Middle West Press LLC

Type Of Organization
Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
Middle West Press LLC is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, fiction, journalism, and poetry. As an independent micro-press, we publish from one to four titles annually. In its publishing operations, Middle West Press LLC specializes in book-length projects, such as themed literary and non-fiction anthologies, as well as single-author poetry collections. We are particularly interested in telling stories rooted in the American Midwest (which we define as “the geographic area acquired through the Louisiana Purchase”), although we are not limited to arbitrary boundaries. Regarding our business model: We are a traditional press. We are not a “hybrid,” “vanity,” or “subsidized” press. We pay our authors—even if its just a token advance, or a small royalty; they do not pay us. We do not require authors to guarantee a given number of pre-sales, although we are motivated to work with authors who have established relationships with readers via blogs, social media, and other platforms. As a secondary mission—beyond the American Midwest—we are also motivated to illuminate and complicate modern stereotypes related to military service and veterancy. We want to challenge readers to go beyond Hollywood’s “American Snipers and Navy SEALs” and “TYFYS.” Past and present military service members, family members, and others are invited to submit work. We also think that “everyone has an experience with the military, even if only as taxpayer and voter.” More generally, we are interested in celebrating and featuring voices such as those of women, writers of color, writers who identify as LGBTQ+, and other historically marginalized populations.

Social Media Platforms Used
Facebook, Twitter, BlueSky
Is Your Group Affiliated With A University, Portal Or Other Agency?
Primary Editor/Contact Person
Randy Brown
Contact Title
essays, fiction, nonfiction, poetry
Representative Authors
Jessi M. Atherton, Ben Weakley, Eric Chandler
Submissions Policy
We publish from 1 to 4 titles annually. At least one of these is usually a collection of poetry, and one is a themed anthology. Before querying or submitting, please familiarize yourself with our design, poetry, editing, and publishing aesthetics by sampling one or more of our past books: amzn.to/3zvWGmV WHAT TO QUERY OR SUBMIT - Fiction: We are not open to queries regarding book-length fiction at this time. However, our themed anthologies often welcome short-form fiction, including flash. - Non-fiction, including essay collections: Query with cover letter, short biography, competitive market analysis, and up to three chapters as Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) file. - Poetry: We are typically open to consider poetry manuscripts (thematically complex collections of 50 to 100 poems by a single author) annually between January and March. See “Plans & Open Calls ...” below for more information. - Hybrid: Query with cover letter, short biography, competitive market analysis, and entire manuscript as Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) file.
Accepts Unsolicited Submissions
Simultaneous Submissions Accepted
Reading Period
Year round
Reporting Time
1 - 6 months
Author Payments
royalties, cash, copies
Number Of Paid Staff
Number Of Unpaid Staff
Year Founded
IngramSpark via Amazon
Number Of Books Published Per Year
1 to 4
Titles In Print
Percentage Of Above Available Digitally
Average Price Per Book
Average Price Per E-Book
Randy Brown
How Did You Arrive At Your Current Position?
I started Middle West Press as a sole proprietorship in 2003—magazine writing, editing, editorial project management. In 2015, we registered as an LLC in the State of Iowa, and expanded business operations as an independent book publisher.
What Is The Staff Structure At Your Magazine/press?
Poet Lisa Stice joined us as an associate editor in 2023. In the past, we’ve also had the pleasure of working with guest editors such as the Line of Advance journal’s Christopher Lyke, and Steve Leonard—the creator of the military-themed DoctrineMan!
Do You Have Any Cover Letter Advice?
We prefer to see business-like cover letters with queries & submissions. - Who you are - Why you're contacting us - What you're sending us - Where we can contact you We give bonus-points for including a 50-word "bio-blurb" written in third-person.
How Are Submissions Processed In Your Magazine/press?
This varies greatly by editorial project. We often include named guest editors and readers in triaging submissions.