Conium Press publishes innovative writing. We want your wildest settings and weirdest plots. We want bizarre characters and structural experiments. We think books should take risks, and we gravitate toward titles that might get overlooked elsewhere.

We believe books come in all shapes and sizes, are we're particularly intrigued by little books dedicated to individual stories, dyads, triptychs, or flash fictions.

The press is especially interested in work from women writers, LGBTQIA2S+ writers, BIPOC writers, and writers with disabilities.

Our most recent release is Sarah Gerard's The Butter House, and our next release will be Maria S. Picone's This Tenuous Atmosphere.

Our reading periods vary. Any active calls for submissions appear below. If you'd like to stay informed about upcoming calls for submissions, you can sign up for our email list.

General Information

Conium is a boutique fiction publisher with a limited catalog. We typically work on a single book at a time. Each year’s publishing decisions are determined based on the submission pool, available budget, and editorial workload.

We believe books come in all shapes and sizes. We'll consider turning a 20-page story into a chapbook. We'll do a flash collection. Send us that novella. Generally speaking, little books (i.e. chapbooks) have a better shot.

Conium leans toward magical realist, surrealist, and experimental fiction. We're especially interested in work from historically underrepresented voices, including but not limited to LGTBQIA2S+ writers, BIPOC writers, writers with disabilities, and women writers.

If published, authors receive ten copies and a small honorarium (we’re talking about a few hundred bucks, so don’t quit your day job). We send titles to small press review outlets and larger industry staples (like Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly). Previously, our titles have been included on "most anticipated" and "book of the month" lists at Lambda Literary, Write or Die Magazine, Independent Book Review, and other outlets. Titles are distributed through Ingram Book Group and stocked at a handful of participating libraries and bookstores. In short, we do what we can with a small budget and volunteer staff. While our circulation is limited, we can assure that your book will be read by people who love independent literature.

Submission Deadlines

We're considering unsolicited book and chapbook submissions on a variable schedule. Tentatively, we plan remain open at least through the end of February, 2024 but may extend this call additional weeks or months depending on the volume of submissions.

Please submit all work using our Submittable page. We do not respond to emailed submissions. If you don’t already have one, you can create a Submittable account for free.

Submission Guidelines

We only consider fiction. No poems or nonfiction, please. Manuscript length is extremely flexible (however, chapbook-length and shorter book-length works fare better than sprawling, maximalist novels).

To get an idea of what we publish, check out our latest release: The Butter House, by Sarah Gerard. Our next release will be Maria S. Picone’s This Tenuous Atmosphere. Some other authors we like are Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, Carmen Maria Machado, Rajesh Parameswaran, Karen Russell, and Nafissa Thompson-Spires.

Upload your manuscript submission as a single file.

In the "Manuscript Summary" field, tell us more about the work.

In the “Biography Statement” field, include a brief third-person bio.

For this submission period, reading fees are on a sliding scale. These fees go toward operational costs. Conium Press is not-for-profit, and it regularly operates at a loss. Running a small press isn’t cheap. Please pay what you are financially able and what you think is fair. Your work will receive the same consideration regardless of the fee (or lack thereof) you decide to pay.

Submissions must be original work. Individual pieces from the manuscript may have appeared in-print or online elsewhere, but the collection as a whole may not have previously appeared in book/chapbook or online form. If individual stories or excerpts have appeared elsewhere, please include an acknowledgements page.

Only submit one manuscript to Conium press at a time and wait for a response before resubmitting additional manuscripts. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but you must withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Conium