Submission Guidelines

Porkbelly Press’ chapbooks are produced in open handsewn editions, sometimes with an initial run of limited edition covers. Our books range in size from micro chapbooks (8-10 pages), chapbooks (12-28 pages), and zines, anthologies & lit mags.

We will occasionally open a call for micro chapbooks or anthologies. Those will be announced on our blog. If you need to contact us, you may do so at porkbelly press (at) g mail (dot) com. (Remove spaces.) Do not submit via email.

Submission Periods:
  • chapbooks : January 1 – 31.
  • Love Me, Love My Belly: a body image zine : Feb 10 – April 10 & Sept 10 – Oct 10.
  • micro chapbooks : July 1 – August 1.
  • anthologies : varies.
  • broadsides : varies.

Sometimes we have off-season reading periods open with donation / purchase of a title from our catalog.

We consider chapbooks & micros in the following forms:

– poetry or prose poems
– collections of flash or micro fiction
– creative nonfiction such as lyric essays & flash
– graphic narratives, sequential artwork (in black & white)
– combinations of the above (linked by theme, image, voice, etc.)

Please submit 12 – 28 pages for chapbooks.
Please submit 8 – 10 pages for micro chapbooks.
Submit no more than 1 chapbook in each genre until you receive a reply.
No more than 3 manuscript submissions for a given reading period.
Simultaneous submissions considered.
Preferred typeface is Garamond. Times in a pinch. Never Courier.
Do not withdraw to edit typos or fix mistakes; please request an edit.
Please do not withdraw to edit content. If your chapbook isn’t ready, there’s always next year.

Porkbelly Press reads via Submittable.

We no longer consider manuscripts sent via postal mail.

Poetry & Prose Poems:

Please submit poems all in one document (.doc, .docx, or .rtf), one poem per page (use insert > break > page break to be sure each poem has its own page, please). Submissions should include title page, acknowledgments, bio, and dedication (if you have one). No table of contents, please. Be sure to include your contact information in the cover letter section of the submission form.

We’re not crazy about form poems or poems that rhyme. We are crazy about strong image, voice, and startling language. It’s not often that we choose a collection with a raging case of alliteration.

Creative Nonfiction (short, flash, & micro):

Essays! Yes, send these. We particularly enjoy multiple short essays, but will consider a one-essay chap if the essay is just that good. We lean toward braided forms (narratives with 3 or more threads tied together), and also consider things like character sketches, travel narratives, and collections of vignettes.

Fiction (short, flash, & micro):

We gravitate toward micro & flash fictions. If you submit short stories, please be sure that no language is wasted. You must hook us in the first 20 words.

Standard manuscript format is a must. Times New Roman or Garamond 12 point font, please. No courier type. Seriously. It burns.

Hard sells: high school stories, college party stories, war stories, westerns, 1950s salesmen, disgruntled writers, second person narratives, time travel, sports, gratuitous violence, dream narratives, doomed affairs, dead narrators.

We do not accept: erotica, fan fiction, novels, novellas, or slashers.

Response Time:

We do our best to reply to submissions within 6-12 weeks, but the time can be a bit longer with a high submission volume. Please feel free to query at 6 weeks or more.

Accepted Works:

Payment is offered in the form of 10 handsewn copies and a discount (20-30% depending on production format & costs) on additional author copies. If we do a limited edition or sculptural book cover, we may provide fewer author/poet copies, but you’ll know before we go to print. Unless we specifically discuss a different agreement, your books will be printed in open edition. If we decide to offer digital chapbooks at a later date, we’ll obtain your permission before putting your book online.


Sometimes we respond in a day, and sometimes it takes weeks. We give each submission sufficient** attention before responding. Response (particularly rejection) times have more to do with our reading habits than the quality of your work. We accept only about 2% – 4% of the work sent to us in any given call, and this means we sometimes have to say no to good work that doesn’t fit our aesthetic as tightly as other manuscripts.

Acknowledgements, bio, dedication, and title page do not count against your page limits.

We are open to collaborative work.

