Submissions

Milkweed Editions publishes 18-20 books per year of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and translation. We believe that literature has the potential to change the way we see the world, and that bringing new voices to essential conversations is the clearest path to ensuring a vibrant, diverse, and empowered future. To learn more about Milkweed Editions and the work we champion, read our story»

NOTE

Milkweed Editions has shifted to Submittable and shorter, genre-specific reading periods to become more responsive and writer-friendly. If you submitted during our last open period and are still waiting for a response, please accept our apologies for the delay. We are currently reviewing these manuscripts, but you are welcome to contact us to confirm.


Poetry Prizes

Milkweed Editions participates in the following annual poetry prizes, all of which include a cash prize and publication by Milkweed Editions:

  • JAKE ADAM YORK POETRY PRIZE: an annual prize for a first or second collection, presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and Copper Nickel. The prize awards $2,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. Submissions to the prize are open from July 1–October 15, 2017. Please do not send manuscripts to Milkweed Editions—instead, please refer to Copper Nickel’s submission guidelines for complete details.
     
  • LINDQUIST & VENNUM PRIZE FOR POETRY: an annual regional prize, presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to a national stage, the prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. The winner is selected from among five finalists by an independent judge. Submissions to the 2017 prize were open from January 2–February 15, 2017. Review complete guidelines to the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry»
     
  • MAX RITVO POETRY PRIZE: Designed to honor the legacy of one of the most original and accomplished poets to emerge in recent years—and to reward outstanding poets for years to come—the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize is the most lucrative first-book prize in the U.S. Presented in partnership with the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, the prize awards $10,000 and publication to the author of a debut collection of poems. Submissions to the 2017 prize will be open from July 1–August 31, 2017. Review complete guidelines and submit to the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize»
     
  • NATIONAL POETRY SERIES: Milkweed Editions is one of five participating publishers in the National Poetry Series, which was established in 1978 to recognize and promote excellence in contemporary poetry. Five winners are selected each year, and each receives a prize of $10,000 and publication. Learn more and submit at nationalpoetryseries.org.

Open Submissions Periods

Milkweed Editions anticipates opening for several submissions periods in 2017. Dates can be found below and are subject to change; please check the website as your intended submission period approaches. Descriptions of each genre-specific submissions period and what we are looking for in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry can also be found below. Reviewing previous titles published by Milkweed Editions is another excellent resource.

We do our best to respond to submissions in a timely manner. Due to our staff size, however, our review time may take longer. Please be patient while we give your manuscript our full consideration.

  • LITERARY NONFICTION: Milkweed Editions will be open to manuscripts of literary nonfiction from January 15–February 15, 2017. We publish primarily works of literary nonfiction that focus on nature and the environment, a deeply felt sense of place, and/or the relationships between human and natural communities. We publish few works of memoir that do not bear a direct connection to these themes, and we are not interested in literary biographies or in manuscripts written for an academic, business, or scientific audience. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a full-length book) or three representative essays (of a collection).
     
  • FICTION: Milkweed Editions will be open to manuscripts of fiction (novels, novellas, and short story collections) from May 1–May 31, or until we reach a cap of 800 submissions, whichever comes first. We will open for additional submissions of fiction from June 1–June 7, or until we reach a cap of an additional 800 submissions, whichever comes first. We are not currently accepting any children’s or YA manuscripts, and any submitted will be automatically declined. We do not publish romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, or westerns. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a novel) or three representative stories (of a collection).
     
  • POETRY: Milkweed Editions will be open to single-author collections of poetry beginning October 1, 2017. Submissions will close once we have received 800 manuscripts, or on October 31, 2017 (whichever comes first). Manuscripts must be at least 60 pages long. Please submit a query letter along with the complete collection.

How to Submit a Manuscript

Electronic Submissions

Milkweed Editions considers manuscripts sent through Submittable during one of our open submissions periods. (Button below.) Please note: No manuscript revisions or corrections can be made to files while submissions are under consideration. Unsolicited manuscripts and queries submitted via email will not be considered.

NOTE: If you submit a manuscript during the incorrect genre-specific submissions period, it will be automatically declined. 

submit

Paper Submissions

Though we strongly recommend that you use Submittable, we also accept printed submissions. We will only respond to submissions mailed with an enclosed SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope), and will only return submissions if you enclose a mailer stamped with correct postage. If you do not provide a way for us to return the manuscript, we will recycle it.

Please see the above guidelines for each genre. NOTE: We are not currently accepting any children’s or YA manuscripts, and any submitted will be automatically declined.

You may address mailed submissions to:

Nonfiction Reader [or Fiction or Poetry, as appropriate]
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South
Open Book, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415  
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Tula
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Chris Santiago

Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.” Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, the winner of the 2016...

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J. Drew Lanham

Growing up on his family’s land in South Carolina, the author fell in love with the subtle beauties of the natural world around him—and grew up to be one of the lone black men in a predominantly white field. This memoir is a riveting exploration...