Home PageAbout the Emma PressCalls for submissions

Calls for submissions


  1. Poems about Travel or, specifically, the experience of being in transit. Deadline 28th May 2017, scroll down for details.


  1. Poems about Britain. (closed on 26th March 2017; we’ll let you know in the next newsletter when we’re hoping to have send out responses)
  2. Poems about British and Irish Kings and Queens (closed on 13th November 2016 and we have now sent out all the responses to everyone who submitted)



There, through the last of the sentences, just there—
through the last of the sentences, the road—
– Carolyn Forché, ‘Travel Papers’ (2011)

Whether local or global, by foot or by ferry, we tend to look upon journeys in terms of departure and arrival. However much we enjoy or endure it, travel from one place to another is often understood simply as a means of getting from A to B.

But what happens en route? How are our thoughts set in motion during these journeys? What is the relationship between our inner selves and our surroundings? How do we interact with or ignore our fellow passengers? How does the mode of travel affect our perception of the environment? Do journeys change or confirm us? Are we different beings while travelling? And what happens when we are forced to travel, or when we no choice but to stay put?

In Transit is a collaboration between the Emma Press and the Centre for Travel Writing Studies at Nottingham Trent University. We invite submissions of poems that deal with the experience of being in transit; poems may describe journeys undertaken on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle, wheelchair, ambulance, bus, train, plane, boat or other mode of transport.

We welcome both formal and experimental work but are especially interested in contributions that employ poetic form to convey the sense of motion.

The deadline for submissions is 28th May 2017 – please scroll down to find out how to submit.

About the editors

Sarah Jackson is an award-winning poet and critic from Nottingham. She is the author of Pelt (Bloodaxe, 2012), which won the Seamus Heaney Award and was the readers’ nomination for the Guardian First Book Award, and Tactile Poetics: Touch and Contemporary Writing (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). She is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.

Tim Youngs is Professor of English at Nottingham Trent University, where he is director of NTU’s Centre for Travel Writing Studies. He is the author or editor of several academic books about travel writing. His poems have appeared in several print and online magazines, including The Interpreter’s House, The Journal, Lighthouse, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review and Staple.

How to submit to In Transit

In order to submit, please do the following:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fill in the Google form below – it will magically tell you everything you need to know! If you have any problems with it, try filling it in here and, if that doesn’t work, drop us an email on queries@theemmapress.com

The deadline for submissions is midnight at the end of Sunday 28th May 2017. 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 frequently-answered questions about submissions, especially before emailing us with questions.


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.

Do you consider translations?

Yes, we are open to seeing translations.

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 there are only two people reading all of the submissions, 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. If you sent us a poetry pamphlet proposal, we will ask you to send us 10-20 more poems. 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.

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