Autonomous Press

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Submissions & Book Proposals

There are three possible paths to getting your book published with Autonomous Press.

1. Get Published in the Spoon Knife Anthology First.

The best path to publishing with Autonomous Press is to start by publishing a piece in one of the volumes of our annual Spoon Knife neuroqueer lit anthology.

We’re almost always accepting submissions for the next volume of Spoon Knife. Here’s the current open call for Spoon Knife submissions.

If you’ve been published in a volume of Spoon Knife, and you want us to consider publishing your book, just drop us an email. Begin your email by telling us what your name is and which volume(s) of Spoon Knife you were published in (and if your piece in Spoon Knife was published under a different name, be sure to also mention that). Then tell us a little bit about the book you want to submit to us, and we’ll let you know whether we’re interested and what the next steps are.

2. Get Invited by an Autonomous Press Co-Owner.

Autonomous Press is a worker-owned collective. If you know one of the worker/owners, you might at some point have a conversation with them in which they end up inviting you to submit a proposal, sample, or manuscript.

If you’ve received such an invitation, don’t send your submission to our usual email address. Instead, send it directly to whichever member of the Autonomous Press collective issued the invitation. They’ll make sure it ends up in the right hands.

3. Impress Us with Your Previously Published Work.

If you haven’t been published in a volume of the Spoon Knife anthology, and you haven’t been personally invited to submit by a co-owner of the press, you have one more option: send us links to your best previously-published works.

If those works impress us, and if your style seems like it might be a good fit for us, we may write back and invite you to send us your manuscript or book proposal.

This third path to publication with Autonomous Press is a good option if you write the sort of thing that wouldn’t be a proper fit for the Spoon Knife anthology––for instance, if your work is academic and/or journalistic, or if it’s a collection of essays.

Don’t Send Unsolicited Manuscripts or Proposals!

The three paths listed above are the only paths to getting us to look at your manuscript or your book proposal.

If you have not been published in Spoon Knife, have not been personally invited to submit by an Autonomous Press co-owner, and have not sent us a link to previously-published work and received an invitation in response, then please do not bother sending us a manuscript, book proposal, or query letter; you will not receive a reply.

Guidelines for Manuscripts

Completed manuscripts should be submitted as a single .doc or .docx file (no other file formats will be accepted). The manuscript must meet the following criteria:

  • Double-space all text.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph, and do not put a blank line of whitespace between paragraphs.
  • Make the first page a cover page with title and author contact info.
  • Number all pages.
  • Use Oxford commas consistently.
  • The entire manuscript should be thoroughly spell-checked and proofread (we recommend it be reviewed multiple times, by the author and by at least two other readers who have a sharp critical eye for detail, punctuation, grammar, and clarity of writing).



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