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»


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 three annual prizes for poetry, all of which include a cash prize and publication by Milkweed Editions:

  • The LINDQUIST & VENNUM PRIZE FOR POETRY is 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 will be open from January 2–February 15. Review complete guidelines to the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry»
  • The JAKE ADAM YORK POETRY PRIZE for a first or second collection is presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and Copper Nickel. The inaugural prize, judged by Ross Gay, will award $2,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in the spring of 2018. Please do not send manuscripts to Milkweed Editions—instead, please refer to Copper Nickel’s submission guidelines for details.
  • 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

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 1–31, 2017. 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 from September 1–30, 2017. 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.) 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. 


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  
Featured Nonfiction
Joni Tevis

From a haunted widow’s wildly expanding mansion to atomic test sites in the Nevada desert, the settings of these essays are often places of destruction and loss. And yet this collection transforms these eerie, apocalyptic destinations into sites...

Things that Are
Amy Leach

These essays take jellyfish, fainting goats, and imperturbable caterpillars as just a few of their many inspirations. Surveying both the tiniest earth dwellers and the most far-flung celestial bodies, this is a book of wonder, one readers cannot...

Body of Water
Chris Dombrowski

The author was in the Bahamas, pursuing bonefish—one of the world’s most elusive creatures—when he had a life-changing encounter with David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Here he tells Pinder’s story, as well as that of an ecology, of an...

The Home Place
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...

Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, the author has been trained to examine nature with the tools of science; as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our teachers. Here she brings these two lenses together,...

Featured Poetry
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...

Cold Pastoral
Rebecca Dunham

Deepwater Horizon, Hurricane Katrina, Flint: this is the litany of our time, and these are the events traced in these poems, invoking the poet as moral witness. Incorporating interviews and excerpts from government documents and other sources,...

Max Ritvo

The poems of this debut collection are dispatches from chemotherapy beds and hospitals and the loneliest spaces in the home. They are relentlessly embodied, communicating pain, violence, and loss—and yet they are also erotically, electrically...

Karen Leona Anderson

In this collection, apparently prosaic documents—recipes and receipts—are transformed into expressions of human identity. From cherry pie to the little black dress to an epidural, these poems show how material objects and expenditures constrain...

Bright Dead Things
Ada Limón

Full of bravado and introspection, of twenty-first-century feminist swagger and harrowing loss, this collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact. Taking readers from New York City to rural Kentucky, these poems...