Graywolf Press Submission Guidelines

Graywolf Press Submission Guidelines

Graywolf Press is a literary press that publishes about twenty-seven books annually, mostly collections of poetry, memoir, essays, novels, and short stories. Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combines a distinct voice with a distinct vision.

Poetry: Each year, Graywolf publishes around nine collections of poetry, one or two collections of poetry in translation, and one or two collections of essays on poetry. Our list focuses on contemporary poets, contemporary translators, and contemporary perspectives on craft. We very rarely publish poetry anthologies.

Prose: Each year, Graywolf publishes around nine works of fiction, including novels, short stories, and literature in translation. We also publish around nine works of creative nonfiction, including lyric essays, memoir, literary criticism, and so on. Within all genres, we look for innovative manuscripts that in some way take on the social and cultural challenges of contemporary life; our list focuses on contemporary authors and translators. We do not publish children’s or young adult literature, plays, self-help books, or how-to guides. We also do not publish any genre fiction, such as romance, science fiction, thrillers, detective fiction, horror stories, westerns, historical fiction, etc. We very rarely publish anthologies.

Reading Period:
We accept submissions in the months of January, May, and September (postmark date). Submissions received outside of these months will not be considered. If a stamped mailer is enclosed, your submission will be returned; if not, it will be recycled.

Submission Procedure:
We do not accept and will not consider electronic submissions. Please send one hard copy of your finished, book-length manuscript, along with a cover letter containing contact information, relevant biographical information, a brief description of the manuscript, and relevant previous publication history.

Response Procedure: Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for our reply. If you would like your manuscript returned, please note this on your cover letter and include a stamped mailer. We will make every effort to get your manuscript back safely, but things do happen: do not send us your only copy. If you do not provide a way to return the manuscript, it will be recycled.

Response Time:
We have a small editorial staff, and we respond to submissions within three to six months. Because of the volume of submissions, we simply cannot take phone calls or respond to emails inquiring about the status of manuscripts. If you haven’t heard from us in six months, please send a letter.

Bakeless Prizes:
Graywolf Press also publishes the winners of the Bakeless Literary Prizes, an annual first book contest for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Bakeless Prizes are administered by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference of Middlebury College. More information is available here: If you choose to submit your work to the Bakeless Prizes, please do not submit your work directly to Graywolf until Bakeless decisions are final (and vice versa).

Cave Canem Poetry Prize: Graywolf Press is one of the publishers of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. Graywolf publishes every third winner of the Prize, and will be publishing the winner of the 2009 Prize, which will be judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. If you choose to submit your work to the Cave Canem Prize, please do not submit your work directly to Graywolf until Cave Canem decisions are final (and vice versa). More information is available here:

Final Thoughts:
Graywolf Press is happy to accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors of all backgrounds (previously published or not). In return, we ask that you take the time to familiarize yourself with our list in order to determine whether or not Graywolf is a good fit for your manuscript. Many of the unsolicited manuscripts we receive are inappropriate for our press. You can ensure that your manuscript will be fully read and considered by taking a little time before submission and making sure it’s appropriate for us.

Send Submissions to:
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue West, Suite 203
Saint Paul, MN 55114

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