About Us

First Matter Press is a not-for-profit publishing collective centering community and craft. We invite authors into a creative cohort where they crystallize manuscripts in dialogue with editors and fellow writers and collaborate with featured artists on original cover art. 

We are committed to actively practicing bias-awareness, inclusion and equity. We encourage submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ authors.

Our editors are reading submissions from May 1 to October 31, 2021. We will publish selected manuscripts in September 2022. We are most interested in the following: 

  • Writers who are *most of the way there* on a manuscript but excited about the potential of engaging with our community to fully realize the intentions of their work
  • Poets who have completed (or near completed!) their first chapbook or full-length collection
  • Innovative genre-breaking works (from new and previously published writers)
  • Previously published writers who have generated a manuscript that is a big departure from past work
  • Collaborative work that does not fit standard publishing categories
  • Multi-lingual works
  • Translations appearing in English for the first time (Translators must have secured publication rights. Please contact us prior to submitting.)

Publishing with our collective may be a good fit for you if:

  • You currently define yourself as an aspiring writer/poet, but are ready to redefine yourself as a published writer/poet
  • You enjoy developing your craft through community engagement (workshops, circles, submitting to journals and mags, etc.) or desire to do so
  • You crave support and reflection from editors and peers but want to maintain creative autonomy
  • You want a shorter timeline to book-in-hand than traditional publishing but more guidance through the book production process than self-publishing offers
  • You wish to own 100% of your copyrights and receive 100% of sales royalties but also desire a high-quality professionally team-produced book (Note: because we are a nonprofit collective and authors keep 100% of sales royalties, they are asked to invest an accessible sliding-scale financial contribution toward the production of their book; fundraising options are available) 

Submissions must include the following:

1. A cover letter that introduces yourself and your intentions for your manuscript and also answers the questions below:

  • Will this be your first published chapbook or collection? If not, how does this manuscript depart from your previously published works?
  • How have you collaborated in the literary community to develop your craft (or how would you like to)?
  • If the manuscript you are submitting is a collaboration, please additionally discuss your collaborative process.

2. A 15-20 page excerpt of your manuscript and any working title(s).  

3. A 100-word third-person biography.

We can only consider submissions that follow the above instructions fully. PLEASE BE SURE TO SEND AN EXCERPT; we will not read full manuscripts for initial consideration and we will not consider incomplete submissions. 

We will respond within four weeks to let you know if we would like to request your complete manuscript for consideration!

Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. 

First Matter Press