PictureConferences can get pretty wild. Don't forget your beret.
If you can afford to attend a writers conference, it may very well be the best investment you will ever make. Conferences offer writers a unique opportunity to share and learn from the experiences of other writers, as well as providing a platform to pitch to agents. (Many agents will only accept clients they have met at conferences.) Workshops run the gamut at these events, from how to market your self-published books to mistakes thriller writers make about firearms. You are guaranteed to emerge from a conference with not only more knowledge, but more confidence.

Because there are so many writers' organizations - regional, national and international - you should not have a problem finding a conference within reach. These are exciting, hugely invigorating events, and I would encourage every writer to attend one.

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Indie Author Conference & Pitchapalooza Feb 1, 2015. Burton Barr Central Library 1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004. Workshops galore. And as an extra feature, randomly selected people will have one minute (and one minute only) to present their best "elevator pitch" to a panel of book experts. One lucky author will win an introduction to a literary agent or publisher appropriate for his or her book. Judges and panelists: David Henry Sterry, Arielle Eckstut, Annette Rogers, and Gayle Shanks.Cost: $150.

The Kentucky Writers Conference, Feb. 6, 2015, Louisville, KY a full-day of “How to Get Published” workshops. Attending agents: Victoria Lea (Aponte Literary); Natalia Aponte (Aponte Literary); Brent Taylor (Triada US); and Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary).

Tennessee Writers Conference, Feb. 7, 2015, Nashville, TN a full-day of “How to Get Published” workshops. Attending agents: Greg Daniel (Daniel Literary); Lauren MacLeod (Strothman Agency); Brent Taylor (Triada US); Julie Gwinn (The Seymour Agency); and Cate Hart (Corvisiero Literary).

Genre-LA, dates TBA, are literary and screen writers conferences devoted to the craft and business of writing in one or more genres. It includes seminars, workshops, panels, pitch sessions and more, featuring educators, industry experts, best-selling authors, literary agents and publishers. Each year, it focuses on different genres, from Thrillers, Suspense, Crime, and Mysteries; Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror; to Romance -- Classic to Modern to Urban Fantasy, and more.

San Francisco Writers Conference, Feb. 12-15, 2015, San Francisco, CA. This is a huge event, with agents: 24 agents and 21 editors. You can see them all HERE.

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference,Thursday-Saturday Feb. 19 - 21. "The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing hosts the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference in Arizona State University’s historic quarter. The conference workshops, readings, and book signings will largely take place in the buildings near College Street and University Drive, on the north end of the main campus." Click HERE for a schedule of activities and events.

Portland Writers Workshop, Feb. 20, 2015, Portland, OR a full-day of “How to Get Published” workshops. Attending agents: Sandra Bishop (Transatlantic Agency); Adam O'Connor Rodriguez (Hawthorne Books); and Mary C. Moore (Kimberley Cameron & Associates).

Big Story Writers Conference, Feb 20-22. Conference to help you develop your plot into a BIG STORY with the potential to become a best-seller or box office success. Hands-on workshops, seminars and lectures that guide writers through the creative and developmental process. Fiction, nonfiction and screenplays.

The Writing Workshop of Seattle, Feb. 21, 2015, Seattle, WA a full-day of “How to Get Published” workshops. Attending agents: Kathleen Ortiz (New Leaf Literary); Kristin Vincent (D4EO Literary); Genevieve Nine (Andrea Hurst & Associates); and Fleetwood Robbins (Waxman Leavell Literary).

Sleuthfest, February 26, March 1, Deerfield Beach, Florida. Sponsored by Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Pitch to agents, critiques of 10-page manuscript submissions, Keynote address with James Patterson.

Wattpad has announced that it is teaming up with Kensington, a well-known independent publisher, for a romance novel competition.

This is not the first time Wattpad has teamed up with a publisher. In 2013 Wattpad joined forces with Harlequin to host a similar competition.

The rules are fairly simple. Writers who join Wattpad between January 23 and February 27 can submit the first 5,000 words of their novel along with a synopsis. Wattpad readers will then vote for their favorite entries. The winner receives a publishing contract from Kensington.

Deadline is February 27. There is no entry fee.

