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Brain Mill Press is a midsize traditional publisher, producing 15-20 books each year in fiction of all genres, memoir, and poetry.

We invite unsolicited submissions during selected open-submission periods a few times per year. In addition, the press opens calls for particular series and contests on a variable schedule. All available submission opportunities will be listed here, as well as archived closed submission specifications for recurring opportunities.

We particularly encourage writers of color, LGBTQIA+ authors, and women authors to submit their work for consideration in any of our open calls, series, or series contests, or at any time through their agents.

Join our newsletter list to be notified of new submission periods and contests each month.

Agents are welcome to contact us on behalf of their authors at any time.

Brain Mill Press General Programs
Driftless Unsolicited Cover Art Contest - OPEN

Call for Entries: The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Cover Art Contest

The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Cover Art Contest

Opens March 15, 2016

Closes July 31, 2016

$250.00 cash prize and use of art on the covers of the Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest winning novellas

The Driftless region of Wisconsin state is land that the glaciers never reached — a dramatically hilly landscape, unpressed by the weight of glaciers, with ore so close to the surface it was collected by individual miners who dug their own “badger holes” in the mineral-rich ground.

Since the miners left, this beautifully strange region has collected artists and makers, inspired by each other and the shadows and light created by ancient trees and changes in elevation.

The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Cover Art Contest seeks evocative and emotional 2D visual art suitable for covering the winning novellas in the Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest.

Two selections will be made partially on the basis of the content and themes of the winning novellas. Winning artwork will be incorporated into a professionally designed cover. Novellas will be published in the spring of 2017. Artists will be nationally promoted by Brain Mill Press and will retain all rights to their work. Up to three finalists for each cover spot will be also promoted on the brainmillpress.com website, newsletter, and in other Driftless Unsolicted winner annoucement materials.

Even if your work is not selected for a novella cover, it will be reviewed for its suitability for use on other book covers or projects, including our digital platform, BMP Voices, and contest entrants may be contacted for commissions or other potential projects involving their submissions. Brain Mill Press promotes original art and artists across its platforms and through its publishing program. All Brain Mill Press books are covered with original art (existing or commissioned).

The 2015 cover art contest winners were Mary Mazziotti, whose “American Memento Mori” appears on the cover of Haris A. Durrani’s TECHNOLOGIES OF THE SELF; Hannah Irlbeck, whose “Malachi” appears on the cover of Victoria G. Smith’s FAITH HEALER; and Erika Craig, with her painting “Flux.”

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

Please submit your image file (.jpeg, .pdf, or .png) to brainmillpress.submittable.com. Entry images can be good snapshot quality, as professional photographs for cover art will be produced at Brain Mill Press’s expense. Art may be in any 2D medium but must be original, and the artist must have exclusive rights to the work. Staff and staff affiliates of Brain Mill Press are not eligible to enter. International submissions are welcome. Brainmillpress.submittable.com will provide guidelines for successful electronic file submission.

Good luck, and for additional inquiries contact Brain Mill Press at inquiries@brainmillpress.com.


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Mineral Point Cover Photography Call - OPEN

Call for Submissions: The 2016 Mineral Point Photography Call — OPEN NOW

Opens June 1, 2016

Closes December 31, 2016, or at press’s discretion.

$125.00 and use of photograph on the covers of a Mineral Point Poetry Collection

2016 theme: Love & Mercy

The 2016 Mineral Point Photography call seeks original photographs on the 2016 theme, Love & Mercy. In this series, one or more full poetry collections, selected by poet Kiki Petrosino, will be published in both print and ebook and internationally distributed by Brain Mill Press. Photographs that are selected for this series will appear on the cover of a collection, in addition to the cash honorarium. The artist retains all rights to their photograph.

