Manuscript Submissions

Bone & Ink Press is now accepting chapbook submissions for publication in 2021.

From now until September 15, 2020, we are only accepting submissions from Black writers. After September 15, until the end of the year, we will be open for submissions from everyone. We are not here to police people’s identities, nor do we have time to check up on making sure everyone’s who they say they are, so I’ll reiterate: if you are white, or a non-Black POC, please wait until after September 15 to submit.



  • Manuscripts should be in standard, 12 pt. font, single-spaced, and no more than thirty pages (excluding front matter).

  • All works must be primarily in English. You don’t have to live in the US, English doesn’t have to be your first language (and in fact we highly encourage writers from other countries and those writing in English as a second language to submit), and of course you can include words / sections in other languages, but English should be the primary language of the work. (Note: if you’re writing in a vernacular or style other than standard US English, that’s totally cool too! By “English,” we mean any version of it.)

  • Almost any genre/form is cool with us. We like creative non-fiction, poetry, and fiction. Got a hybrid work? Poetry + lyric essays? A book-length poem? Great! Send them to us! Writing horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or other speculative stuff? Yes, please!

  • Here’s what we don’t want:

    • Extreme violence or gore. Horror’s cool, as stated above, and some violence/gore is fine if it’s essential to the work (no matter the genre), but if it reads as violence-for-violence’s-sake, or like splatterporn, we won’t publish it.

    • Porn/erotica. Again, you can put in as much sex as you want if it fits in the context of the work, but we’re not a porn or erotica press. There are other outlets for that!

    • Homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, etc. Again, context is important. If the work is about experiencing any of those things, that’s fine, but we don’t want misogynistic rants or anything like that.

    • Art books/comics. If there are a few illustrations or photographs that are essential to the work, that’s fine, but the manuscript should be primarily text.

  • Collaborative works are neat, please just make sure that the names of all authors are included in the manuscript and in your submission email.

  • By submitting, you are certifying that the work is an original creation by you (and any collaborators, if applicable). Found poems (such as erasures, centos, etc.) are great. So are works inspired by other writers (aka “after” poems). But due to an unfortunate uptick in plagiarism in the poetry community in recent years, we’re asking that you cite your sources. Meaning: if you have any found and/or “after” pieces in your manuscript, please include some kind of footnotes or endnotes citing the texts you used to create any found pieces, and the texts which inspired any “after” pieces.

  • The manuscript must be previously unpublished. This includes self-publishing, or publishing online. Pieces from the work may have appeared elsewhere, but the manuscript as a whole must be previously unpublished.

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, please just let us know ASAP if your work is accepted elsewhere.

To submit:

  • Email

  • Subject: [Author Name]’s Manuscript Submission / [Genre] / [Title]

  • In the body of the email, please include a cover letter—can be short, or long; can just be ‘here’s my manuscript, thanks for looking at it!’ or a more in-depth description, or just telling us something interesting. Please also include a short bio, including any relevant links to websites and/or social media.

  • Attach your manuscript as a .docx or .pdf file.

  • You can expect to hear back by the end of January, 2021. You may hear back sooner, but final decisions for the 2021 roster won’t be decided until January. If it’s February and you haven’t received a response, feel free to give us a nudge.

Further notes:


  • If you have a manuscript that’s longer than thirty pages, or a manuscript that is more like an art book or comic, or a manuscript-in-progress that you’re not quite ready to send in…basically if you have something that doesn’t quite fit our guidelines, or if you’re unsure if it would fit our guidelines, but you really think Bone & Ink Press might be a good home for it, feel free to query. Email:, Subject: Manuscript Query. No guarantees, obviously, but we’re open to discussing things!

  • Once again, until September 15, we are only open to submissions from Black writers.

  • When we open back up for general submissions, we will be asking people to purchase one of our previously published titles in lieu of a submission fee. This will always be optional, but it will be encouraged, as it will help us keep the press up and running while still being accessible to everyone.

© 2017-2020 by Bone & Ink Press.