Kensington Publishing Teams Up With Wattpad For Crowdsourced Romance Writing Competition

Press Release: January 21, 2015: Kensington Publishing Corp., America’s Independent Publisher, is teaming up with Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers, to unveil “The Write Affair,” a crowdsourced writing competition for aspiring romance authors.

The competition is open to any previously unpublished author of romance fiction who joins Wattpad. Between January 23, 2015 and February 27, 2015, contestants must visit www.wattpad.com/TheWriteAffair and submit the first 5,000 words of their novel along with a synopsis.

The grand prize winner of “The Write Affair” will receive a publishing contract from Kensington and their novel will be published in both print and digital formats under Kensington’s new imprint, Zebra Shout.

Between February 28 and March 20, Wattpad’s community of over 40 million users will be
invited to vote for their favorite submissions, and their votes will determine which 10
submissions become finalists. From that pool of fan-favorites, a specially chosen team
consisting of members of the Kensington editorial board will select the grand prize winner. The
winner will be announced on Wattpad and Kensington’s website
(http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/writeaffair/) on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Says Alexandra Nicolajsen, Kensington’s Associate Director of Social Media and Digital Sales,
“Kensington is a house that stands behind new authors, helping to build their careers and take
their books to the next level. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Wattpad
and their huge number of dedicated readers to bring the next fresh story idea to the
marketplace—and to work with a new rising star in romance.”

Kensington’s joined forces with Wattpad to fulfill a desire to find new, burgeoning talent as well as involve an established community of readers and writers. Wattpad’s community is the
perfect solution to the question of how to get fans to play an active role in seeing their favorite
stories go from on screen to on the page.

The contest is open worldwide to first time authors writing in the English language, who must
be at least 16 years old at the time of entry. Entrants are asked to upload their completed
manuscript to: http://www.wattpad.com/user/thewriteaffair.

For a complete listing of “The Write Affair” contest rules and additional details please see Kensington’s landing page at: http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/writeaffair/.


Founded in 1974 by the late Walter Zacharius, Kensington Publishing Corp. is located in New York City and is known as “America’s Independent Publisher.” As the foremost independent commercial publishing house in the United States providing hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, and digital releases, Kensington publishes the books that America wants to read.

The house of New York Times bestselling authors, including Fern Michaels, Lisa Jackson, Joanne Fluke, William W. Johnstone, and many others, Kensington publishes over 500 fiction and non-fiction titles each year. Its diverse imprints include Zebra, Pinnacle, Dafina, and Lyrical Press which are well known for providing readers with a range of popular genres such as romance, women’s fiction, African American, young adult and nonfiction, as well as true-crime, western, and mystery titles. Visit kensingtonbooks.com.


More than 40 million people have joined Wattpad, making it the world’s largest community of readers and writers. People use Wattpad to connect with each other while they discover and share millions of free stories. Wattpad stories are available in more than 50 languages and can be read or written from any phone, tablet, or computer. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Learn more at www.wattpad.com.

From the Author's Guild, January 20, 2015

A lively audience of readers gathered last Thursday evening at New York City’s Kaufman Center to hear a panel of four authors hash out the contentious proposition that “Amazon is the reader’s friend.”

The Oxford-style debate, hosted by Intelligence Squared (IQ2), featured two writers arguing for the motion and two against it. In the Amazon corner were self-publishing guru Joe Konrath and Matthew Yglesias, Executive Editor of Vox. Pitted against them, former Authors Guild President Scott Turow and Franklin Foer, former Editor of The New Republic, contended that Amazon is not, by a long shot, the reader’s friend.

The IQ2 debates declare a winner by polling the audience at both the beginning and the end of the arguments, and comparing the results. The side that sways more people takes the cake. Before the debate, 41% of the audience voted for the proposition that Amazon is the reader’s friend, 28% voted against it, and 31% were undecided. At evening’s end, there was a clear victor: the Amazon apologists managed to increase their backers by a mere one percentage point, while Turow and Foer earned a 22% spike, overwhelmingly capturing the undecided vote.

Throughout the evening, Yglesias and Konrath largely stuck with the appealing arguments that Amazon’s low prices for readers and higher royalty rates for its self-published authors are benefits without downsides. But Turow and Foer’s effectiveness lay in taking a position that honored the diversity of the literary ecosystem. Left unchecked, they suggested, we may end up with a book world controlled by Amazon. The better option by far is a competitive plurality of publishers and distributors.