The 2016 theme, Love & Mercy, may be broadly interpreted by the photographer. Winning photographs will be incorporated into a professionally designed cover. Photographers will be nationally promoted by Brain Mill Press on the Brain Mill Press website, newsletter, and other Mineral Point poetry Chapbook Series annoucement materials.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

Please submit your high-quality image file (.jpeg, .tif, or .png) on the theme Love & Mercy to brainmillpress.submittable.com/submit/40702. Photograph may be full-color or black and white, and may be manipulated/edited by the photographer. The photographer must have exclusive rights to the work. International submissions are welcome. Brainmillpress.submittable.com will provide guidelines for successful electronic file submission.

Good luck, and for additional inquiries contact Brain Mill Press at inquiries@brainmillpress.com.
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Brain Mill Press Poetry Month Contest - OPEN

Call for Entries: Brain Mill Press Student Poetry Contest – Celebrating Poetry Month 2017

Opens April 1, 2017

Closes April 30, 2017

For April Poetry Month, Brain Mill Press is sponsoring a Student Poetry Contest. For our purposes, “student” includes anyone enrolled either in high school or college, who has not yet graduated with an undergraduate degree.

Please submit 1-3 poems, any style and length. In a short bio, include information about where you attend school, your studies, and your poetic interests. Please also upload an author photo – which we will use it if your poem is selected as either an editors’ pick or a winner. By entering the contest, you confirm the work is your own, and that it hasn’t yet been published (either print or online). We particularly encourage submissions from poets of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers.

The editors will select a poem or poems each Saturday in April as the editors’ pick(s), and BMP poetry month coordinator C. Kubasta will choose a grand prize winner. Selected poems will be published on the Brain Mill Press website and social media channels. Editors’ pick poets are awarded with a Brain Mill Press print book (and associated art gift, if available) of their choice. The grand prize winner receives a full set four Brain Mill Press Mineral Point chapbooks from 2015-2016 and associated broadsides, as well as a set of poetry from our catalog for their school’s library. Brain Mill Press will also notify their school of their student’s accomplishment. Poets retain all rights to their work.


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Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest - CLOSED

Call for Submissions: The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest — CLOSED

Opens March 15, 2016

Closes June 1, 2016

$250.00 cash prize and Brain Mill Press Publishing Contract

The Driftless region of Wisconsin state is land that the glaciers never reached — a dramatically hilly landscape, unpressed by the weight of glaciers, with ore so close to the surface it was collected by individual miners who dug their own “badger holes” in the mineral-rich ground.

Since the miners left, this beautifully strange region has collected artists and makers, inspired by each other and the shadows and light created by ancient trees and changes in elevation.

The 2016 Driftless Unsolicited Novella contest seeks 20,000-40,000 word novellas, with a strong preference for submissions from authors of color, LGBTQ+ writers, and women. Two winning novellas will receive a $250.00 cash prize, a publication contract, and royalties for the novella with Brain Mill Press. The cash prize is not an advance against royalties. Royalties commence with the internationally distributed release.

The winning novellas will be professionally edited and produced, and covered with original winning art from the Driftless Unsolicited Art Contest. Novellas will be published in print and digital formats in the spring of 2017. Authors will be nationally promoted and their novellas submitted for industry review and appropriate prizes. Up to three finalists for each publication spot will be promoted on the brainmillpress.com website, newsletter, and other Driftless Unsolicted winner announcement materials.

The 2015 winners of the Driftless Unsolicited Novella contest were Haris A. Durrani and Victoria G. Smith. Novelist John Crowley lauds Durrani’s TECHNOLOGIES OF THE SELF (Brain Mill Press, Feb. 2016) as “rich, humane, funny and outlandish,” presaging “a great career for a young writer with lavish gifts and a generous spirit.” Victoria G. Smith is a multiply published poet who has been honored for her writing by the Chicago Filipino American Hall of Fame. Her novella, FAITH HEALER (Brain Mill Press, Mar. 2016), explores queer identities in the Filipino diaspora.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

Novellas may be in any genre, including commercial genres such as romance, suspense, young adult, or science fiction (and others), or they may be uncategorized literary or mainstream fiction. The entry fee is $25.00 USD. International submissions are welcome but must be submitted in English. Brainmillpress.submittable.com will provide guidelines for successful electronic file submission. Good luck, and for additional inquiries contact Brain Mill Press at inquiries@brainmillpress.com.

