Open Reading Period Guidelines

*WE ARE CLOSED for submissions until further notice. We were open for the month of April, 2018. If you missed it, you should subscribe to our email newsletter (because those folks got early access in March).

Updated March 1, 2018. These guidelines are pretty much the same as in previous years, but please note that the maximum length for chapbooks has been shortened to 25 pages.

Bloof will open the month of April for manuscript submissions, both for our handmade chapbooks series and—for the first time—our paperback series. All manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines below, and be submitted electronically during that month. (We are considering capping the number of entries this time, so earlier is better.)

This is not a contest. There are no fees, no outside judges. This is an open reading period. Our goal is to choose 4–6 chapbooks and 1–2 longer books for publication in our 2018–2019 list.
All writers who submit manuscripts that adhere to the guidelines will be considered. Writers who fail to follow the guidelines will neither be considered nor notified.
Chapbooks will be produced in a limited handmade run of 100–150 copies. Chapbooks will be sold through our website, at our partner bookstores, and at various events. The author receives 20 complimentary copies and is paid a royalty on each sale made by Bloof. After handmades are sold out, they are released as free PDFs and collected into our BOUND paperback compilations, which are distributed as books.
Books will be produced in a standard run of 300–500 copies, with reprints as necessary. The paperbacks will be sold through our website, at our partner bookstores, and at various events. Additionally the paperbacks are distributed domestically via Ingram and via a global POD network. We do not distribute them as ebooks at this time. The author receives 30 complimentary copies, may purchase additional copies at cost, and is paid a royalty on each sale made by Bloof.
All Bloof collective members are invited to read and discuss submissions, per their availability.

How to prepare your manuscript:

1. Read a couple of our books and chapbooks, or at least look up the poets (link list in right sidebar) and read some of their work available online. Free ebook versions of our previous chapbooks can be found here:

While we are theoretically open to reading any style of poetry, we certainly have preferences and even biases. Familiarity with the books we have already published should help you decide whether your work is a good fit. That's different than saying we are only looking for work that looks just like what we have already done. (As if.)

2. Bloof is a collective press. What does that mean? Read this post about "The Way We Work." Basically it means if you publish with us, you become part of the collective and will be expected to actively participate in the press, including activities beyond the scope of your own book. Do not submit to Bloof is you don't think that sounds like a whole lot of fun. That post also explains how you will be paid, if you publish with Bloof.
New in 2018: Current and future collective members will be asked to accept our anti-harassment and discrimination policy as a condition of ongoing publication with Bloof.

3. Manuscripts up to 25 pages will be considered for our handmade chapbook series. Manuscripts over 50 pages will be considered for our paperback series. 
They should be typed, proofread, and presented in a standard font. (Italics, open field spacing, etc. are fine of course—this is why we want PDFs, to lock in your formatting). Do not send updates or corrections once you have submitted your manuscript. 
The work should be unpublished in chapbook or book form, as a whole, though individual poems may have appeared in magazines, etc. Please include a list of acknowledgments, if any, as well as a short bio.

4. Collaborations are acceptable, with the participation of all collaborators. For the first time we are also considering translations, for which translators must have appropriate permissions from the copyright holder.
5. Include a cover sheet with name, manuscript title, mailing address, and email address.

6. Number the pages in the manuscript.

7. Cover letters are OK (since we are not reading anonymously), and we also like proposals. How do you imagine this book or chapbook will look? Would you enjoy helping with the assembly of your chapbook? Are you interested in particular materials? If you have other ideas how to distribute or promote the book, or whatever, we're interested in hearing those. 
The final design and promotional strategy will be a collaboration between Bloof and the author—and obviously we are constrained by budget considerations—but for the proposal, if you have a vision, describe it to us. Maybe we can make it work. 
You can submit just a manuscript…or a manuscript plus these sorts of ideas in a proposal.

8. Manuscripts must be saved as a PDF and submitted electronically to this email address: open [at] bloofbooks [dot] com. Save the file with your last name and title (or partial title if it's long) as the document name, separated by an underscore, like this: Knox_Mystery.pdf

9. Simultaneous submissions are your right. We ask only that you promptly let us know if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
10. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines (including those sent when we are not open) will be automatically deleted. It's fine to ask a question (same email address) if something is unclear, but if we can tell you haven't read these guidelines completely, we probably won't answer. We're just too busy…and about to get a whole lot busier.

We look forward to reading your poems!