Turow agreed that self-publishing works very well for some authors in some publishing sectors. He was clearly encouraged, for instance, that self-publishing gives voice—and a second chance—to authors overlooked by traditional publishers. “I am not against self-publishing,” said Turow, before homing in on Amazon’s deliberate attempt to eliminate publishing houses, “but if we do away with traditional publishers, there will be a great loss to literary culture.”

Another reason Amazon can’t be trusted, Turow noted, is that it hasn’t even stood by the very self-published authors who defend it so vociferously. Turow illustrated this with a point that his opponents couldn’t counter: although many self-published authors rallied to defend Amazon during the Hachette dispute, recently Amazon dramatically cut the earnings of self-published authors enrolled in its Kindle Unlimited program.

Foer also pointed out that a loss of publishers could mean a loss of the nonfiction works requiring “deep reporting,” work which is time-consuming and expensive, and which can only be sustained by an advance from a publisher. It would also mean the loss of the committed editorial investments provided by publishers. “Writers are the people in the world who are least able to see the flaws in their own work,” he said.

“Scott and Franklin did a terrific job of articulating exactly what we’ve stood for throughout our many disagreements with Amazon,” said Authors Guild President Roxana Robinson. “Namely, that a diverse literary marketplace is a healthy literary marketplace. And I’m personally encouraged—though not surprised—that so many readers in the audience agreed.”

Much of the argument focused on Amazon’s place within the publishing industry at large. Yglesias opened by proposing that Amazon’s massive share of the publishing markets—it sells 41% of all books sold in the U.S., and 67% of digital books—is the result of its superior product. Turow countered that such market power is a danger in and of itself. A friend is someone who you can rely on to treat your interests as equal to their own, he said. But Amazon has “habitually turned on its allies when it suited its needs. Anyone who believes Amazon will wield its market power kindly has not read Lord Acton or Machiavelli,” he continued, characterizing Amazon’s history of browbeating as “a mugging sponsored by Wall Street.”

Reflecting on the evening, Turow offered the following summation. “I regard the question of Amazon’s role in American literary culture as truly important, and I was glad Frank and I were able to make many in the audience understand that Amazon is a Trojan Horse, offering low prices today—while Wall Street is willing to float a company that doesn’t make a profit—at the cost of destroying the publishing ecosystem that is indispensable to authors who can’t write several books every year, as many self-published authors do.” Turow further noted, “You never make all the points you want to. But I wish I had made more of the fact that Amazon actually prevents competition by locking its customers in through devices like Prime and DRM, which means Amazon customers can’t read books sold by Apple or Google Play on their Kindles.”

As the event came to an end, the writers’ closing arguments tended to encapsulate their styles. Konrath resorted to off-color humor and bribery: he offered free books for votes, making the salient point that, as a self-published author selling on Amazon, he is able to set the price of his books and even to give them away for free, and doing do, he has sold—and given away—millions of books. Turow spoke of how, like Konrath, he struggled to find a publisher for his first novel, and agreed that Amazon was good for readers and authors in some ways. The problem with Amazon, he explained, is the threat it poses to literary culture at large, and ultimately to the reader. “I don’t judge these things on the basis of what’s good for me,” he said, adding that while Amazon has been very good to him, “I care about what’s good for all writers.” Yglesias maintained that his opponents were painting an unrealistic doomsday scenario, but that for now, Amazon’s low prices and great service make it a friend to readers.

Foer had the last word. Alluding to the arrogance of the tech industry’s self-styled “disrupters,” he noted that Americans have made “disruption . . . our secular religion.” This particular brand of optimism might well lead us to a future “that could be wonderful, or it could be a dystopian hell.” Lastly, he encouraged the audience to speak directly to Amazon with their votes. Tell Amazon, he said, “You’re dealing with precious cargo. Don’t abuse your power. Be good stewards of word and thought.”

The audience, apparently, was listening. Let’s hope Amazon was, too.

The debate, expertly moderated by John Donvan, is well worth watching in its entirety. An on-demand version will soon be available here.

