Home PageAbout the Emma PressCalls for submissions

Calls for submissions

OPEN (scroll down for the guidelines)

  1. Gothic Poems (deadline: 9th November 2018)


  1. Insect Poems, for children (closed: 5th October)
  2. Illness Poems (closed: 31st August 2018)
  3. Night-time Stories (closed: 3rd August 2018)


 1. Gothic Poems

18th September – 9th November 2018

We are looking for poems inspired by the gothic, for an anthology edited by Nisha Bhakoo and Charlotte GeaterWe are looking for uncanny poems that make us think about the gothic in a new way. We want to see dark poems that spook us to our core, as well as lighter poems that engage with gothic themes or motifs.

What is the gothic? Think of mysterious settings: desolate landscapes and decaying mansions with too many doors; think of secret histories, and monsters who may or may not be lurking just out of sight. It’s ghosts and vampires and unhappy people doing strange things.

Gothic stories are full of dangerous desires and places where pain and pleasure mix. It’s a big genre and it encompasses so much – think of Jane Eyre and Dracula, but also think of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Nick Joaquin’s Tropical Gothic.

You could take on the voice of your favourite gothic character in your poem, or work to create a chilling atmosphere or eerie mood throughout your poem. We want to see unusual approaches to the gothic, which means poems that take risks and shine a new light on gothic themes and our understanding of them.

You might want to engage in an informed way with historical settings and gothic literary forebears, or you might find serious or playful ways to bring gothic ideas into the 21st century and beyond. We’d like to see it all. But don’t just replicate the past and its problems – if you want to engage with the history of the genre, we’re sure you can find new ways of talking back to it, or through it.

We want this anthology to be full of exciting, contemporary interpretations of the gothic. We want poems that are innovative and stay with us long after we have read them.

If you would like to submit, please send a maximum of three poems by 9th November 2018The full guidelines are below and you can read more about it on the following pages:

About the editors

Nisha Bhakoo is a British poet and editor, living in Berlin. She is currently working on a PhD on the Uncanny within contemporary poetry at Humboldt University. Her poems, which explore gothic ideas, have been published in literary magazines internationally. She has also made poetry films that have been exhibited in the UK and Germany. Her first poetry collection, You found a beating heart, was published by The Onslaught Press in 2016. Her second poetry collection, Black and White Dream, will be published in autumn 2018 by Broken Sleep Press.

Charlotte Geater is a poet and editor based in London, UK. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kent. She edits children’s poetry and fiction for the Emma Press, and poetry for adults too. Her own writing has been published by Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Galley Beggar Press, Strange Horizons and in The Best British Poetry 2013.

How to submit to Gothic Poems

Here’s how to submit, in four simple steps:

  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 2018), 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, into a single Word/PDF/ODF document. Please only include text in the document, and no images.
  3. Make sure your submission is anonymous. Make sure you haven’t put your name or any biographical notes in the document, and be aware that you will be asked to rename your document at a certain stage within the Google form.
  4. Fill in the Google form here – it will tell you everything you need to know. If you have any problems with it, drop us an email on hello@theemmapress.com

The deadline for submissions is midnight at the end of 9th November 2018.

We will reply to everyone who submitted – please sign up to our newsletter to see updates on our progress. If you received the automatic receipt, we’ll have received your submission and you will definitely get a response. Please scroll down to read our general submissions guidelines, especially before emailing us with questions.

Frequently-asked questions about submissions

Do the poems/stories 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.

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.