Voices
BMP Voices Essay Pitches - May/June 2016 theme is "Genre: The Best I Ever Had" - CLOSED

Call for Pitches: Essays for BMP Voices

Brain Mill Press seeks emotional, radically authentic essays of 750-1,500 words to appear on Voices, our online content platform.

Opens/Closes: Ongoing submission with monthly themes. BMP will change the category title to “CLOSED” each month when we have as many pitches as we need.

Current Theme: Genre: The Best I Ever Had — CLOSED. New theme to be announced shortly.

Many of the most dynamic conversations in the literary and publishing world about intersectionality, colonialism, representation, and gate-crashing are happening in genre communities of readers and authors: romance, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and suspense. The publishing world has been upended by self-publishing, by conversations and discussions led by prominent genre authors like Daniel Jose Older, Alyssa Cole, Sofia Samatar, Nalo Hopkinson, Alexis Hall, and G Willow Wilson, and by a next generation of authors and readers that were never served well by convention.

In such a fertile and shifting environment, Brain Mill Press wants to know — what was the book or author or community that led you here in the first place? In a time and place where we all must learn and do better, what was the book (or books or series) that kept you up all night reading under the covers and brought you to the same sections of the bookstore and library again and again? What was the best (genre) you ever had? Why do you fight for that genre today?

Essay pitches will be reviewed for suitability by Brain Mill Press staff. If your pitch is selected, you will have a period of 7-20 days to write your piece. You will receive editorial development and feedback on your piece, a contract granting Brain Mill Press the limited right to reproduce your piece in Voices, and payment at industry-standard rates upon publication. You will retain all other rights to your work.

Your essay and profile will be promoted on our social media outlets. Your essay will contain your headshot and bio, as well as information you may wish to include about recent work and your website and social media links. We will also include your profile on our page of Voices contributors.

Brain Mill Press especially invites submissions from people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers.

Other interested writers for Voices, please contact inquiries@brainmillpress.com directly, and we will consider your pitches on a case-by-case basis depending on the response to the original call.

Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

Contact Brain Mill Press at inquiries@brainmillpress.com with questions.

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"Makers on Making" Pitches for BMP Voices - OPEN

Call for Pitches: Essays for BMP Voices Column “Makers on Making”

Opens: ongoing

Brain Mill Press seeks emotional, radically authentic essays of 750-1,500 words to appear on Voices, our online content platform, in the “Makers on Making” column.

Makers on Making features a different maker each month — printmakers, writers, knitters, crafters, painters, photographers, textile artists, and anyone else involved in art — with essays about their process on a particular project. These pieces delve into the psychology of making, the lessons we learn from success and (often more usefully) failure, and what it is to be a human authentically and emotionally involved as a maker in our world.

Essay pitches will be reviewed for suitability by Brain Mill Press staff. If your pitch is selected, you will be given a mutually-agreed period of time to write your essay. You will receive editorial development and feedback on your submitted piece, a contract granting Brain Mill Press the limited right to reproduce your piece in Voices, and payment at industry-standard rates upon publication. You will retain all other rights to your work.

Your essay and profile will be promoted on our social media outlets. Your essay will contain your headshot and bio, as well as information you may wish to include about recent work and your website and social media links. We will also include your profile on our page of Voices contributors.

Brain Mill Press exclusively invites submissions from people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers.

Other interested writers for Voices, please contact inquiries@brainmillpress.com directly, and we will consider your pitches on a case-by-case basis depending on the response to the original call.

Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

Your electronic submission will be accepted at the Brain Mill Press submission portal at brainmillpress.submittable.com/submit/54608. All  submissions will be read by the editors in a timely manner. Authors who have not heard from the editors two weeks from submission are welcome to inquire about their submission to inquiries@brainmillpress.com.

