Eleven Publishers of Literary Fiction Manuscripts

Written by Emily Harstone

Literary fiction is one of the harder genres to get published in without an agent. There are smaller presses that specialize in it, but unfortunately more and more of those presses are now charging reading fees.

However, there are still good options of authors who are unagented and are averse to paying reading fees. The eleven manuscript publishers on this list cover a wide range. Some are small presses that only publish a few works of literary fiction a year, others are large established presses that just focus on literary fiction along with one or two other genres, others publish literary fiction as part of a wide variety of genres.

Not all of these publishers are currently open to submissions, but most are.


BlazeVOX is a publisher based out of Buffalo, New York. They are a small independent publisher that focuses on publishing innovative literary fiction and poetry manuscripts.

Chicago Review Press

One of the largest publishers of literary fiction open to unsolicited submissions, Chicago Review Press has excellent distribution and has been around for over 40 years.

Ceder Fort

Cedar Fort is a print and electronic publisher based out of Salt Lake City. They are the second largest publisher in Utah. They publish over 150 books a year. Their books cover a wide range of topics, from cookbooks to juvenile fiction to literary fiction.

JollyFish Press

JollyFish Press was started in 2012. They are based out of Provo, Utah. Jollyfish has a major distributor and a large staff for a relatively new press. Their authors have won numerous awards. Jollyfish publishes commercial and literary fiction, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, humor, horror, thriller, middle-grade, and young adult. They also publish motivational non-fiction, self-help, biography, and memoir.

Platypus Press

Platypus Press is a publisher of prose and poetry, all literary. They are a new publisher based out of the UK. Although now that they have been around two years they have established a track record and published a total of 13 books, most with excellent covers.

Black Balloon Publishing

Black Balloon Publishing is an imprint of Catapult Books. They have online and print distribution. Their books tend to be well reviewed and many have been blurbed by famous established authors. They publish literary fiction, non-fiction, and 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 literary fiction.

Seven Stories Press

Seven Stories Press is an independent publisher that has been around for twenty years. They have published a number of highly respected books. Their books are distributed by Random House. They take their name from the seven authors whose work has influenced and impacted Seven Stories Press the most.

Those authors are Octavia Butler,  Nelson Algren, Annie Ernaux, Gary Null, Charley Rosen, Vassilis Vassilikos, and Project Censored. Based on that list you should have a good idea about what kind of work they are looking to publish.

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 non-fiction. They have published over 10 books at this point in time, and seem to put a fair amount of effort into promoting their author’s work through launches, readings, and links to additional publications. They also seem to be very good at getting prestigious authors to provide blurbs for their books. Their covers tend to be well designed and aesthetically pleasing.

Casperian Books

Casperian Books is a small independent publisher of fiction. They are a fairly small company but they seem to be doing something right because they have been around for eight years. They have an easy to navigate website and they publish books primarily in print.

Absey & Company

Absey & Company is currently looking for full length manuscripts to publish. Absey & Company has published many award winning books in the last decade. They are an established small press that publishes full length works of poetry and prose. They are a print publisher that has yet to venture into e-books. They publish work for children, teens, and adults. They are interested in publishing literary works of fiction, poetry, and language arts.