February is a short month, but it does not lack for writing contests. There is a little bit of everything this month: travel writing, poetry, short fiction, journalism, and - one of my favorites - the impoverished author contest. (Most of us fit into that category.) 

Even if there is nothing that is quite up your alley this month, there may be in March. So, don't stop submitting.

Related postHow to Win Writing Contests and Big Publishing Contracts

 Emerging Environmental Writers Contest. Sage Magazine invites writers to submit nonfiction prose that enhances our understanding of the world, each other, and ourselves. Genre: Nonfiction, environmental topics. Prize: 1st $1000, 2nd $300, 3rd $200, and publication in Sage. Deadline: February 1, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

The Levis Reading Prize is sponsored by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Restrictions: The prize is given annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2000 . Deadline: February 1, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

$1000 for 1000 Words Creative Writing Contest is sponsored by the Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation. Restrictions: Students enrolled in grades 6-12. Genre: Short fiction of exactly 1000 words. Prize: Two $1,000 scholarship prizes will be awarded, one for grades 6-8 and one for grades 9-12. Seven $100 cash prizes will also be awarded for winning entries, one per grade level. Deadline: February 1, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

Inspiration Travel Writing Contest #7 is sponsored by We Said Go Travel, an organization that promotes world travel. Genre: A nonfiction travel article about a place that inspires you to be brave and save the day. Prizes: 1st Prize $500, 2nd Prize $100, 3rd Prize $50, and promotion on website. Deadline: February 14, 2015. How to Enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award supports the work of a promising early-career nonfiction writer on a story that uncovers truths about the human condition. Genres: Nonfiction journalism works in progress with “strong, character-driven narratives with detailed scene writing and lyrical description.” Restrictions: The award will not fund proposals to report on armed conflicts where journalists are already imperiled, nor projects that are mainly investigatory. Prize: $12,500 grant and use of the NYU library. Deadline: February 16, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

Central PA Magazine Writing Contest is sponsored by WITF and funded by York College of Pennsylvania. Genres: Original, unpublished fiction short stories not exceeding 1,500 words. Restrictions: The contest is only open to legal residents of Pennsylvania who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry. Prize: $500, runner-up $200. Deadline: February 27, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

SLF Working Class/Impoverished Writers Grant is sponsored by the Speculative Literature Foundation. Genres: Speculative fiction, magical realism. Restrictions: Applicants must be working class (see guidelines page for definition) and demonstrate financial hardship. Available to international writers. Prize: $750. Deadline: February 28, 2015. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

New agents are a boon to budding authors. They take the time to really read the manuscripts they receive, and they are enthusiastic supporters of their clients. In addition, many new agents work for long-standing literary agencies, which gives them the benefit of a respected letterhead.

Kirsten Carleton of Waxman Leavell

About Kirsten: Before joining Waxman Leavell in 2014, Kirsten worked at Sobel Weber Associates. She holds a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course. Follow her on Twitter: @kirstencarleton

What she is seeking: Upmarket young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s particularly interested in novels that bend and blur genres; literary takes on high concept worldbuilding; diverse characters in stories that are not just about diversity; antiheroes she find herself rooting for; characters with drive and passion; girls and women in STEM fields; settings outside the US/Europe; well-researched historical settings; YA noir/thriller/mystery; stories that introduces her to a new subculture and makes her feel like a native. She is not interested in horror, romance, erotica, poetry, or picture books.

How to submit: Send a query letter with the first five to ten pages of your manuscript in the body of the email only to kirstensubmit [at] waxmanleavell.com. Please do not query more than one agent at this agency simultaneously. 
Amanda Panitch of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

About Amanda: Amanda Panitch was recently promoted from agency assistant to associate agent at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. Before joining LMQ in 2012, she interned at Writers House and attended The George Washington University and New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute. A writer herself, her first novel, Damage Done, will be released in July from Random House Books for Young Readers. Follow her on Twitter: @AmandaPanitch

What she is seeking: Young adult and middle grade only. In particular, she’d love to find a high fantasy set in a non-Western inspired setting. Other concepts she’d love to see in her inbox include a dark psychological thriller, a quirky mystery, a gorgeous literary contemporary, historical fiction set in a place or time not often explored in fiction, or anything featuring food as a main element. She is also drawn to generational spaceships, unreliable narrators, magical realism, the pre-Columbian Americas, the Amazon, close sibling relationships, and slow-burning romances.

