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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.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.