Literary Submission Guidelines

University of Alberta Press publishes poetry, creative and trade nonfiction, and short fiction by Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. It is important for us to know if authors are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants because our literary publishing program is supported by grants from federal and provincial funding agencies. We do not publish novels. Please visit our list of subject areas and consider our recent publications to identify how your project fits with our publishing program. Our literary publications are listed under the Creative Writing subject heading, and we strive to connect our scholarly and literary lists by topic and theme.

Our submission process for each of these areas is unique and is described below. Please follow the guidelines to have your work considered. 

If you have a specific question about our literary publishing program or the submission guidelines below, please contact Michelle Lobkowicz, Acquisitions Editor, Humanities and Literature: mlobkowi@ualberta.ca.

University of Alberta Press does not accept submissions in hard copy. Unsolicited submissions will not be returned. In all cases, keep a backup for your records; the Press cannot be responsible for any losses.

Poetry

University of Alberta Press accepts poetry manuscripts between September 1 and 30 each year. At the end of the submission period, the Press, working with members of our external jury for poetry, selects up to three manuscripts per year for publication. The selection generally occurs early in the new year and those manuscripts are published the following spring.

The complete manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter of 1-2 pages that includes: 

  1. A synopsis of the manuscript / artistic statement;
  2. Any relevant background information about the work;
  3. Thoughts on why you are bringing this manuscript to University of Alberta Press;
  4. A note if you are submitting this work simultaneously to other publishers; and
  5. A brief author bio, noting previous publication history and any academic or professional affiliations; please specify that you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.

Manuscripts should be a minimum of 50 pages. Please include a table of contents and information about where poems were previously published, if applicable. 

Poetry manuscripts are accepted during the submission window via our submission portal on Submittable here

Creative and Trade Nonfiction

University of Alberta Press accepts creative and trade nonfiction manuscript submissions throughout the year, including works of literary travel for our Wayfarer series. We do not publish novels.

Two chapters from the manuscript should be accompanied by a proposal that includes:

  1. The working title and a 1-2 sentence summary of the book’s main “hook.” What’s your pitch?
  2. A more detailed synopsis of the book that includes rationale for writing the book, any relevant background information about the work, and thoughts on why you are bringing the project to University of Alberta Press.
  3. The table of contents and a short (1-3 sentence) description of each chapter/section.
  4. A brief description of the readership you imagine for your book: who are you speaking to as an author, who will want to read your book, and what do you hope readers will take away from reading your book?
  5. A list of 3-5 recent books that are related to your project: books that are on similar topics or take a similar approach or have a similar readership. Please briefly describe how each book is similar to or different from the book you are proposing. 
  6. The proposed date of completion (if the manuscript isn’t already written).
  7. The approximate length of the manuscript (in words).
  8. A description of any illustrations (number of images, figures, maps, etc.) and how they are used in the work.
  9. A description of any part of the proposed manuscript that has been previously published, along with any other permissions issues or special considerations that might need to be addressed before publication.
  10. A brief author bio, noting previous publication history, and any academic or professional affiliations and/or expertise, as applicable; please specify that you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.
  11. Please mention if you are submitting this work simultaneously to other publishers. 

Work that falls under this category is considered on a rolling basis and we aim to respond to submissions within two months.

To submit a creative nonfiction manuscript on Submittable, click here.

Short fiction

University of Alberta Press accepts short fiction manuscript submissions throughout the year from Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. We do not publish novels. 

The complete manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter of 1-3 pages that includes: 

  1. A synopsis of the manuscript / artistic statement;
  2. Any relevant background information about the work;
  3. Thoughts on why are bringing this manuscript to University of Alberta Press;
  4. Comments on the readership of your manuscript: who will want to read your book, and what do you hope readers will take away from reading your book?;
  5. A short list of comparable short fiction books (or others) that might have a similar style or content;
  6. A description of any part of the proposed manuscript that has been previously published, along with any other permissions issues or special considerations that might need to be addressed before publication.
  7. A note if you are submitting this work simultaneously to other publishers; and
  8. A brief author bio, noting previous publication history and any academic or professional affiliations and/or expertise, as applicable; please specify that you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.

Note: Short fiction is a small part of our publishing program and we consider short fiction manuscripts a few times a year. For that reason our response time can take four to six months. Thank you for your patience. 

To submit a short fiction manuscript on Submittable, click here

Review Process for Literary Work

If the editorial team determines that your manuscript might be a good fit for our publishing program, you will be asked to submit your manuscript for a single-anonymous peer review. All University of Alberta Press manuscripts are reviewed by at least two experts in the field. Depending on the genre of your work and your intended audience, the reviewers may consist of some combination of university- or college-affiliated faculty, expert practitioners, Indigenous Elders or community members, or published authors of creative work. We ask reviewers to evaluate the quality of the writing and the structure of the work, the use of literary techniques, and to place the manuscript within a broader literary context. Your editor will discuss the details of the review process with you. We follow the Association of University Presses Best Practices for Peer Review. Our peer review processes are carefully designed to support the author/editor in developing their manuscript’s potential, and aim to centre collegial, equitable practices throughout. If the reports are positive, the manuscript will be brought to the Press’s management team for consideration. Manuscripts that are approved by this team are then submitted for the approval of our Press Committee, a diverse group of faculty members from the University of Alberta.