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editor Yen Ooi
Ab Terra Series in International Science Fiction - CLOSED

Call for Submissions: The Ab Terra Series in International Science Fiction — CLOSED

The Ab Terra Series in International Science Fiction
A Search for Stories Belonging to Another

Science Fiction Series for Brain Mill Press, edited by Yen Ooi

Submissions Open

Science fiction, like all other genres, has been with us for centuries. It has found its way into our homes, onto the bookshelves of readers who enjoy stories of imagination that are rooted in science and reality. To encourage this exploration further, this series seeks submissions of science fiction stories belonging to another: stories that are written with cultural flavors that will perpetuate and promote the understanding of our siblings on Earth.

“Reading [science fiction] … is about reading the marginal experience coded through the discourses of material symbolism.”

—Adam Roberts, Science Fiction, The New Critical Idiom

Brain Mill Press is pleased to announce that we’re currently open to unsolicited novel-length manuscripts of 40,000 words or more for the Ab Terra series. 

Requirements: complete manuscript, synopsis, cover letter

Criteria: science fiction (not fantasy) stories with cultural flavors from far-reaching corners of earth

Ab Terra series editor Yen Ooi will select books for digital and print publication in the series. Submit complete novel manuscripts of 40,000+ words via brainmillpress.submittable.com. Books selected for this series will be offered a contract for publication and royalties, and will be professionally edited and produced. The ebook and trade print will be internationally distributed. All published books will be promoted by the press, submitted for industry review, and chosen and promoted by the series editor.

Yen Ooi is a reader and author of science fiction and a consultant in publishing. She holds postgraduate degrees in English literature and international business, and a bachelor’s degree in commercial music. Having enjoyed a vibrant career in music touring, education, and management, Yen started writing in 2008. She has had various publications since then: a novel, Sun: Queens of Earth; a collection of short stories, poems and illustrations, A Suspicious Collection; and short stories and poems published in other collections. She hopes to explore further the role of fiction in understanding humanity, inspecting what it is that drives us forward in our lives. Soon, Yen will be pursuing a PhD in creative writing, specialising in Chinese science fiction.

Yen enjoys reading science fiction stories that are distinctive in characteristic and use storytelling to test the boundaries of our reflection and conception of humanity. Some of her favorite stories in this realm are Vandana Singh’s “The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet” and Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie.” She also enjoys the classic science fiction of Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, and others.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

 

Your electronic submission will be accepted at the Brain Mill Press submission portal at brainmillpress.submittable.com. Incomplete submissions and manuscripts, or manuscripts that are discovered to not meet the guidelines of this call, will be automatically rejected. All other submissions will be read by the editors in a timely manner. Authors who have not heard from the editors eight weeks from submission are welcome to inquire about their submission to inquiries@brainmillpress.com. Form rejection should be anticipated by authors whose submission does not meet the needs of the editors at this time, but comments and feedback may be occasionally offered per the editors’ discretion.

 

Good luck, and direct inquiries not answered in this call to inquiries@brainmillpress.com.

Ab Terra 2017: An International Science Fiction Anthology - OPEN

Call for Submissions: Ab Terra 2018: An International Science Fiction Anthology — OPEN

Ab Terra 2018 – An International Science Fiction Anthology
Edited by Yen Ooi

Submissions Open: Currently Open

Submissions Close: December 1, 2017

Shortlist Announcement: December 24, 2017

“Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”

On December 24, 1968, astronaut William Anders took a photograph after remarking on the beauty of earth from the moon—an image we know today as “Earthrise,” it introduced us to our home, to the vastness of humanity’s planet.

Ab Terra 2018 is a short story anthology that will seek to recreate that feeling when we first laid eyes on our whole world, through stories of science fiction belonging to all, from earth.

