Western Press Books

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Western Press Books

Call for Submissions

For the upcoming fall 2015 Manifest West anthology series, we’re calling for submissions of literary work based on the theme WESTERN WEIRD.

Borrowing from the VanderMeer definition for speculative fiction’s “New Weird,” we’re creating a new parallel genre for work that subverts the traditional romanticized ideas about place, playing with clichés about The West in order to put these elements to discomfiting, rather than consoling ends.

Submissions should deal with the interaction and/or collision of various elements that make up the area of the country known as The West. And for this issue of the series, we encourage submissions that are also off-beat, humorous, or campy.

For fiction and nonfiction, we prefer Western Weird-themed stories with a literary slant. To get a better idea of what we’re looking for, think about what Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers did with the South, and now translate it into the New West. Or look at Robert Garner McBrearty’s short story collection, Let the Birds Drink in Peace, or Annie Proulx’s short story collection, Close Range: Wyoming Stories.

For poetry, we prefer Western Weird that subverts yet celebrates new formalist devices where form and content interact. Think of David J. Rothman’s mock-epic and comic blank verse “The Tunnel of Love,” or David Mason’s macabre “The Collector’s Tale” told in slant-rhymed abccabc septets, or R.S. Gwynn’s Hopkins parody “Fried Beauty,” or any of Molly Peacock’s nonce or hybrid sonnets.

Remember that our anthology series features literary writing with a distinct Western regional flavor, so that element should be present in your submission. Please send one fiction or narrative nonfiction story submission of 2,500-7,500 words, or up to three flash fiction stories totaling no more than 3,500 words, or three to five poems totaling no more than 10 pages. (We will not consider submissions that ignore these guidelines.) We will consider previously published works, but we prefer unpublished pieces. Authors selected for the anthology will receive one copy of the publication in payment.

Please include with your submission a cover letter explaining why you believe your work fits our guidelines.

Manifest West, #4 – Western Weird, will accept submissions from Nov. 30, 2014, through Jan. 31, 2015, at http://westernstatepress.submishmash.com/submit. Writers will be informed of final decisions by April, 2015. 

Visit us in late summer 2015 for details about the 2016 theme.

Send questions or comments to Dr. Mark Todd, 2015 Manifest West Editor, at mtodd@western.edu.