Four Letterpress Chapbook Publishers

Written by A Guest Author

Stephanie Katz

Old-fashioned letterpress chapbooks are making a comeback as writers and readers appreciate handmade books as true pieces of art. Many famous poets, such as Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe, self-published letterpress chapbooks.

Though many letterpress companies will print self-published chapbooks for a fee, the list of letterpresses below are actual publishers that accept manuscript submissions, pay their authors, and print small runs of poetry, prose, and art letterpress chapbooks. Many, but not all, of these publishers select the chapbooks they publish through annual contests. For payment, authors receive complimentary copies, and some publishers also pay authors a few hundred dollars up front of royalties on sales.

Akin to chapbooks are broadsides, which are one-page prints of a single poem. Broadsides are often signed by the poet and framed like a piece of art. A few publishers have broadside contests, including Tupelo Press, Omnidawn, Under a Warm Green Linden, and Sundress Publications, the publisher of the prestigious Best of the Net Anthology.

The following publishers DO NOT charge submission fees.

Glass Poetry Press

This press publishes 4-6 poetry chapbooks a year plus a free literary journal. They seek poetry that “enacts the artistic and creative precision of glass.” See their literary journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry to see what styles they love. As an added perk, chapbook authors receive a complimentary copy of the other chapbooks published that year.

Submissions: March 1-31

Payment: 10 copies plus 15% royalties on sales

Print Run: 100-200 copies

Chapbook price to public: $8.50 ($7.50 if pre-ordered) or $35 for a yearly subscription of 5 chapbooks

Porkbelly Press

Letterpress, lithograph, and screenprint are all utilized by this micro press for their covers and interior pages are printed regularly. Poetry, prose, and graphic narrative manuscripts are accepted, and you can submit in three genres per reading period. The editors are partial to poetry and prose “leaning heavily toward fabulism, folklore, & magic” as well as confessional poetry, and they also consider collaborative works. They publish 4-10 titles per year and a handful of broadsides.

Submissions: January 1-31 for chapbooks 12-28 pages, July 1-31 for microchapbooks 8-10 pages

Payment: 10 copies and a discount on additional copies

Print run: 200

Chapbook price to public: $7.50-$10

Red Bird Press

Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and multi-genre manuscripts are all considered for publication by this press. Three chapbooks in each genre are published every year. The press was founded by a group of MFA graduates in 2010, and they’ve since published over 90 chapbooks from authors all over the world.

Submissions: July 1-31

Payment: 5 copies and royalties specified in author agreement

Print run: 100 copies

Chapbook price to public: $12

BatCat Press

A rotating group of high school students run BatCat Press out of a performing arts school in Pennsylvania, and writers of any age can submit manuscripts of any length. They produce books, chapbooks, and broadsides of all genres, and welcome multimedia submissions with a “strong writing element.” They received a nice nod from Poets & Writers earlier this year.

Submissions: June 1- August 31

Payment: 10 copies and generous discount on additional copies

Print run: 100 copies

Chapbook price to public: $15-$20


Bio: Stephanie Katz is a librarian and the editor-in-chief of 805 Lit + Art, an award-winning literary magazine published by a public library in Florida. Stephanie is the author of Libraries Publish: How to Start a Magazine, Small Press, Blog, and More (forthcoming 2019, Libraries Unlimited).

 

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