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Submission Guidelines...BIg-Cairn2.jpg

Please read carefully! We have a delicate system, like a pile of loose stones, and we can't handle a thrown rock. If submitting to the anthology on rejection, please go here.

Our open submission period for book-length literature is from February 1 through March 31 of every year. Any submissions received outside of the reading period will not be considered. Sorry, but our next submission period will not begin until February 1, 2015.

During our open submission period, we seek remarkable, completed, fine-tuned fiction manuscripts. We prefer novels, but great short story collections that have a sense of unity (most do not) are always welcome.

We look for prose that rises off the page, characters that infect our dreams, stories that alter us.  If you have a manuscript that can only be identified as literature, has taken you years to write and is quite good, then please send a kind email to editor [at] cairnpress.com with "submission" in your subject line. We will need the following two files attached as a .doc/.docx/.pdf/.rtf files in order to consider your work:

  • A one-page query
  • The opening twenty pages

Before you submit, we suggest you read our Questions to the Editors.

If you do not submit as requested, we will not open or read your submission. Writing is about observation, after all.

Please check back or sign up to our mailing list to hear about open submissions, new releases, and other news of the small press world.

Please give us at least two months to respond.

We no longer accept snail-mail submissions.

Please do not query us with young adult or genre materials, such as sci-fi or romance or mystery or fantasy or vampires or were-anythings. There are many publishers specifically geared for those projects.

Thank you.


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