How to submit: Submit your query, including the first five to 10 pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email (no attachments) to amanda [at] lmqlit.com. Include the word “Query” in the subject line.
Subscription services are often overlooked by self-published authors. The reason for the oversight is simple: authors tend to focus on sales rather than borrows. There aren't many book subscription services, so the field is fairly narrow. But those that exist have a huge number of subscribers (and an equally huge number of books).

Self-published authors should consider offering their books on subscription services because, as far as publishing goes, the more venues the better. You should - after perhaps an initial foray into Amazon KDP Select - get your book onto as many sites, and in as many formats, as you can.

Of the three subscription services listed below, Scribd and Oyster are the least restrictive. (Amazon demands exclusivity.) I would recommend going through Smashwords to get your books onto these services because 1) you will get a royalty and 2) Smashwords also makes your book available to libraries.


Scribd is a subscription service with 80 million unique visitors a month. For a monthly fee of $8.99 subscribers can read unlimited books. The Scribd library boasts more than half a million e­books and over 30,000 audiobooks, including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as self-published works. 60+ million documents ­have been uploaded by ­users, Essentially, anyone can upload a file onto Scribd, which has led to several copyright infringements, Although Scribd has a huge readership, the best way to ensure that they notice your book, and that you get some monetary compensation, is to go through your publisher. As a self-publisher, you can use Smashwords or BookBaby, each of which offers a Scribd royalty payment. 

Recently, Scribd secured $22 million in financing led by Khosla Ventures and including new funds from existing investors. The new funding brings Scribd’s total financing to date to $48 million.


Oyster was launched in 2013 and is headquartered in New York. With half a million titles and 1,600 publishing partners, Oyster claims to be the leading e-book subscription service and the fifth-largest e-book retailer in the U.S. Half of its titles are self-published. Subscription price: $9.95, free 30-day membership. Royalties: Authors receive about 60 percent royalty via Smashwords. BookBaby authors in their Premium package earn 70 percent from Oyster with BookBaby earning 0 percent. Authors in BookBaby’s Free or Standard package earn 70 percent minus 15 percent to BookBaby for a total of 55 percent of the book. Like Scribd, self-published authors need to go through Smashwords or BookBaby.

Kindle Unlimited offers a Netflix-style, all-you-can-read approach to more than 600,000 e-books, including blockbuster series like “The Hunger Games” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” nonfiction titles like “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, as well as literary fiction and classics for $9.99 a month. Books published through Amazon's KDP Select program are automatically enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. The catch is that for 90-days (renewable) you cannot offer your book on any other platform. Royalties: Once a customer reads more than 10% of your book, or a Kindle Owners' Lending Library customer downloads your book, you'll receive a share of the KDP Select Global Fund.


As writers, editors, and artists we stand together today in solidarity and outrage at the murder of our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. This attack on cartoonists, writers, and editors is an attack on free expression worldwide. It is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate all of us in order to inhibit the free flow of ideas.

Peaceful coexistence within diverse communities requires a climate of tolerance and an open exchange of views that includes criticism, humor, and hyperbole. The right to satirize, to question, to expose, to mock, even when offensive to some, is a bulwark of a free society. Today’s bloody retribution for the drawing and publishing of cartoons represents a terrifying challenge to these values of tolerance.

We call upon all governments, religious leaders, and civil society institutions to join us in condemnation of this vicious attack. We ask them to insist that however offensive speech may be to some, it is never a justification for violence.

We call upon responsible authorities and institutions to redouble their efforts to protect those working on the front lines of free expression worldwide who put themselves at personal risk to voice controversial viewpoints.  Today’s effort to silence criticism by murdering the artists and writers who voice it must be met with a far wider movement to defend the right to dissent, which forms the spine of free expression.

