85 Poetry Manuscript Publishers Who Do Not Charge Reading Fees

Written by Emily Harstone

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. 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.
  2. Platypus Press
    This is a UK-based publisher of poetry and prose. You can read our full review of them here.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 (You can visit their main page here).
  7. House of 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.
  8. BlazeVOX
    They publish poetry and experimental literature. Learn more at their website here.
  9. 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.
  10. Zoo Cake Press
    A small publisher of poetry, there website is a tumblr but a number of their books have been reviewed by respected literary journals. You can learn more on their website here.
  11. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  12. Colbalt
    A literary journal and press that is looking for poetry manuscripts. Learn more at their website.
  13. 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.
  14. Deerbrook Editions
    An independent literary press publishing noteworthy or emerging authors in well-designed trade editions. They are usually open to submissions from August to September. You can read their submission guidelines here.
  15. Ekstasis Editions
    A Canadian publisher of poetry manuscripts. They have been around since 1982. To read their submission guidelines, go here.
  16. Harbor Mountain Press
    A nonprofit poetry press based in Vermont, they prefer queries before submissions. To learn more, visit their website here.
  17. Lapwing Publications
    A small publisher of poetry based out of Belfast. You can learn more here.
  18. Doubleback Books (Sundress Publications)
    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 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.
  19. 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.
  20. New Binary Press
    To learn more about them and to read their submission guidelines, go here.
  21. 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.
  22. Coach House Books
    Coach House Books publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction primarily by Canadian authors. You can learn more here.
  23. Northwestern University Press
    A university press open to unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  24. Cornerstone Press
    They accept yearly fee free submissions for their Portage Poetry series. Learn more here.
  25. Salmon Poetry
    This Irish poetry press asks that you query first. Learn more about them here.
  26. Nine Arches Press
    A small poetry publisher. To learn more, visit their website here.
  27. Unicorn Press
    A North Carolina based poetry publisher. Learn more here.
  28. Black Mountain Press
    A small publisher open to poetry and a number of other literary works. They charge a small fee for submittable submissions, but sending through the post is free. Learn more here.
  29. Canarium Books
    They are an independent press dedicated to publishing poetry by established and emerging authors from the US and abroad. Learn more here.
  30. Ninebark Press
    They are committed to publishing literature that crosses boundaries of genre, culture, and aesthetic. Visit their website here.
  31. Faber & Faber
    This respected British publisher is only open to unsolicited submissions of poetry. Learn more here.
  32. Kaya Press
    They only publish work by Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the US. To learn more, visit their website here.
  33. 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.
  34. Able Muse
    A small publisher that publishes a wide variety of work. Learn more here.
  35. 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.
  36. Acre Books
    Acre Books is an imprint of The Cincinnati Review. They focus on publishing literary fiction and poetry. They are interested in novels and short story collections. They are not accepting submissions of full manuscripts. They ask that authors query first. Read our review here.
  37. BatCat Press
    A literary press that considers work in the winter. Learn more here.
  38. Tinderbox Editions
    This poetry press has at least one short fee-free period every year. Usually in December for poetry. Learn more here.
  39. Lummox Press
    A small publisher of literature. They publish manuscripts and chapbooks. You can learn more here.
  40. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  41. Astrophil Press
    A small press based out of the University of South Dakota. They have at least one open reading period a year. Learn more here.
  42. Coffee House Press
    This respected independent publisher is open to poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  43. Tarpaulin Sky
    They are open to poetry manuscripts every year for a period of time. Visit their website here.
  44. Pavilion Poetry
    Part of the University of Liverpool Press, they are committed to publishing the best in contemporary poetry. Learn more here.
  45. Milkweed Editions
    This respected non-profit publisher only considers manuscripts during yearly open reading periods. Learn more here.
  46. Mansfield Press
    This small Canadian press is only open to submissions by Canadian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  47. Arktoi Books
