Home PageAbout the Emma PressCalls for submissions

Calls for submissions


  1. Poetry pamphlets for adults and children’s poetry collections (deadline: 24th January 2020)


  1.  Children’s picture book manuscripts (closed: 20th April 2019)
  2. Night-time Stories (closed: 3rd August 2018)


Poetry pamphlets (for adults) and poetry collections (for children)

The Emma Press is looking for new poetry pamphlets for adults and poetry collections for children, to publish in 2021. If you like the kinds of books we publish, we would love to see your writing. Take a look at the guidelines below to see how to submit…

Poetry pamphlets for adults

We believe the pamphlet format is a great way of showcasing a writer’s voice and reaching new audiences. The pamphlet is short enough for a reader to take a chance on and long enough for a writer to get their teeth into.

We currently publish three different series of poetry pamphlets, all of which we’re hoping to add to in this round of submissions. You can click through the links below to read more about each series:

We’ve put together some bundles of pamphlets in the webshop, so you can see what each of the series are like – take a look.

Judge. The poetry pamphlets will be judged by Emma Dai’an Wright, the publisher at The Emma Press.

Poetry collections for children

We believe poetry is vital to childhood and we want to bring delightful, imaginative poetry to children’s bookshelves, inspiring them with a love of poetry which will last for the rest of their lives.

We are looking for children’s collections, aimed at children aged 6+ through to being aimed at teens (you can tell us what age group you’re aiming for in the submissions form). The final books will contain around 50 pages of poems. You can see the children’s poetry books we’ve published so far in the webshop – take a look.

Judges. The children’s poetry collections will be judged by Emma Dai’an Wright, the publisher at The Emma Press, with the help of Edward van de Vendel when narrowing down the shortlist. Edward is the author of Super Guppy and a superstar children’s poet in the Netherlands.

How will submissions work?

We’re limiting it to one submission fee per person, entitling you to one pamphlet proposal and/or one children’s poetry book proposal. So, you could just send us one, or you could send us both. But you can’t send in two of either. This is to encourage people to have a go at writing for both adults and children, as it would be good if there was more crossover.

We are doing a two-stage submissions process again, as it worked well in our last call for submissions. In this first stage, we’re asking you to send us 6 pages of your manuscript. If your proposal makes our shortlist, we will ask you send us the full manuscript. Here’s a rough timeline (dependent on how many submissions we get):

  • 28th October 2019-24th January 2020. First stage of submissions (6 pages).
  • 25th January 2020-30th April 2020. Editors read the submissions.
  • May 2020. Emma replies to everyone who submitted; shortlisted authors are asked to send in their full manuscripts by the end of June and deal individually with Emma from then on.
  • 2021. Pamphlets published throughout.

We will reply to everyone who submitted – please sign up to our newsletter to see updates on our progress. Please scroll down to read our general submissions guidelines, especially before emailing us with questions. 

How to submit

Here’s how to submit, in three steps:

  1. Buy a submission fee. This costs £10 and will go towards Emma’s time reading the submissions. Make a note of your order number (the one starting with #), so you’ll need it later.
  2. Prepare your 6-page sample in .DOC, .ODT or PDF format. Never .pages!! Since poems can take many forms, we are just asking for six A4 pages of text. For example, you could send us six one-page poems, or four one-page poems and one two-page poem, or one six-page poem, and so on. You can download a .DOC or a .ODT template to see our preferred formatting,
  3. Fill in the Google form here. Make sure you have your sample document and your 5-digit code from your webshop purchase to hand. The form will tell you everything you need to know, including where to upload your file. If you have any problems with it, drop us an email on hello@theemmapress.com and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

The deadline for submissions is midnight at the end of Friday 24th January 2020.

Frequently-asked questions about submissions

How many are you planning to choose?

Ideally we’d find 4-6 pamphlets and 1-2 children’s collections.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions? i.e. Can I send my manuscript for consideration by other places too? 

Yes, that’s fine – just drop us an email if you need to withdraw your entry.

I am going to find it hard to be able to afford the submission fee, but I would really like to submit. Can you help?

Just drop Emma an email at hello@theemmapress.com to let her know your situation and we’ll sort something out 🙂

I have a full-length collection of poems for adults. Can I submit this?

No, because we don’t publish full-length collections for adults – just pamphlets.

I have more than one children’s poetry manuscript or poetry pamphlet I would like to show you, and I’m finding it hard to choose. Can I just send you both?

No, please choose just one, as we asked for just one. If you’re struggling, have a think about what might be the best fit for The Emma Press.

I’ve written a pamphlet/children’s collection with a friend. Can we submit as a pair?

Sure! Just figure out how to fill in the Google form together (not one each), and be aware that you’ll split the complimentary copies and royalties.

I have an illustrator in mind for my Pick/Art Square/children’s collection. Can I send you some samples of their work?

Steady on, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! You can certainly mention this at the end of your form, but do bear in mind that I can’t guarantee your chosen illustrator will be used. It’s probably best to assume they won’t be, so have a think about how you would feel about that and if you’d still want to submit. If your manuscript gets through to the shortlist stage then we can discuss it, but if I don’t like their style/fee/attitude then it will have to be a no.

Will you consider translations for your poetry anthologies and pamphlets?

Yes, we are always happy to see translations. Translators can submit multiple proposals (i.e. one per author). If you’re a translator, you can always just arrange to meet Emma at the London Book Fair though, instead of going through this round of submissions – your choice!

Does the writing in your anthologies and pamphlets need to be unpublished?

It’s fine if your poems/stories have been previously published, but please do check with those publishers or publications that you still hold the rights to your poems and can licence us to publish them again with no additional payments or paperwork.

Do I have to arrange for my book to be illustrated?

Not at all – depending on how much money Emma has at the time, either Emma will illustrate it or she will commission someone else to illustrate it.

I don’t live in the UK – can I still submit?

Yes, we welcome international submissions.

When will I hear back about my submission?

We send updates on our progress in our newsletter, so that is the best place to look if you’re wondering when you might hear back from us. We do reply to everyone, and we read all of the submissions very thoroughly, so thank you for being patient with us.

Will I get feedback if my submission is unsuccessful?

We will email everyone to let them know the verdict on their submission, but we can’t offer individual feedback.

What happens if you do like my writing?

We will let you know by email and take it from there. We will probably have some suggestions for tweaking or developing your writing further, so we’ll explain that all in the email.

Will I get any money?

We offer each anthology poet two complimentary copies of the book and a discount on future purchases of the book. Pamphlet and picture book authors get royalties and ten complimentary copies.

And finally . . .

We only publish writing which we utterly love and believe in, which means the matter of what we publish will always come down to our personal tastes. If we can’t publish your work, it’s not a judgement on the quality of your writing so much as a reflection of our personal preferences in writing. If you would like to get a sense of our tastes, do take a look at the books we have published so far.

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