We occasionally give personal feedback if a writer or poet does something we don’t see enough of, but can’t quite accept at the time (maybe it’s not ready; maybe it’s just that we don’t have the pages this year; maybe only half of the poems feel tight enough for a micro or chap), or that we find particularly intriguing on a given day. If this sort of things offends you, we’re not the right press for you.

**this means we choose things that grab us and don’t let go, and will not waste your time or our own if we know work doesn’t fit our press. If you send us abusive emails, we reserve the right to put itching powder in your sock drawer.


51 thoughts on “Submission Guidelines

  1. Pingback: Art of Letters « Scurvytown

  2. How much do authors’ copies cost?

  3. Pingback: Porkbelly Press | Chapbook Submissions NOW OPEN! (January 1-31)

  4. Would you consider a collaborative chap?

  5. Pingback: Call for Chapbook Submissions – Porkbelly Press, Deadline January 31 | Trish Hopkinson

  6. This is nice 🙂
    So it is also in paper form and not an e-book?

  7. How do we submit the poems?

  8. Do you include the title page, acknowledgments, bio as part of the 12-28 page count? Thank you for answering.

  9. Pingback: Paying/Non-paying Submission Calls – Deadlines Jan. and Feb. 2015 | Trish Hopkinson

  10. Your chapbooks look beautiful. Could you tell me how many copies an edition consists of, and whether further runs/editions are possible? And if so, approximately how much they would cost per copy for a chapbook that’s 12-16 pages of poetry with a TOC, a page of notes, and a couple of divider pages? I’m hoping to distribute widely.

    • Thank you for the lovely compliment! Our edition sizes vary. Our limited edition lit mags & anthologies are usually between 100 and 200 copies. Our special editions (screen printed) are usually around 50, with an open edition (inkjet printed covers) to follow.

      Our 2015 chapbooks are all set to be produced in open edition, meaning that while they’re handsewn, they are not numbered or limited to a certain amount of copies. Chaps are generally priced between $7 and $10 each, depending on production costs. Authors/poets receive a discount on copies of their own chapbooks, usually 25-35 percent, again depending on method of production.

      We also have a micro chapbook line and may one day produce digital copies as well.

      We usually only accept between 5 and 7 chaps a year, and fewer than 10 micro chapbooks a year. This may change later, but it’s our plan for now.

  11. How many pieces in the manuscript are allowed to be published? Can over half of the individual pieces have been published?

  12. Was the reading period extended into February?

  13. Do authors receive a portion of the royalties from sales made through your catalog?

  14. Has the reading period for micro chapbooks been extended?

  15. Do you print color illustrations? Sometimes i paint people’s poems and collaborate in that way.

  16. What is the lowest fiction word count you consider for publication? I know right now mine is somewhere in the 12,000- 14,000 range.

    • If you’re referring to the chapbook guidelines, we consider flash and micro fiction. These are intended to be chapbooks of multiple very short works, no more than 28 pages double spaced. Each individual work should be no more than perhaps 1,000 words.

  17. Also, does the manuscript need to be perfectly edited before submission, or do you have an editor that will catch what I won’t?

  18. Or should I say what I accidentally miss lol

  19. would you consider publishing a non-american poet? (who’s writing in english.)

  20. Do you accept submissions from outside of the US?

  21. My friend and co-RHINO editor Beth McDermott suggested I submit to your micro-chapbook call this month. I have a few different poem series and CNF essays that are 8-10 pages in length. Will you accept more than one micro-chapbook ms submission (from the same author)? Thanks! Virginia

  22. Would you ever consider a photo taken by the writer as cover art for her chap?

  23. I know you ask for submissions to include one poem per page. Are there ever exceptions to this? I have a short series of haiku poems which I’ve coupled together in pairs.

  24. I believe the answer is yes, but are you currently accepting submissions for micro-chapbooks of black and white photographs? Thank you!

  25. What are the guidelines for “Love Me, Love My Belly?” Can a submission be a chapbook sized collection of works, or is it one work for a multi-authored collection?

  26. Do you take international submissions?

  27. Hello, a bit confused on how to submit to the love my belly zine. I don’t see an upload for it, just for the Sugar Water press. Thanks in adavance

    • Thanks for getting in touch! It looks like our monthly queue has overflowed and submissions close automatically when that happens. We will be open for body image submissions again in September!

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