Middle West Press LLC is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, poetry, and journalism. We are a veteran-owned business. We publish from 1 to 4 titles annually. 

For more about our mission, submissions practices, and business model, click here.

Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest. To view a round-up of our previously published books, click here.

We are also managers of The Aiming Circle, a Patreon-based community of military-writing practitioners. If you write on themes and topics related to military experiences, please check-in with us there!

Middle West Press LLC seeks poetry manuscripts by a single author, comprising 50 to 100 poems each, for potential publication in 2024-2025.

We are particularly seeking manuscripts that intersect in some way with military experience or service, especially those stemming from the lived experiences of women veterans, poets of color, poets who identify as LGBTQ+, and other marginalized voices. Past and present military service members, family members, and others are invited to submit work.

This reading period ends March 4, 2024 or a maximum of 25 submissions, whichever comes first.

Submissions will be processed "First-In, First Out." All submissions will receive a reply not later than June 4, 2024.

Middle West Press is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest. Our award-winning book titles are available for sale in print and e-book editions via on-line retailers, and via select independent and museum bookstores.

We publish from 1 to 4 titles annually, and have plans to make at least one of these a collection of poetry that informs and illuminates the American Midwest.

Examples of our past poetry collections include:

We also published, along with the editors of Chicago-based literary journal Line of Advance, the anthology Our Best War Stories: Prize-winning Poetry & Prose from the Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Awards.

Most recently, we published an anthology Things We Carry Still: Poems & Micro-Stories about Military Gear.

Each of these projects notably explored, at least partially, themes of national service or citizenship during wartime. We look to constructively complicate the popular stereotypes of what it means to be a military service member, veteran, or family member—not all of us, after all, are American Snipers or Navy SEALs. We contain multitudes.

While we look forward to continue to explore such themes, we are equally motivated by any work that helps renew and revise the milieu of the Middle West as a growing, changing, modern place.

Our informal rule-of-thumb is that the modern U.S. states carved from the Louisiana Purchase, and/or states located west of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri River, safely define our intellectual playground. The Middle West is a moveable feast, however. We recognize that the Middle West includes themes, characters, and geographies that cannot be contained by mere borders. In fact, the Middle West may be most apparent in places where it is not.

Whether you are from here or live here—or just adhere to a particularly Midwestern sensibility—we would love to read your work!

  • Submit Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) files; Times New Roman, 12-point type.
  • Each poem should be presented on its own page. (Use page or section breaks.)
  • Include an "Acknowledgements" page listing those venues and dates at which individual poems have appeared in print or on-line.

If accepted for publication, after a written and signed contract is place, Middle West Press LLC pays poets a $100 advance, on print and e-book royalties. "We pay authors; authors do not pay us." Royalties are generally 10 percent or greater of retail "cover" price. At any time—not just at the time of publication—authors may also buy their own copies at significant discount. These may be sold via their own readings and local bookstore venues.

Middle West Press LLC, an independent micro-publisher based in Central Iowa, has issued a call for human-generated poems and micro-prose (300 words max.) engaging with themes of environmentalism, climate change, technology, and more through a lens of Midwestern experience.

The working title of this project is Midwest Futures: Poems from Tomorrow's Heartland.

Deadline for submissions is Jul. 1, 2024. Publication is projected for Spring/Summer 2025.

This is explicitly a speculative poetry (and related micro-flash-prose) market. We are interested not only in the gritty and grounded, but also near-future science-fiction-infused visions of the possible. For inspirations and vibes, see also movements such “Solarpunk,” “Eco-modernism” and “Climate Fiction” (“Cli-Fi”), as well as these potential exemplars of eco-poetry and other writing:

While we envision the Middle West as a renewing, evolving, and complicated place, but we are also not blind to the social and environmental challenges we face.

We want to illuminate real-world problems specific to the region, including but not limited to climate change, racism, water quality, aging populations, rural/urban divide, and healthcare deserts. We want to imaginatively celebrate new possibilities, solutions, and futures. 

