Submit to Join Our 2025 Author Cohort (Poetry/Hybrid/Genre Expanding)

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First Matter Press

Call For Submissions

Please send us your chapbook and full-length poetry, hybrid and genre-expanding manuscripts via Submittable.
Deadline to submit is April 15, 2024

There is a $5 submission fee for this reading period. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and fully volunteer press. This small fee helps us pay for Submittable and other operational needs. BIPOC writers are invited to submit fee- free.

First Matter Press is a not-for-profit publishing collective centering community and craft. In dialogue with editors and fellow writers, authors are guided in a year-long cohort to crystallize their manuscripts, collaborate with a featured artist on original cover art, and publish/promote their book. Our authors own 100% of their copyrights and receive 100% of sales proceeds.

We expect that all authors who seek a cohort seat will be committed to our community craft workshop process and to collaborating with us on the promotion of their book. 

We actively practice bias-awareness, inclusion, and equity. We prioritize submissions from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and neurodiverse authors.

While authors may submit from any part of the U.S., we are best able to support authors based in the Pacific Northwest, as our community connections are most robust in Portland and Seattle.

For this submission cycle, our editors feel particularly excited about:

  • work that pushes the boundaries of genre–this may be craft that can still be considered poetry, but the poems or structure of the manuscript departs from a typical poetry collection
  • hybrid works combining poetry with essay or prose.
  • chapbooks focused on a subject or theme

We will accept submissions from February 15 through April 15 for our 2025 publishing cycle, with a release date of September 2025. We are most interested in working with authors who:

  • Are excited to participate in the process of reflection and revision in community with other writers.
  • Have a complete (or nearly complete) first chapbook or full-length collection and are interested in offering and accepting feedback during the final editing process.
  • Are first-time authors OR
  • Are previously published writers with a new manuscript that is a fundamental departure from past work (e.g. a novelist’s first poetry collection or a shift from traditional to genre-bending works)

Publishing with First Matter may be a good fit for you if:

  • You currently consider yourself a practicing writer/poet and are ready to  become a published writer/poet
  • You enjoy developing your craft through community engagement (workshops, feedback circles, submitting to journals and magazines, etc.)
  • You actively seek out support and reflection from editors and peers but want to maintain creative autonomy
  • You are excited at the prospect of supporting peers in developing their works.
  • You have a strong sense of your authorial voice, and the ability to sieve through reflection to determine what feedback fits your manuscript and what does not.

Submissions must include the following:

1. A cover letter that introduces yourself, offers a brief craft statement about your writing and your intentions for your manuscript, and answers the questions below:

  • What, if any, experience do you have with writing workshops or seeking feedback about your craft? Do you have any concerns about this process?
  • Please share your thoughts on the collaborative workshop process, and how you believe your participation in this process could benefit your manuscript and those of others in your cohort.
  • Will this be your first published chapbook or book? If not, how does this manuscript fundamentally depart from your previously published works?
  • Are you developing any concurrent manuscripts you will submit or publish with another publisher during 2025?
  • Do you have a connection with the PNW? What does your network of writing/art community currently look like?

2. A MAXIMUM 20-page excerpt of your manuscript, including any working title(s). Your excerpt may be the first 20 pages or a curated selection of material. Each new poem or chapter should be separated by a page break.

3. A 100-word third-person biography.

Your cover letter, 20-page manuscript excerpt, and biography should be attached to your Submittable submission in a SINGLE doc/docx or PDF attachment. For an example of a submission-ready file, please click here.

We can only consider submissions that include all the above elements. Only complete submissions or those that follow these requests will be read. If your submission is rejected as incomplete, you are invited to resubmit corrected and complete materials within the open reading period dates.

We will notify you via Submittable message if our editors would like to see your full manuscript. Please make sure your email notifications are turned on so you don’t miss a message from us! Our response time is generally 60 days. If you haven’t received a response by May 15, please contact us.

Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please notify us promptly if your manuscript has been accepted elsewhere.

Submission Period
February 15, 2024 - April 15, 2024

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