    This press only publishes work by lesbian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  48. Wake Forest University Press
    This small poetry press only publishes the work of Irish poets. To learn more, visit their website here.
  49. Prolific Press
    Accepts full-length poetry, fiction, and nonfiction manuscripts. Learn more here.
  50. Seven Stories Press
    This established independent publisher is open to poetry submissions. You can learn more here.
  51. 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.
  52. Apogee Press
    They print beautiful books by a wide variety of new and established poets. You can learn more here.
  53. BookLand Press
    This Canadian press is only open to submissions from Canadians. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and Indigenous literature. Learn more here.
  54. Holy Cow! Press
    This small press has been around for over forty years. They publish poetry and a variety of other genres. To learn more, go here (you can access their main page here).
  55. Whisky Tit
    Whisky is a small press that publishes a variety of quirky literary work. They have just started to publish poetry. They are open to submissions year round. To learn more, go here.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Inside the Castle
    This small press is always open to unsolicited submissions. You can learn more here.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. Keyhole Books
    This small press publishes short work online as well as book- length manuscripts. To learn more, visit their website.
  62. Salò Press
    An independent micro publisher focusing on poetry & fictions of an experimental / weird / surreal nature. To learn more, go here.
  63. ECW Press
    They are only open to fiction and poetry books submitted by Canadians; there are no citizenship restrictions on writers submitting nonfiction. Learn more here.
  64. Disorder Press
    This small press is looking for unapologetic writing. Learn more here.
  65. Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
    They are seeking manuscripts longer than 25 pages. Learn more here.
  66. University of Saint Katherine Press
    They publish poetry, essays, and short fiction, as well as academic books in the humanities and social sciences, science, technology, medicine, and education. They are open to submissions in all of these categories. All of the books they publish reflect on Christianity in some way. Read our full review here, and see their guidelines here.
  67. Cormorant Books
    They publish poetry books by Canadian authors only. Learn more here.
  68. Two Plum Press
    Two Plum Press produces slim volumes of literary works both contemporary and classic. Titles include works of poetry, essays, fiction, philosophy, visual art, travel and food writing. You can learn more about them here.
  69. Indigo Dreams
    They have one open reading period per year. To learn more go here.
  70. Nightingale & Sparrow
    They publish full length and chapbook length work. They have different reading periods for different length work. The full length period this year is in May. You can visit their website here.
  71. Biblioasis
    This literary press is based in Windsor, Ontario. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  72. Encircle Publications
    To learn more read our review here.
  73. Clash Books
    Clash Books started in 2015, they also publish Clash Magazine and the literary journal Trash Panda. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Learn more here.
  74. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    They are open to direct submissions of poetry and literary fiction. They are an imprint of Macmillan, one of the Big Five publishers. Read more here.
  75. Invisible Publishing
    Invisible Publishing publishes literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Read more here
  76. Gival Press
    They are open to submissions of manuscript queries from May to August, generally. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry manuscripts. Read more here
  77. Inanna Press
    This feminist press is based in Canada but publishes authors from around the world. Learn more here.
  78. Holland Park Press
    They publish books in English and in Dutch. They are open to poetry submissions. Learn more here.
  79. Peneract Press
    A UK based publisher of formal, visual, and constrained poetry. Learn more here.
  80. Gray Borders Books
    They publish books that confront and challenge current social norms. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Learn more here.
  81. University of Pittsburgh Press
    The Pitt Poetry Series publishes one book a year but you can only submit if you have previously published a full length manuscript. Learn more here.
  82. High Plains Press
    A respected regional press, they publish one poetry title a year in a series called “Poetry of the American West.” Learn more here.
  83. Tia Churcha Press
    A cross cultural press that is open to poetry submissions. Learn more here.
  84. Alaska Literary Series
    Published by the University of Alaska Press this series publishes only work by those with a connection to or writing about Alaska or the circumpolar north. Learn more here.
  85. Broken Sleep Books
    A UK based company that publishes contemporary poetry of a more experimental slant. Learn more here

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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