Calls for submissions
- Poems about Dinosaurs, for children (opened 18th September 2017, closes 29th October 2017)
- Poetry & Prose Pamphlets (opened 17th October 2017, closes 10th December 2017)
Scroll down for the submissions guidelines and FAQ.
- Poems about Travel (closed on 28th May 2017; we’re hoping to send responses to everyone who submitted by the end of November)
- Poems about Britain (closed on 26th March 2017; we’re hoping to send responses to everyone who submitted by the end of November)
1. DINOSAURS (poems for children aged 7+)
Having explored mythology, space and, most recently, kings and queens in our previous children’s anthologies, the Emma Press is continuing to dig down through the layers of history, and we are now looking for poems about dinosaurs for children aged 7+ for a new anthology.
We want poems that convey the sheer stomping hugeness of these creatures, and poems that zoom in on the fine brushwork of palaeontology. We’d like authors to consider a range of the prehistoric denizens of land, sea and air, including any links to their present-day descendants. Poets are welcome to respond to the most recent scientific discoveries, or to whatever impression dinosaurs made when they came into their own lives — we’ll consider poems about dinosaurs in their scientific and fictional, modern and Victorian forms. As John Hammond says in The Lost World, ‘Life will find a way,’ and we’re confident that poetry will do the same.
Dragons of the Prime: Poems about Dinosaurs will be edited by Richard O’Brien and it will include factual annotations, interviews and poem-writing prompts. It will be published in spring 2019. The full guidelines are below and you can read more about our hopes for this book in the press release.
About the editor:
Richard O’Brien is a poet, playwright and editor. His pamphlets include The Emmores (Emma Press, 2014) and A Bloody Mess (Valley Press, 2015), and he recently worked on the English translation of The Noisy Classroom (Emma Press, 2017), a Latvian poetry collection for children.
His first children’s play – an adaptation of The Selfish Giant – was produced at the Arcola Theatre in December 2016. He is working on a Midlands3Cities-funded PhD on Shakespeare and verse drama at the University of Birmingham.
- Poems do not need to be entirely scientifically accurate, but they will be annotated by an expert to clarify any divergences from the fossil record.
- Poems can address dinosaurs then or now — in their (pre)historical context, or as they have been discovered and displayed in museums by humans over the past two centuries.
- We are using the word ‘dinosaur’ in its broadest/most informal sense, and will also welcome poems on pterosaurs and pliosaurs, creatures of the air and sea.
- As you’ll be able to see from our other children’s poetry books, we like a broad range of poetic styles and we welcome poems with a formal metrical structure and rhymes as well as more free styles. The most important thing is that these poems should be written specifically for children aged 7+ – please do bear this in mind when you are writing/selecting your poems.
If you would like to submit, please send us a maximum of three poems by Sunday 29th October 2017.
How to submit to Dragons of the Prime
Here’s how to submit, in three steps:
- You must be a member of the Emma Press Club, which means you must have bought a book or ebook from the Emma Press website in this calendar year (i.e. since 1st January 2017), or already have been accepted into an Emma Press book. Read more about the Emma Press Club here.
- Place a maximum of three poems (each no longer than 65 lines) in a single Word/PDF/ODF document (i.e. the file name will end .doc/.pdf/.odt). Please only include text in the document – if the file size is more than 1MB then something weird is going on.
- Once you’ve got your single file all ready, fill in the Google form here – it will magically 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
The deadline for submissions is midnight at the end of Sunday 29th October 2017. Any deviation from these strictures will lead to you being eaten by a mosasaurus.
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.
2. Poetry & Prose Pamphlets
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.
If you like what we’re doing at the Emma Press and would like to be part of it, we would love to see your writing. We currently publish five different series of pamphlets/short books, all of which we’re hoping to add to in this round of submissions. You can click through on the links below to read more about each series:
- The Emma Press Poetry Pamphlets (poetry, around 24 pages of poems)
- The Emma Press Picks (poetry, around 20 pages of poems)
- Art Squares (poetry, around 24 pages of poems)
- Poetry for Children (poetry, around 50 pages of poems). We publish book-length children’s collections rather than pamphlets.
- The Emma Press Prose Pamphlets (prose, around 50 pages of text/up to 20,000 words). These can be any kind of prose, for any age-group.
We are limiting it to a single proposal, of either poetry or prose, per person. If you have several manuscripts in your locker and find it difficult to choose, just pick the one which is the best fit for the Emma Press.
In previous rounds of pamphlet submissions, Emma and Rachel would each read all of the entries. This year we’re going to try something different: we’re going to share out the reading across the Emma Press team, and you can choose the editor you would like to read your submission in the first round. This doesn’t mean that you have to have this editor if your book is chosen, and nor does it guarantee that your chosen editor will be the one who reads your manuscript in the first round, but we will try our best. You can read profiles of all the editors here (and we highly recommend that you do).
We’re also introducing a two-stage process this year, to allow us to respond to everyone more quickly. 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):
- 17th Oct-10th Dec 2017. First stage of submissions (6 pages).
- 10th Dec-27th Mar 2018. Editors read the submissions.
- April 2018. Editors reply to everyone who submitted; shortlisted authors are asked to send in their full manuscripts by the end of May.
- July 2018. Editors reply to shortlisted authors to let them know if they have been successful or not. Each editor will aim to have chosen 1-4 books, and Emma Wright will have the final say.
- 2019. 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. You can read the press release here.
How to submit
Here’s how to submit, in three steps:
- Make sure you are a member of the Emma Press Club. This means that you must have bought a book or ebook from the Emma Press website in this calendar year (i.e. since 1st January 2017), or already have been accepted into an Emma Press book. Read more about the Emma Press Club here.
- Prepare your 6-page sample. Since we’re accepting both poetry and prose, we thought it would be simpler to ask for six 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, or the first six pages of a short story or essay, and so on. You can download a .DOC or a .ODT template to see our preferred formatting,
- Fill in the Google form here. Make sure you have your sample document and your 4-digit code 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 email@example.com and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
The deadline for submissions is midnight at the end of Sunday 10th December 2017.
Frequently-asked questions about submissions
Do the poems need to be unpublished?
It’s fine if your poems 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.
Will you consider translations?
Yes, we are always happy to see translations. Translators can submit multiple proposals (i.e. one per author).
Do I have to arrange for my book to be illustrated?
Not at all – we will arrange this. We’re open to your suggestions of illustrators, but we’ll deal with all the illustration side of things for you.
I don’t live in the UK – can I still submit?
Yes, we welcome international submissions. You’ll need to buy a book/ebook from our website if you’re not already an Emma Press author, in order to join the Emma Press Club. If you don’t want to pay for the international shipping, you could always buy an ebook.
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 might 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 authors get royalties and 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.
Watch this space for the next call for submissions, or sign up to our newsletter below to hear about submissions before anyone else. You can read our blog about processing submissions over on the Emma/Valley Press blog.