Submissions

OUR MISSION

Milkweed Editions is a nonprofit literary press, publishing between fifteen and twenty books each year. Founded in 1980, we have published nearly three hundred titles and are committed to attracting and retaining outstanding writers whose work is of enduring value. Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.

 

WHAT WE PUBLISH

Milkweed Editions is happy to accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors of all backgrounds (previously published or not), and our editorial staff reviews each submission. In return, we ask that you familiarize yourself with our publishing list in order to determine if your manuscript is a good fit for our press. Submissions that do not initially meet the guidelines below will not be considered. Please note that we do not accept manuscripts that have been previously self-published.

Milkweed Editions receives about three thousand manuscripts each year, and we choose just a handful of those for publication. Our selection process is rigorous and focused on finding the best writing in each of the four following genres:

  • Works of fiction (novels, novellas, and short story collections). We do not publish genre fiction, by which we mean we are not interested in romance, science fiction, mystery, crime, or westerns. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a novel) or three representative stories (of a collection).

  • Works of literary nonfiction that often focus on the relationships between human and natural communities. We are not interested in manuscripts written for an academic, business, or scientific audience, nor are we interested in literary biographies. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a full-length book) or three representative essays (of a collection).

  • Collections of poetry (single-author collections only) that are at least 60 pages long. Please review our previous poetry titles to get a sense for what we’re looking for in a poetry collection. We do not consider inspirational poetry. Please submit a query letter along with the complete collection.

  • Books for young readers (middle-grade and YA novels) between 90 and 200 pages. We’re looking for full-length fiction. We do not consider picture books or poetry collections for young readers. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters of the novel.

Please note, if your manuscript exceeds 150 KB file size, our submission manager database will not accept your work. In that case, please submit the longest excerpt you are able to.


OPEN SUBMISSIONS AND READING PERIODS

We are currently closed for submissions. We plan on opening our submissions once we have responded to all submissions from the last period. Thank you for your patience. 

We do our best to respond to submissions during the reading periods. Due to our staff size and the steady flow of manuscript submissions, our review time may take longer. Please be patient while we give your manuscript our full consideration. We cannot respond to letters, phone calls, or emails requesting manuscript status.

The Submission Manager (our electronic submissions system) will only accept submissions during the open submission periods. Any manuscripts mailed to us outside of an open submission period will be held for the next scheduled reading period.

 

HOW TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS

Milkweed Editions prefers to receive manuscripts online through our Submission Manager. If you're a first-time submitter, you'll need to fill in a simple form and then follow the instructions for selecting and uploading your manuscript. Please note, if your manuscript exceeds 150 KB file size, our submission manager database will not accept your work. In that case, please submit the longest excerpt you are able to. 

If you have any problems using Submission Manager, concerns about your manuscript, or general questions, please contact us by email.

PAPER SUBMISSIONS

Though we strongly recommend that you use Submission Manager, we also accept printed submissions. Please enclose your submission and a SASE for response (or a stamped mailer if you'd prefer to receive the manuscript back after consideration). If you do not provide a way to return the manuscript, we will recycle the manuscript.

Please address submissions to:

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

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