, short fiction collections, and crime fiction. They also publish a wide variety of non-fiction including memoir, autobiography, biography, journalistic expose or narrative, true crime, art, culture, pop culture, world history, current events, science, and music.

Ad Luman Press

Ad Lumen Press was founded at American River College in Sacramento, California in 2013. The founder is author and professor Christian Kiefer. They are the only university-style press based out of a community college in the United States. They have an open reading period every year where they accept submissions of previously unpublished, full-length literary novels and memoirs from authors. They are open to submissions every summer.

Whiskey Tit

Whiskey Tit is a small press with a focus on publishing what might be difficult to publish elsewhere. Most of what they have published so far can be categorized as literary fiction or memoir.


New Harbinger

New Harbinger is an established publisher of self-help books that focus on psychology, health, and personal growth. The books they publish are grounded in science, research, and clinical practice. They have been around for over 35 years. They publish self-help books, psychology workbooks, professional books, memoirs, and gift books, all focused on mental health. Many but not all of their books are based on the cognitive-behavioral approach.

Clash Books


Clash Books started in 2015, they also publish Clash Magazine and the literary journal Trash Panda. They publish fiction, nonfiction (including memoir), and poetry.

Blink Publishing

One of Blink Publishing’s tag lines is “From the high profile to the leftfield, we publish across a broad spectrum of tastes and interests.”

This does seem rather accurate based on their catalog. They publish a lot of memoirs, by people like Lilly Allen, the pop musician, and Ollie Ollerton, a well known former special forces soldier, yet they also publish books like Traces by Patricia Wiltshire, a forensic scientist, and Running for My Life, a memoir of an unlikely runner, Rachel Ann Cullen.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsThe 2019 Guide to Manuscript PublishersSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The Authors Publish Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Publishing.

She occasionally teaches a course on manuscript publishing, as well as a course on publishing in literary journals.



 

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