Submissions Open for ‘War Poetry’ Manuscripts


Middle West Press LLC
, the Iowa-based business that administers The Aiming Circle community of practice as well as other military-writing projects, recently issued a call for single-author poetry manuscripts centering on or adjacent to issues of war, healing, and military service.

If accepted and contracted, publication would occur in 2024 or 2025.


Manuscripts should comprise 50 to 100 poems each.


The publisher seeks 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.

The publisher’s Submittable page is here at link.


The call for submissions is here at link.


Submissions will be processed "First-In, First Out." All submissions will receive a reply not later than June 1, 2024.


Middle West Press is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. Its projects are “often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest.” The publisher writes, “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.”


The press publishes from 1 to 4 titles annually—for more background, see 2022 Aiming Circle coverage here at link—and have plans to make at least one of these a collection of poetry that informs and illuminates the American Midwest. Examples of past poetry collections include:



Middle West Press 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, the organization published the anthology Things We Carry Still: Poems & Micro-Stories about Military Gear.


Each of these projects notably explored, at least partially, themes or experiences with the U.S. military.


General submissions guidelines include:

  • 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,” the publisher writes.) 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.

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