Peter Godwin, President, PEN American Center

Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, PEN American Center

Woody Allen

John Ashbery

Margaret Atwood

Carl Bernstein

T.C. Boyle

Peter Carey

Michael Chabon

Ron Chernow

J.M. Coetzee

Teju Cole

Martha Cooley

Lydia Davis

Junot Díaz

E.L. Doctorow

Jennifer Egan

Louise Erdrich

Richard Ford

Neil Gaiman

William Gass

Masha Gessen

Malcolm Gladwell

Barbara Goldsmith

Daniel Handler

Tom Healy

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman

Paul Karasik

Garrison Keillor

Sam Lipsyte

D.T. Max

Colum McCann

Jay McInerney

Paul Muldoon

John Oakes

Joyce Carol Oates

Orhan Pamuk

Francine Prose

Zia Haider Rahman

Theresa Rebeck

Marilynne Robinson

Salman Rushdie

James Salter

George Saunders

Said Sayrafiezadeh

Simon Schama

Raja Shehadeh

David Simon

Jane Smiley

Andrew Solomon

Art Spiegelman

Rob Spillman

Janne Teller

Fred Tomaselli

Anne Tyler

Ayelet Waldman

Lawrence Weiner

G. Willow Wilson

Lauren Wolchik

Tobias Wolf

... and many more
Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) was one of our most famed American writers. He won the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts, and he is the only writer to have won the National Book Award for Fiction three times.

In spite of all the accolades Bellow received during his lifetime (and after) Bellow thought of himself as a "working stiff."

"Celebrity interferes with the business of writing," he said. "But it gives you a certain amount of confidence. Before, I said anything I damn pleased, and I did it defiantly. Now, I say anything I damn please, but I do it with confidence."

Bellow was not afraid to say what he pleased, at any time. Like Churchill, he stated (at a PEN conference) that ours was the worst form of government ... except for all the others. As a consequence, he "had a fight on his hands." But Bellow was not one to back down, nor was he one to remain neutral about what he created.

"You must either like what you are doing very much, either like your characters or hate them, you can't be indifferent."

On writing:

"When you write the first few lines of a story, those govern all the rest - like a musical signature."

"Your own natural, original voice provides the engine for your writing."

"The Bible says,'Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.' That's where the critics come in."

"The most pleasurable moments in writing are when you are either laughing or weeping, and scribbling at the same time. That's what one lives for in this trade."

And on having his book, Seize the Day, made into a movie, he said. "I haven't seen the film so I can't recommend it. But, I've read the book, and it's very good."
Picture"Muse Becomes Poet" by Donald Langosy
There are dozens of English language poetry publishers, but not all publishing houses are created equal. Some only publish poetry that has been entered into one of their contests (for which there is a charge), others demand an upfront fee or stipulate that a certain number of books must be pre-ordered. And the largest houses only consider manuscripts though agents.

This list consists of publishers which do not charge a fee, and which offer royalties, however modest. All of them publish book-length collections and/or chapbooks. (I have not included literary journals on this list. For poetry journals please see: Top 5 Resources for Publishing Poetry.)

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. How to submit: Arte Público uses an online submission form. See submission guidelines HERE.

Black Mountain Press: "Black Mountain Press is a literary press for outstanding emerging writers publishing several different genres of books annually. For the next three years from 2014 through the end of 2017 our focus will be in collections of poetry, memoir, novels and collections of short stories. Our editors are looking for the highest quality literary fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry that combines a distinct voice and vision." Genres: Book-length literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. How to submit: Manuscripts accepted via regular mail only. Send one hard copy of your finished, book-length manuscript, along with a cover letter containing contact information, and relevant biographical information. Manuscripts should be typed on one side of the page only. Read full guidelines HERE.

Black Lawrence: "We seek innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go. We accept fee-free submissions in the following categories: novel, novella, short story collection (full-length and chapbook), poetry (full-length and chapbook), biography & cultural studies, translation (from the German and the French), and creative nonfiction." How to submit: Reading periods are the month of June and the month of November. Online submissions only. Read complete guidelines HERE.

BlazeVOX [books] is an independent small press publisher located in Buffalo, New York. To date, BlazeVOX has published 280 books and over 1000 writers in their online journal and other publishing outlets. They are developing a book series that promotes the work of women who are courageous, innovative, definition-defying writers. Genres: Poetry, short stories, experimental fiction, literary criticism (including companions, studies and histories) by women authors. Submissions online. Read complete guidelines HERE.

