Mission & Contact Info

Middle West Press LLC is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, fiction, journalism, and poetry. As an independent micro-press, we publish from one to four titles annually. Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest.

In its publishing operations, Middle West Press LLC specializes in book-length projects, such as themed literary and non-fiction anthologies, as well as single-author poetry collections. We are particularly interested in telling stories rooted in the American Midwest (which we define as “the geographic area acquired through the Louisiana Purchase”), although we are not limited to arbitrary boundaries.

Regarding our business model: We are a traditional press. We are not a “hybrid,” “vanity,” or “subsidized” press. We pay our authors—even if its just a token advance, or a small royalty; they do not pay us. We do not require authors to guarantee a given number of pre-sales, although we are motivated to work with authors who have established relationships with readers via blogs, social media, and other platforms.

As a secondary mission—beyond the American Midwest—we are also motivated to illuminate and complicate modern stereotypes related to military service and veterancy. We want to challenge readers to go beyond Hollywood’s “American Snipers and Navy SEALs” and “TYFYS.” Past and present military service members, family members, and others are invited to submit work. We also think that “Everyone has an experience with the military, even if only as taxpayer and voter.”

More generally, we are interested in celebrating and featuring voices such as those of women, writers of color, writers who identify as LGBTQ+, and other historically marginalized populations. 

We publish from 1 to 4 titles annually. At least one of these is usually a collection of poetry, and one is a themed anthology. Please see below for more details.

Before querying or submitting, please familiarize yourself with our design, poetry, editing, and publishing aesthetics by sampling one or more of our past books: amzn.to/3zvWGmV

We use Publish-on-Demand (POD) technology to print our physical editions. This means that a copy of given book title is printed only at the time of purchase. Our aim is to avoid cluttering warehouses and basements with unsold or dusty overstock. We do print in small batches for some independent booksellers, festivals, and author events.

In both practice and principle, we subscribe to the objectives of clarity, transparency, and literary citizenship as described in the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses’ code of ethics.

  • Fiction: We are not open to queries regarding book-length fiction at this time.

  • Non-fiction, including essay collections: Query with cover letter, short biography, competitive market analysis, and up to three chapters as Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) file.
  • Poetry: We are typically open to consider poetry manuscripts (thematically complex collections of 50 to 100 poems by a single author) annually between January and March. See “Plans & Open Calls ...” below for more information.
  • Hybrid: Query with cover letter, short biography, competitive market analysis, and entire manuscript as Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX) file.

Please visit and bookmark our Submittable page here: https://middlewestpress.submittable.com/submit 

Themed Anthologies

Specifications and guidelines for our themed anthologies vary by project. Our Submittable page is the best place to explore specific requirements and instructions. We are currently executing or developing the following anthology projects:
  • Poetry about “Giant Robot” technology, war, and culture (Publication Spring/Summer 2024)
  • Poetry & micro-stories about new visions & realities for American Midwest (Submissions close Jul. 1, 2024)
  • Military-centered short fiction featuring elements of magical or mythical realism, fabulism, or supernatural themes (TBD)
Poetry Collections

We typically open our calls for poetry manuscripts from early January to early March. We define a poetry manuscript as comprising approximately 50 to 100 poems each. We look for manuscripts that explore multiple themes and threads, and intersections of identities. Other tips:
  • Submit poetry manuscripts as a single Microsoft Word file (.DOC or .DOCX).
  • Do not paginate/include page numbers. A table of contents is not required.
  • Unless your work is hybrid, concrete, ekphrastic, or otherwise visual, do not include images in your submission.
  • Do format using page- or section-breaks between poems.
  • Do include an acknowledgments page. Organize this page alphabetically by title, citing as applicable the publication date and venue in which any a given poem was previously published in print or on-line.

Middle West Press LLC is an Amazon sales affiliate. As such, it earns a small commission from qualifying purchases using this and similar links: amzn.to/3zvWGmV

Middle West Press LLC is also a Bookshop.org sales affiliate. Shop via our Bookshop.org affiliate link, and support local independent booksellers: bookshop.org/shop/MiddleWestPress

rbrown AT middlewestpress DOT com 
Middle West Press LLC
P.O. Box 1153
Johnston, IA 50131-9420


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