As with previous Middle West Projects, we hope to publish work that intersects in some way with the people, places, nature, and history of the terrains and cultures we inhabit, especially works stemming from the lived experiences of women, youth, poets of color, poets who identify as LGBTQ+, military veterans, and other marginalized voices.

Our informal rule-of-thumb is that the modern U.S. states carved from the Louisiana Purchase, and/or states located west of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri River, safely define our intellectual playground. The Middle West is a moveable feast, however. We recognize that the “Middle West” includes themes, characters, and geographies that cannot be contained by mere borders. In fact, the Middle West may be most apparent in places where it is not—or when viewed and experienced by geographic “outsiders.”

Editors of the project write:

Our intent with this project is to have fun, but also to illuminate, interrogate, and challenge (via the still-human domain of poetry!!!) the ways people think about place, people, and culture. We are looking for terrain-shifting, mind's-eye-bending, firmament-rending expressions of new and future realities. Be provocative. Be poignant. Be human. Even if you write like a Giant Robot Tractor.

Ideally, many of the works submitted will engage questions such as:

  • How could we change the ways we build, grow, live, work, and travel on the land? What would be the results?
  • How could we change the ways we interact with and honor the land (and our predecessors, ancestors, and  neighbors), toward visions of a "new" Midwest?

In creating and crafting their own original concepts and works, contributors might consider various modes of commenting, observing, or even inhabiting technologies, histories, mythologies, or Midwestern stories depicted in popular culture. Consider, for example:

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Deadline for submissions is Jul. 1, 2024. Notifications will be sent not later than Nov. 4, 2024. Target publication date for this project is Spring/Summer 2025.
  • Submit from 1 to 3 poems in the same file (.DOC or .DOCX).
  • Work generated using ChatGPT and similar computer-assisted word "AI" will NOT be accepted. Human-generated poems only, please.
  • New and original work is preferred. Please note in cover letter whether specific works have previously been published elsewhere.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify the editors via Submittable if one of more poems becomes unavailable during the consideration period.
  • Publisher requests non-exclusive, worldwide, English-language print and e-book anthology rights.
  • Contributors will receive one complimentary print or digital (where postal delivery is not available) contributor's copy.

Middle West Press LLC seeks poetry manuscripts by a single author, comprising 50 to 100 poems each, for potential publication in 2024-2025.

We are particularly seeking manuscripts that intersect in some way with the people, places, nature, and history of the American Middle West, especially those stemming from the lived experiences of women, poets of color, poets who identify as LGBTQ+, military veterans, and other marginalized voices.

We are motivated by any work that helps renew and revise the milieu of the Middle West as a growing, changing, modern, complicated place.

Our informal rule-of-thumb is that the modern U.S. states carved from the Louisiana Purchase, and/or states located west of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri River, safely define our intellectual playground. The Middle West is a moveable feast, however. We recognize that the Middle West includes themes, characters, and geographies that cannot be contained by mere borders. In fact, the Middle West may be most apparent in places where it is not.

This reading period ends March 4, 2024 or a maximum of 25 submissions, whichever comes first.

Submissions will be processed "First-In, First Out." All submissions will receive a reply not later than June 4, 2024.

Middle West Press is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest. Our award-winning book titles are available for sale in print and e-book editions via on-line retailers, and via select independent and museum bookstores.

We publish from 1 to 4 titles annually.

Examples of our past poetry collections include:

We also published, along with the editors of Chicago-based literary journal Line of Advance, the anthology Our Best War Stories: Prize-winning Poetry & Prose from the Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Awards.

Whether you are from here or live here—or just adhere to a particularly Midwestern sensibility—we would love to read your work!

  • Submit Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) files; Times New Roman, 12-point type.
  • Each poem should be presented on its own page. (Use page or section breaks.)
  • Include an "Acknowledgements" page listing those venues and dates at which individual poems have appeared in print or on-line.

If accepted for publication, after a written and signed contract is place, Middle West Press LLC pays poets a $100 advance, on print and e-book royalties. "We pay authors; authors do not pay us." Royalties are generally 10 percent or greater of retail "cover" price. At any time—not just at the time of publication—authors may also buy their own copies at significant discount. These may be sold via their own readings and local bookstore venues.

Middle West Press