Submissions

Spark Wheel Press will accept unsolicited submissions via our online submission manager. Hard copy and e-mailed submissions will not be considered. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us immediately when your work is accepted elsewhere. We are currently accepting submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts only  (48 pg minimum). Every submission must include the following:

1)     A professional cover letter—Tell us your background, why you think SWP would be a good fit, and what you understand about your responsibilities as an author.

2)     Your full manuscript with an acknowledgements page

We are open to unsolicited submissions, but because of this, you must understand that we will not be able to spend a lot of time with every submission. In an initial screening, we will read your cover letter, a few poems at random, and your acknowledgements page. If we see potential (and professionalism) in your work, we will send the manuscript to one of our readers for a full reading and evaluation. Based on their recommendation, we will read the manuscript and potentially forward it to our editorial board for a vote. Not every manuscript will make it this far, but we will do our best to give each manuscript the attention it deserves. Because we (the editors) are the preliminary screeners, you can be assured that no manuscript will be dismissed out of hand. We also reserve the right to bypass the readers and the board and the whole very sensible process should we find ourselves completely swept up in your work.

Our policy on submissions/reading fees

We do not now, nor will we ever, charge a reading or contest fee. We do not believe it is the responsibility of submitters to finance the publication of another author’s work. Furthermore, we do not believe the consideration of a manuscript is a service that can be purchased. You do not need to pay us to read your work.

We do, however, charge a $3 submissions fee. How is this different? you may ask. We have several reasons for charging a submissions fee. First of all, we benefit, as both writers and editors, from the Submittable submissions platform, which they allow many, many journals and small presses to use free of charge or for a very nominal fee. Requiring a submissions fee means that (in addition to the small monthly fee we pay) Submittable gets paid $.75 per submission. We think they’ve earned it. For years, writers paid the postage rates which supported the system carrying their submissions to editors, and we envision this small fee in much the same way. Finally, while we appreciate the ease of electronic submissions, postal submissions require a different level of commitment. Writers have to invest both time and resources preparing and printing their manuscripts and taking them to the post office. The investment requires one to be sure both of the quality of the work, and the appropriateness of the intended audience. Our submissions fee is an attempt to mimic this question. Are you sure the work is ready? Are you sure it’s for us?

Exceptions: The following persons are invited to submit without paying a submissions fee.

1)     burntdistrict contributors – We have an existing relationship with these poets which we intend to cultivate. If you do not wish to pay a fee to submit your manuscript, consider submitting a selection of poems to burntdistrict.

2)     Editors of other journals or small presses—These are people who are already contributing time and money to the writing community. No additional contribution is needed. We also assume that this group is aware of the amount of work necessary to prepare a manuscript for submission.