BOA Editions: "Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor, and translator A. Poulin, Jr., BOA has published more than 300 books of American poetry, poetry-in-translation, and short fiction. The first publication bearing the BOA imprint was The Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress by W. D. Snodgrass. The Fuhrer Bunker received tremendous critical attention and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, optioned for the stage by Joseph Papp, and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theater." How to submit: Reading period is July 1-31. Snail mail submissions only. Poets must have already published a full-length poetry book. Read full guidelines HERE.

Carcanet Press is a British publishing house specializing in poetry. "Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation." How to submit: Carcanet considers submissions and book proposals submitted in hard copy form only. Writers should send between six and ten pages of poetry and a stamped and self-addressed return envelope. Response time within eight weeks. Read full guidelines HERE.

City Lights Publishers has launched several famous poets, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. City Lights publishes 12 books a year. How to submit: City Lights accepts book proposals by snail mail only. Response time six months. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Coach House publishes innovative poetry, literary fiction, drama and select nonfiction by Canadian authors onlyHow to submit: For poetry submissions, please send your complete manuscript, along with an introductory letter that describes your work and compares it to at least two current Coach House titles, explaining how your book would fit our list, and a literary CV listing your previous publications and relevant experience. Electronic submissions are preferred. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Faber & Faber is one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London. They have published books by no fewer than twelve Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize winners. Among its luminaries are T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Jean Cocteau. How to submit: Send six examples of your work to the poetry department by regular post. Email submissions are not accepted. Read their submission guidelines HERE.

Four Way Books publishes 14-15 collections of poetry and short fiction a year by emerging and established writers. They also sponsor contests (fee required). Restrictions: A book-length collection of poetry in English by a New York City resident (5 boroughs) for a first or second collection of poems. How to submit: Submission period is November 15 - December 15, 2015. Email your manuscript in one word or PDF file and include all contact information. The book should not be less than 45 pages of text. Note: This publisher also runs contests, which require a fee. It is not entirely clear from the website whether the fee-free reading period is for a contest or for regular publication. Read full guidelines HERE.

Futurepoem books is a New York City-based publishing collaborative dedicated to presenting innovative works of contemporary poetry and prose by both emerging and important underrepresented writers. How to submit: Futurepoem has an open reading period in December of each year. Submissions are usually from 50-200 pages. Read full guidelines HERE.

Kaya Press is a publisher of Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the United States. Their diverse list of titles includes experimental poetry, noir fiction, film memoir, avant-garde art, performance pieces, and “lost” novels. How to submit: Send your manuscript in electronic format. Files must be sent in a Word document or as a PDF. They will only accept works related to the Asian diaspora. Read full guidelines HERE.

Manic D Press is an American literary press based in San Francisco, California publishing fiction novels and short stories, poetry, and graphic novels. It was founded by Jennifer Joseph in 1984 as an alternative outlet for young writers seeking to bring their work into print. Manic D Press books are distributed throughout the US by Consortium, Last Gasp, and wholesalers including Ingram and Baker & Taylor; in the UK and EU by Turnaround PSL; in Canada by Publishers Group Canada; and throughout the world by Perseus. How to submit: Email submissions are preferred. Printed manuscripts are read twice a year, during the months of January and July ONLY. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, just let them know if your work has been accepted elsewhere or if (and where) it has been previously published. Read full guidelines HERE.

Mansfield Press publishes exciting, challenging and adventurous poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction by Canadian writers at all stages of their careers. How to submit: For poetry, send the full manuscript. In your cover letter, please indicate why you believe your book belongs with Mansfield Press — reference other Mansfield titles in your explanation. Note: They expect writers to help with promotion. Read full guidelines HERE.

Mid-List Press publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books by new and emerging writers and by writers ignored, marginalized, or excluded from publication by commercial publishers. Mid-List is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit literary organization. How to submit: Query first by regular mail with a few representative poems. They do not accept emailed or faxed queries. Read full guidelines HERE.

Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit literary press, publishing between fifteen and twenty books each year. They have published nearly three hundred titles. "Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it." Milkweed publishes fiction, literary nonfiction (not academic), middle grade and YA novels, poetry collections by single authors (60+ pages). How to submit: Milkweed is currently closed for submissions, but they plan on opening submissions once they have responded to all submissions from their last reading period. Check HERE for updates and submission guidelines.

