Submissions Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in submitting to Copper Canyon Press. We are a nonprofit book publisher dedicated to poetry. For our May 2024 open reading period, we invite manuscript samples along with query letters. Please read through all guidelines below. 

Manuscript Sample:

  • Poets and translators are invited to submit a 15-20 page manuscript sample accompanied by a query letter. 
  • We exclusively focus on poetry and texts related to poetry. We are interested in reading samples from:
    • Poetry collections, including works in translation
    • Prose manuscripts about poetry
    • Manuscripts in hybrid genres that will delight a poetry-reading audience
  • Please familiarize yourself with our mission and catalog before submitting a manuscript sample.
  • Select a sample that illustrates the strengths and key themes of your book. You may opt to share consecutive pages or pull poems from throughout the book. 
  • We are open to poets and translators at every stage of their career.
  • We welcome submissions from poets outside the United States.
  • Make certain your submission is your best draft. Corrections and revisions will not be accepted during the reading period.
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted. If your manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, please officially withdraw it using the Submittable system.
  • Please submit no more than two manuscript samples per reading period. 
  • Submissions are invited through Submittable, our online submissions manager. We do not have the staff capacity to read or respond to unsolicited manuscripts that are submitted by email or mail. If you need accommodations to make the submission process accessible to you, please contact with your request. Please write “Accessibility request” in the subject line. 

Query letter: 

  • Please submit a query letter (500 words or fewer) along with your sample. 

Your letter is an opportunity to briefly pitch your book to our editorial team beyond what we see in the sample. For example, is your book organized in sections? Does it have a narrative arc? Does it rely on a set of formal or stylistic elements?

  • Include a brief author bio. If you are a translator, include both an author and translator bio.


  • Copper Canyon Press takes pride in publishing high-quality translations. We have published poetry originally composed in Spanish, Chinese, Belarusian, Japanese, Arabic, and many other languages. We select books in this category based on the excellence of the English translation and our interest in the original text. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with translations we have already published.
  • If possible, your submission should be bilingual; we want to see the original text as well as the English translation. If this is not possible due to technical or other concerns, indicate this in your query letter.
  • If you are submitting a bilingual manuscript sample, you may submit up to 20 pages in English, and those same 20 pages in the original language, for 40 pages total. If your sample is just in English, you must adhere to the 20-page limit. 
  • Indicate in your cover letter that you have identified the rights holder, unless the book is in the public domain. Ideally, a conversation regarding the rights to the book will have been engaged with the rights holder prior to your submission.

Reading fee:

  • A reading fee will be charged for submissions. Reading fees help Copper Canyon Press, as a nonprofit publisher, to staff our open reading periods. The amount of your payment will not impact editorial decisions. 
    • $15 reading fee, Standard Level—This fee allows Copper Canyon to continue the consideration of unsolicited manuscripts. 
    • $35 reading fee, Generosity Level —Those who pay at this level will enable Copper Canyon to waive the fee for poets experiencing financial hardship. 
    • Fee Waiver—If you are currently experiencing financial difficulty and cannot afford the reading fee, email to request a fee waiver by March 24, 2022. Please write “Reading fee waiver” in the subject line. Waiver requests will be honored as our budget allows.

Next steps:

  • Your manuscript sample will be read and collectively evaluated by the Copper Canyon Press editorial team including (but not limited to) our current interns, Poetry Publishing Fellow, editor, and editor-in-chief. 
  • After reading these sample submissions, the editorial team will request full manuscripts from up to 25 poets or translators. 
  • We will send a status update to each submitting poet or translator within six months of submission. 
  • Please do not send your full manuscript unless you have specifically been invited to do so.
  • This is NOT a contest. While we take seriously the opportunity to consider your work for publication, there is no guarantee that we will choose a book to publish in any given reading period.

Thank you! We look forward to reading your work.

Submit Here