90 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. Some have newsletters that notify potential submitters when they re-open. If that is the case I note that. On most of our lists it isn’t unusual for one or two publishers to be closed, but the numbers are much higher here, firstly because COVID-19 has particularly impacted the very small press industry that has long relied on conferences and book fairs, and secondly because poetry publishers generally have shorter submission windows. 

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. House of Anansi Press
    This is an established Canadian press that also publishes nonfiction and literary fiction. They are only open to submissions from Canadian citizens, and residents. You can learn more here.
  5. BlazeVOX
    They publish poetry and experimental literature. Learn more at their website here.
  6. Platypus Press
    This is a UK-based publisher of poetry and prose. At the time of publishing this list, they are temporarily closed to submissions You can read our full review of them here.
  7. Carcanet
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. At the time of posting the list they are closed to submissions, but they may reopen in the summer. To learn more about their submission guidelines, visit their website here.
  8. 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.
  9. Ekstasis Editions
    A Canadian publisher of poetry manuscripts. They have been around since 1982. To read their submission guidelines, go here.
  10. Harbor Mountain Press
    A nonprofit poetry press based in Vermont, they prefer queries before submissions. To learn more, visit their website here.
  11. Lapwing Publications
    A small publisher of poetry based out of Belfast. You can learn more here.
  12. solid objects
    solid objects is a publisher of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction based out of New York. They are currently closed to submissions but should reopen this year. You can read our full review here.
  13. Doubleback Books and 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 with submissions made via email. Sundress Publishing as a whole has an open reading period for books that have never been previously published, and they offer free submissions to BIPOC poets. You can learn more here.
  14. 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. They are currently closed to submissions but you can subscribe to their newsletter to learn when they reopen to submissions in 2021. To learn more, go here.
  15. Coach House Books
    Coach House Books publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction primarily by Canadian authors. You can learn more here.
  16. Northwestern University Press
    A university press open to unsolicited poetry manuscript submissions. Learn more here.
  17. Cornerstone Press
    They accept fee-free submissions for their Portage Poetry series. Learn more here.
  18. Salmon Poetry
    This Irish poetry press asks that you query first. They are currently closed to new submissions but plan to reopen later in 2021, even though they have publications lined up till 2024. Learn more about them here.
  19. Nine Arches Press
    A small poetry publisher. To learn more, visit their website here.
  20. Unicorn Press
    A North Carolina-based poetry publisher. They have two reading periods a year and do not consider work outside of that. In 2021 those periods are 1 October to 31 December, and 1 April to 30 June. Learn more here.
  21. 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.
  22. Canarium Books
    They are an independent press dedicated to publishing poetry by established and emerging authors from the US and abroad. At the time of writing this article the submission period is closed. They note it on their contact page when they reopen. Learn more here.
  23. Faber & Faber
    This respected British publisher is open to unsolicited submissions of poetry only. Learn more here.
  24. Kaya Press
    They only publish work by Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the US. To learn more, visit their website here.
  25. McSweeny’s
    Started by the writer Dave Eggers, McSweeny’s is a well known and established publisher. At the time of writing they are temporarily closed to submissions. To learn more, visit their website here.
  26. Able Muse
    A small publisher that publishes a wide variety of work. Learn more here.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. BatCat Press
    A literary press that is planning to reopen to submissions later in 2021. Learn more here.
  30. Tinderbox Editions
    This poetry press has at least one short fee-free period every year in summer and winter. They ask that only those that can’t afford to pay submit with the fee-free option, on the honor system. Learn more here.
  31. Persea Books
    A respected literary publisher open to queries. Read our review here.
  32. Astrophil Press
    A small press based out of the University of South Dakota. They have at least one open reading period a year, they do not accept unsolicited submissions outside of it. Learn more here.
  33. Coffee House Press
    This respected independent publisher is open to poetry manuscript submissions at different time periods every year. They have a newsletter that notifies you when they open. Learn more here.
  34. Tarpaulin Sky
    They are open to poetry manuscripts every year for a period of time. Visit their website here.
  35. Pavilion Poetry
    Part of the University of Liverpool Press, they are committed to publishing the best in contemporary poetry. Learn more here.
  36. Milkweed Editions
    This respected non-profit publisher only considers fee-free manuscript submissions for the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, which is only available to poets based in the upper Midwest. The prize is open till 15 of February 2021. Learn more here.
  37. Mansfield Press
    This small Canadian press is only open to submissions by Canadian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  38. Arktoi BooksThis press only publishes work by lesbian authors. To learn more, visit their website here.
  39. Wake Forest University Press
    This small poetry press only publishes the work of Irish poets. To learn more, visit their website here.
  40. Prolific Press
    Accepts full-length poetry, fiction, and nonfiction manuscripts. Learn more here.
  41. 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.
  42. Apogee Press
    They print beautiful books by a wide variety of new and established poets. They are currently not open to submissions. You can learn more here.
  43. BookLand Press
