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Conium

Important Reading Announcement

In solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, this year’s book & chapbook reading period is only open to Black writers. Representation matters, and we want to use this platform to amplify Black voices.

As with our usual open calls, we lean toward strange, surreal, magical realist, and experimental fiction.

Book & Chapbook

Submission Guidelines

General Information

Conium Press is a boutique publisher with a limited catalog. We work on a single book at a time. Each year’s publishing decisions are determined based on the submission pool, available budget, and editorial workload.

We pursue standalone titles that might get overlooked elsewhere. We’ll consider your experimental manuscript. We’ll even toss around the idea of turning a single flash fiction into a micro-chapbook or broadside. If you have a story that you think should be published as a standalone project, we’ll take a look at it. We’re always interested in seeing atypical work.

We’re a small, volunteer-run press, and we publish in small batches. Even though we consider full-length books, the circulation of each title is on-par with a chapbook release. If published, authors receive contributor copies and a small honorarium whenever funds allow (we’re talking about a couple hundred bucks; don’t quit your day job).

We send titles to small press review outlets, and full-length books are also sent to larger industry staples (like Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly). We donate portions of every print-run to charities like Housing Works and Open Books. Titles are stocked at a handful of participating libraries and bookstores. We do what we can with small budget and a volunteer staff. While our circulation is limited, we can assure that your book will be read by people who love independent literature.

Submission Deadlines

We consider unsolicited book and chapbook submissions on a variable schedule. The 2020 reading period runs from August 1st through September 1st. Please submit all work using our Submittable page.  If you don’t already have one, you can create a Submittable account for free.

Submission Guidelines

This year, in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, we are only considering work from Black writers. We only consider fiction; no poems or nonfiction, please. Manuscript length is flexible (but chapbook-length and shorter book-length works fit our vibe better than sprawling, maximalist novels). To get an idea of what we publish, you could check out our latest release: We Are Still Here, by Emily Koon. Some other authors we like are Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, R. O. Kwon, Carmen Maria Machado, Rajesh Parameswaran, Karen Russell, and Nafissa Thompson-Spires.

Upload your manuscript submission as a single file.

In the “Biography Statement” field, include a brief third-person bio.

Don’t blow off the “Manuscript Summary” field, especially if your manuscript is lengthier.

Submissions must be original work. Individual pieces from the manuscript may have appeared in-print or online elsewhere, but the manuscript as a whole may not have previously appeared in print or digital form. If individual stories or excerpts have appeared elsewhere, please include an acknowledgements page.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but you must withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Please do not submit more than one book or chapbook manuscript. Multiple submissions from the same author will be rejected.