The 2020 October Reading Period for poetry manuscripts has been suspended. Manuscripts will not be received at this time. The Editors anticipate reading poetry manuscripts again in October, 2021.
We will be reading unsolicited poetry manuscripts in October 2021. This reading period is only for poets who have not previously been published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Manuscripts should be in the forty-eight to ninety-six-page range.
We are often asked if we are conducting a "first book" contest. We view this reading period as neither a contest nor as being exclusively for first books. Rather, it is a time for us to review manuscripts by writers whose work we might not otherwise be familiar with, or by writers who no longer have an affiliation with another press. Of the eight to ten books we publish each year, at least two are selected from this reading period. Some of the poets whose books of poetry have been published through the "October" readings are: Rita Dove, Franz Wright, Cornelius Eady, Mary Ruefle, Hayan Charara, Nicky Beer, Rachel Richardson, Bridget Lowe, Dan Rosenberg, Kimberly Burwick, and Virginia Konchan.
If you wish to have us consider your manuscript, please send it with the following:
- a stamped business envelope self-addressed in both "to:" and "from:" positions, for readers' decision;
- an acknowledgments page which lists where the poems have been previously published; and
- a reading fee check in the amount of $15.00 signed and made payable to Carnegie Mellon University Press. Note: Unsigned checks will disqualify manuscript submission.
Send manuscripts to:
Due to the large volume of submissions, we are no longer able to return manuscripts. Please do not include any valuable material (photos, reproductions, etc.), as we cannot be responsible for their return. Please do not include prepaid mailing materials for the return of manuscripts as the United States Post Office postage rates increase frequently. In order to be eligible for the October reading period, submissions must be postmarked during October 2021.
The Press considers only manuscripts that are complete.
For nonfiction submissions, please send a letter of introduction, updated curriculum vitae, an outline or table of contents, and a sample chapter.
Please do not send a complete manuscript with your initial inquiry.
Submit your materials to:
All other correspondence such as general questions, event updates, and press-related correspondence should be directed to email@example.com.