    This Canadian press is only open to submissions from Canadians. They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and Indigenous literature. Learn more here.
  44. 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.
  45. Whisky Tit
    Whisky Tit 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.
  46. 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.
  47. City Lights
    The famous publisher of many beat poets, City Lights is based out of San Francisco and they accept unsolicited poetry manuscript proposals. At the time of publishing this article they are on a COVID-19 initiated hiatus on submissions but plan to reopen. You can learn more here.
  48. Inside the Castle
    This small press has at least one submission period a year. You can learn more here.
  49. Salò Press
    An independent micro publisher focusing on poetry & fictions of an experimental / weird / surreal nature. To learn more, go here.
  50. 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.
  51. Disorder Press
    This small press is looking for unapologetic writing. Learn more here.
  52. Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
    They are seeking manuscripts longer than 25 pages. After six years of being open to unsolicited submissions they are taking a temporary break. Learn more here.
  53. 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.
  54. Wolsak and Wynn
    They publish books by Canadian authors mainly, and discourage non-Canadian residents from submitting. Learn more here.
  55. 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.
  56. Indigo Dreams
    They have one open reading period per year. This year’s has just closed, but I’ve left it on this list because the next reading period will likely be at the very start of the year, and before this list is update. am leaving it on this list, because it won’t be updated till January 2022. To learn more, go here.
  57. 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.
  58. Biblioasis
    This literary press is based in Windsor, Ontario. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can learn more here.
  59. Encircle Publications
    To learn more, read our review here. At the time of publishing they are closed to submissions but plan to reopen later in 2021.
  60. Clash Books
    Clash Books started in 2015, they also publish Clash Magazine and the literary journal Black Telephone Magazine. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Learn more here.
  61. Invisible Publishing
    Invisible Publishing publishes literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Read more here.
  62. Inanna Press
    This feminist press is based in Canada but publishes authors from around the world. Learn more here.
  63. Peneract Press
    A UK-based publisher of formal, visual, and constrained poetry. Learn more here.
  64. Grey Borders Books
    They publish books that confront and challenge current social norms. They publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They are currently closed but plan to reopen later in 2021. Learn more here.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Tia Chucha Press
    A cross-cultural press that is open to poetry submissions. Learn more here.
  68. 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.
  69. Broken Sleep Books
    A UK-based company that publishes contemporary poetry of a more experimental slant. Learn more here.
  70. Deep Vellum
    They are a non-profit publisher of poetry, nonfiction, and prose, open to submissions based on queries. Learn more here.
  71. Golden Antelope
    They publish poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, and works of creative nonfiction. They reopen to submissions on May 1st. Learn more here.
  72. 404Ink
    A Scottish publisher open to international submissions, with varying reading periods. Learn more here.
  73. New Rivers Press
    This literary leaning press, located at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is open a few different times a year for general submissions. Learn more here.
  74. Panhandler Books
    This Florida-based press will in all likelihood reopen to submissions on January 1st 2022, before I update this review. So I’m including a link to it for that reason, plus they have a very nice magazine. Learn more here.
  75. Green Writers Press
    They are open to submissions from January till June 1st of poetry manuscripts, and they run the literary journal The Hopper. Learn more here.
  76. Game Over Books
    A wonderful and innovative press that publishes excellent work and is periodically open to submissions. Learn more here.
  77. 11:11 Press
    A small press founded in 2018, they are open to submissions till March 31st this year. Learn more here.
  78. April Gloaming
    They publish southern writing but they have varying definitions of what that is. Learn more here.
  79. Bad Betty Press
    They publish chapbooks and full length manuscripts by Black, Brown, and Asian writers. Learn more here.
  80. Shearsman Books
    A UK-based publisher of poetry. Read their guidelines carefully. Learn more here.
  81. BD Studios
    They publish manuscripts mostly by queer creators, but they say they are open to submissions by all. To learn more, go here.
  82. Luath Press
    This UK-based press publishes a wide variety of genres, including poetry. Learn more here.
  83. Black Ocean
    They consider submissions of manuscripts year-round. Learn more here.
  84. Brighten Press
    This Texas-based press publishes fiction and poetry for adults and children. Learn more here.
  85. University Professors Press
    To learn more about their poetry, healing, and growth series, go here.
  86. Vine Leaves Press
    They publish poetry under their Vignettes imprint. To learn more, go here.
  87. Xi Draconis
    This small press pays in eight author copies and a hundred dollars. Learn more here.
  88. Riot in Your Throat
    Founded in 2020, this brand new press is open to submissions at various periods throughout the year. They focus on publishing feminist work. Learn more here.
  89. Pski’s Porch Publishing
    They have open reading periods in January and July. Learn more here.
  90. Propertius Press
    A non-for-profit press that accepts submissions through Submittable. Learn more here.

Also, while not free, Gold Wake Press has a good deal during their two submission periods; buy a book of theirs through Submittable, and you can submit your manuscript. Sunbury Press accepts submissions for $2.95 to cover their Submittable fees.


Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Submissions, Submit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2020 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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