Criteria

–    story length between 1,000 and 10,000 words

–    previously unpublished (previous publication on author’s own Internet platform is acceptable) science fiction short story (not fantasy) with cultural flavors from far-reaching corners of earth

Schedule

–    submissions deadline: December 1, 2017

–    shortlist announcement: Earthrise day, December 24, 2017

Ab Terra series editor Yen Ooi will select stories for inclusion in the anthology.

Submit complete story manuscripts of 1,000-10,000 words via brainmillpress.submittable.com. Stories selected for the anthology will be offered a contract for publication. The anthology will be professionally edited and produced. The ebook and trade print will be internationally distributed. The anthology will be promoted by the press and submitted for industry review.

About the Ab Terra Series

Science fiction, like all other genres, has been with us for centuries. It has found its way into our homes, onto the bookshelves of readers who enjoy stories of imagination that are rooted in science and reality. To encourage this exploration further, this series seeks submissions of science fiction stories belonging to another: stories that are written with cultural flavors that will perpetuate and promote the understanding of our siblings on Earth.

“Reading [science fiction] … is about reading the marginal experience coded through the discourses of material symbolism.”

—Adam Roberts, Science Fiction, The New Critical Idiom

 

Yen Ooi is a reader and author of science fiction and a consultant in publishing. She holds postgraduate degrees in English literature and international business, and a bachelor’s degree in commercial music. Having enjoyed a vibrant career in music touring, education, and management, Yen started writing in 2008. She has had various publications since then: a novel, Sun: Queens of Earth; a collection of short stories, poems and illustrations, A Suspicious Collection; and short stories and poems published in other collections. She hopes to explore further the role of fiction in understanding humanity, inspecting what it is that drives us forward in our lives. Soon, Yen will be pursuing a PhD in creative writing, specialising in Chinese science fiction.

Yen enjoys reading science fiction stories that are distinctive in characteristic and use storytelling to test the boundaries of our reflection and conception of humanity. Some of her favorite stories in this realm are Vandana Singh’s “The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet” and Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie.” She also enjoys the classic science fiction of Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, and others.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

 

Your electronic submission will be accepted at the Brain Mill Press submission portal at brainmillpress.submittable.com. Incomplete submissions and manuscripts, or manuscripts that are discovered to not meet the guidelines of this call, will be automatically rejected. This call will remain open until December 1, 2017. Except for confirmation of receipt, you should not expect to hear from the series editor prior to shortlist announcement on December 24, 2017. Form rejection should be anticipated by authors whose submission does not meet the needs of the editors at this time, but comments and feedback may be occasionally offered per the editors’ discretion.

 

Good luck, and direct inquiries not answered in this call to inquiries@brainmillpress.com.

 

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editor Alexis Hall
Hellum and Neal Series in LGBTQIA+ Literature - CLOSED

Interested authors and agents can read about the Hellum and Neal Series and view the 2016-17 catalog of books here.

The Hellum and Neal Series is currently accepting only agented and solicited submissions. The series will reopen to unagented submissions in the fall of 2016.

editor Kiki Petrosino
Mineral Point Poetry Series - Full Collections - CLOSED

Call for Submissions: Mineral Point Poetry Series Full Collection

The Mineral Point Poetry Series 2016

Opens: June 1, 2016
Closes: June 30, 2016

$250.00 honorarium and Brain Mill Press Publishing Contract

2016 theme: Love & Mercy

Mineral Point, Wisconsin, is a town of artists and makers in the Driftless region of Wisconsin — a landscape the glaciers never reached and flattened out, so it remains shadowed, hilly, ragged, and unexpected.

Brain Mill Press is pleased to announce our Open Reading Period for the 2016 Mineral Point Poetry Series. In odd years, the series editor will select chapbooks for publication in this series. In even years, the series editor will select a full collection of poems by a single author.

For 2016, Mineral Point Poetry Series editor and poet Kiki Petrosino will choose a collection for digital and print publication in the series. The theme for this open reading period is Love & Mercy, interpreted broadly.