New Rivers Press is one of a handful of teaching presses in the United States. "Our mission is to publish and promote enduring contemporary literature, especially by new, emerging, and established writers." How to submit: General book-length submissions are read in May. Read full guidelines HERE. (Scroll down the page.)

Plan B Press is a small independent publishing company that produces high-quality, limited-run poetry chapbooks. They are in the process of becoming a nonprofit. How to submit: Plan B accepts manuscripts from authors who have published fewer than three books (including chapbooks). They read from June 1st to November 30th of each year. Please do NOT send manuscripts from January through April due to submission confusion with the chapbook contest. Read full guidelines HERE.

Poets Wear Prada, also known as PWP Books, is a small press based in Hoboken, New Jersey devoted to introducing new authors through limited edition, high-quality chaplets and anthologies. How to submit: PWP solicits poems for yearly anthologies on specific themes. They do not accept unsolicited chapbooks, but they do request manuscripts from poets who appear in their anthologies. Read their submission policy HERE.

Red Hen Press is an independent, non-profit press that publishes about twenty books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry every year. "We’re looking for novels, memoir, creative nonfiction, hybrid works, and story, essay, and poetry collections of exceptional literary merit that demonstrate a high level of mastery." How to submit: Submissions can be made via snail mail or online through submittable ($3 charge). Read full guidelines HERE.

Salmon Poetry was established in 1981 as an alternative voice in Irish literature. It has since broadened its scope to include poets from other cultures. How to submit: Email your query, with a short biographical note and 5 - 10 poems, to jessie@salmonpoetry.com Read full guidelines HERE.

Seven Stories Press publishes prose and poetry about politics, human rights, and social and economic justice. It also publishes translations from the French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, and Arabic. How to submit: There are no guidelines for poetry submissions on the website. Go to the contact page for information.

Wake Forest University Press publishes Irish poetry only. They do not accept manuscripts from American poets, including Irish-American poets. Submissions: "If you are a native of Ireland and wish to submit a poetry manuscript, please email a representative sampling of your poetry and your biographical information to wfupress@wfu.edu. Alternatively, you may mail a hard copy of your work, biographical and contact information to Wake Forest University Press, PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. Should you want the return of your submission, please include a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage. We consider manuscripts from September through mid-May, and the average turnaround time is three months." Read guidelines here.

Here are two new agents actively building their client lists. Leon Husock has a particular interest in science fiction and fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels. Cynthia Kane is interested in representing young adult, children’s, nonfiction, memoir, and commercial fiction.
            Cynthia Kane of Capital Talent Agency

About Cynthia: “I’ve been involved in the publishing industry for more than ten years. I have worked as a Development Editor for different publishing houses and individual authors and have seen more than 100 titles to market. I worked with Michael Gross, New York Times best-selling author. I have also written for national and international publications and have served as a writing instructor at the Writopia Lab in Washington, DC, and have run several writing workshops at public libraries in the area and Politics & Prose Bookstore. I received my B.A. in Literature from Bard College and M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence. The new literary division of Capital Talent Agency is a wonderful home for authors who are looking for a supportive and hands-on agency. We want nothing more than to see our authors achieve their dreams, and we do everything we can to make that happen.”

What she is seeking: Young adult, children’s, nonfiction, memoir, commercial fiction (but no science fiction or fantasy).

How to contact: “Submissions should be sent to literary.submissions [at] capitaltalentagency.com. We accept submissions only by e-mail. We do not accept queries via postal mail or fax. For fiction and nonfiction submissions, send a query letter in the body of your e-mail. Attachments will not be opened. Please note that while we consider each query seriously, we are unable to respond to all of them. We endeavor to respond within six weeks to projects that interest us.”
                Leon Husock of L. Perkins Agency

About Leon: Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Leon was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. He has a BA in Literature from Bard College and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. Leon is actively building his client list. Follow him on Twitter: @leonhusock.

What he is seeking: He has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels filled with strong characters and original premises, but keeps an open mind for anything that catches his eye. He is also looking for historical fiction set in the 20th century, particularly the 1980s or earlier. He is not interested in nonfiction at this time.

How to contact: E-query him at leon [at] lperkinsagency.com.