Seven 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.

Polis Books

Polis Books is an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction. Polis Books was founded in 2013. Their focus is on publishing new voices. They are a technologically driven company. They publish print and digital books. They are currently seeking memoirs.

Square One Publishers

Square One Publishers focuses on publishing adult nonfiction books. They are looking for books by authors that are experts in their field. Their books are focused on meeting the needs of niche audiences. They are not a publisher of bestsellers, they have a specific market/markets and they cater to them. The memoirs they publish are generally a little different so please review their catalog first.


Emily Harstone is the pen name of an author whose work has been published internationally by a number of respected journals. She is a professional submissions adviser and spends much of her time researching manuscript publishers. You can follow her on Facebook.