Open Submissions Reading Period

2018 Open Reading Period: July 9-October 31

From July though end of October, Kore Press is holding the 2018 Open Submissions reading period for book-length collections of poetry, short stories, novellas, creative non-fiction, cultural criticism, and hybrid works. We do all our work at the Press through a social justice lens, and, we are into a wide range of aesthetic practices and projects, with a particular interest in experimentation.

Selected manuscripts will receive publication by Kore Press, national distribution with energetic review / interview outreach, and collaborative promotion with the author. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.

July Westhale poetry manuscript review

There are 30 manuscript consultations available with poet July Westhale (winner of the Kore Press First Book Award for Trailer Trash, selected by Robin Coste Lewis). Submit up to 50 (+/-) pages of poetry through October 31 (or until all 30 slots are filled) along with 3 questions, concerns, or issues to guide her review process.

Writers should submit as much, or as little, information as needed to convey their most significant concerns or curiosities for the reader. Commentary from July will be provided by email within six weeks of receipt of submission.

No more than one poem per page, please. More than one section of a poem can appear on a page, of course. Please use a legible 12 point font. You may include a table of contents, bio, acknowledgment page, etc. if you would like to do so, in addition to the 50 pages of poems.

July will be looking at both micro and macro aspects of the manuscript—individual poems, as well as the through-line of the collection as a whole. She’ll provide feedback on the art of the book: if it works as a cohesive piece, or if it needs more/less.

Consultation: $250

Who May Submit

Kore’s Open Reading Period is open to any women, gender queer, and transgendered artist writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad, and regardless of prior publication history. This is not a contest and manuscripts are not read anonymously. Previously self-published books are not eligible. Employees of Kore Press and authors with books previously published by Kore Press are not eligible. Artists submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications.

We are impressed by the quality of work we see year after year and generally receive many more worthy manuscripts than we are able to publish. Each of our contests and reading period has a different team of editors, guest editors, esteemed readers, and final judge. And of course our tastes and needs evolve. For all of these reasons and more, please know you are welcome to resubmit your manuscript to Open Submissions even if you have already entered it in one or more of our contests or reading periods in the past. Thank you for trusting us with your work — we’re excited to see what stunning words arrive on our desks!

Manuscript Requirements & Ethical Guidelines

Please note, the Open Reading Period is for poetry, creative non-fiction, novellas, cultural criticism, hybrid works and short fiction. Submit a previously unpublished manuscript with a table of contents.

Page lengths: A single novella or should be between 120-180 pages; story, hybrid, or essay collections, approximately 140-300 pages; poetry collections, approximately 48-90 pages of text, no more than one poem per page, please. More than one section of a poem can appear on a page, of course. These are page length suggestions. We allow more or fewer pages.

Please use a legible 12 point font. Please use 1-1/2 or double spacing for prose; for poetry, your preference. You may include a table of contents, bio, acknowledgment page, etc. if you would like to do so.

Individual pieces in a manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. If applicable, include with your manuscript an acknowledgments page listing prior publications of individual poems.

Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, as long as you let us know and notify Kore Press promptly if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Kore Press endorses and abides by the Ethical Guidelines of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), which can be reviewed below.

Notification of Receipt

The online Submittable system automatically confirms receipt. An email announcement will be sent to all entrants of Kore’s Open Reading Period results.

Beyond these notifications, kindly refrain from requesting an individual response to confirm receipt of your manuscript and/or payment. Submittable offers automated confirmations. We receive hundreds of manuscripts each year and cannot offer individual acknowledgments. Thank you for your understanding.


All entries must be certified by Submittable online by midnight MST of October 21, 2018. Results will be announced early January. We notify all entrants in two ways:

  • Via email.
  • We post the results on our website.

Reading Fee

A reading fee of $30 (U.S.) must accompany each Open Submission manuscript. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $30 reading fee. If you pay the entry fee but fail to submit your manuscript by the deadline, your fee will not be returned.

Why a reading fee? We are an independent, nonprofit literary press. Reading fees help defray, but do not entirely cover, the cost of reviewing manuscripts and publishing the books we select through our competitions and reading period.

  • Via Submittable
    (Submittable will be accepting manuscripts between July 9 and Oct 31.)
    Click here to submit. Be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading. 

Our Reading Policy

Our preliminary readers are selected by the director of the press and are published writers, experienced editors, and/or writers who have received a graduate degree in creative writing or literature. We do not employ students to read manuscripts. Each manuscript is read by at least two readers. We rotate our readers seasonally so that those writers who wish to re-submit to Kore Press can be assured that their manuscript(s) will receive fresh “reads.” Selections for publication are made by the director and associated editors of Kore Press.


We endorse and agree to comply with the following statement released by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses:

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to:

1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;

2) provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and

3) make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.