Submit manuscripts of 48-64 typed pages with no more than one poem per page via brainmillpress.submittable.com between June 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016. The author’s name should not appear on the cover page or within the manuscript.

The author of the selected collection will receive an honorarium of $250 plus royalties upon publication. All the books in the Mineral Point series are professionally edited and produced, and the print editions perfect bound, with a cover featuring original photography acquired for the series. The ebook will be internationally distributed. All poetry books will be promoted by the press, submitted for review, and chosen and promoted by the series editor.

Find more information at brainmillpress.com, or review the 2015 Mineral Point Poetry Series chapbook selections, currently available: TANKA & ME by Kaethe Schwehn (A Minnesota Book Award nominee), MY SEABORGIUM by Alicia Rebecca Myers (a 2015 Best New Poet), FAIR DAY IN AN ANCIENT TOWN by Greg Allendorf, and MY TALL HANDSOME by Emily Corwin (Indiana Review‘s Poetry Editor).

Series Editor Kiki Petrosino is the author of two books of poetry: Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), both from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She is founder and co-editor of Transom, an independent on-line poetry journal. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.

Please submit your 48-64-page (no more than one poem per page), unpublished, original full-length poetry collection on the theme Love & Mercy, to brainmillpress.submittable.com/submit/40699Brainmillpress.submittable.com will provide guidelines for successful electronic file submission. Your collection may include work previously published as single poems.
The Series Editor and Brain Mill Press reserve the right to solicit manuscripts during the Open Reading Period.
Good luck, and for additional inquiries contact Brain Mill Press at inquiries@brainmillpress.com


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editor Vanessa Willoughby
Fiction Program Edited by Vanessa Willoughby - CLOSED

Call for Submissions: Fiction Program Edited by Vanessa Willoughby — CLOSED

Fiction Acquisitions Program for Brain Mill Press
Edited by Vanessa Willoughby

Submissions CLOSED

Brain Mill Press is pleased to announce that editor Vanessa Willoughby is accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions for her acquisitions program.

Vanessa Willoughby is actively seeking diverse authors and literature with a strong voice. She seeks narratives that make the reader reflect and question the status quo. She is interested in strong storytellers. She is especially interested in fiction that evokes the stylistic language and themes of authors and writers such as Jesmyn Ward, ZZ Packer, Danielle Evans, Toni Morrison, Hilton Als, Zora Neale Hurston, Roxane Gay, Angela Flournoy, and Daniel José Older, just to name a few. She would be pleased to acquire emotionally raw, coming-of-age stories concerning young people of color, especially black girls and women.

Vanessa Willoughby holds a BA in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College. Following Emerson, she attended The New School and earned her MFA in creative writing. Her bylines have appeared but are not limited to the following print and online publications: Bitch, Book Riot, Bookslut, The Hairpin, Hazlitt, Hello Giggles, The Toast, and Vice. She is creative director at Winter Tangerine, a literary arts magazine dedicated to the electric. A full archive of her work is available on her blog. In the past, she has been an intern, a literary agency consultant, a senior acquisitions editor, and the high school poet laureate. Despite the conspiratorial nature of industry gatekeepers, she is determined to push for diverse authors, literature, and an overall diverse publishing industry. She is excited to be a part of the Brain Mill Press team and bring this vision to life.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at brainmillpress.com.

 

Your electronic submission will be accepted at the Brain Mill Press submission portal at brainmillpress.submittable.com. Incomplete submissions and manuscripts, or manuscripts that are discovered to not meet the guidelines of this call, will be automatically rejected. All other submissions will be read by the editor in a timely manner. Authors who have not heard from the editor eight weeks from submission are welcome to inquire about their submission to vanessa@brainmillpress.com. Form rejection should be anticipated by authors whose submission does not meet the needs of the editor at this time, but comments and feedback may be occasionally offered per the editors’ discretion.

 

Good luck, and direct inquiries not answered in this call to inquiries@brainmillpress.com.

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