Information for Potential Authors

Table of Contents

The University of North Texas Press publishes in the following areas:

  • Humanities and social sciences, with special emphasis on

    • Texas history and culture
    • Military history
    • Western history
    • Criminal justice
    • Folklore
    • Multicultural topics
    • Music
    • Natural and environmental history
    • Culinary history
    • Women's studies

If you write personal essays or memoirs on subjects outside the above list, please note that we rarely publish such works, unless they come to us as the winner of the manuscript competition held at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference each July in Grapevine, Texas. We urge authors of these works to attend and enter this competition.

  • Submissions in poetry and fiction are invited only through the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction competitions.
  • Special series:

    • A. C. Greene Series
    • Al Filo: Mexican American Studies Series
    • Contemporary Issues and Debates Series
    • Evelyn Oppenheimer Series
    • Frances B. Vick Series
    • Great American Cooking Series
    • Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction
    • North Texas Crime and Criminal Justice Series
    • North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series
    • Philosophy and the Environment Series
    • Practical Guide Series
    • Publications of the Texas Folklore Society
    • Temple Big Thicket Series
    • Texas Poets Series
    • Texas Writers Series
    • Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry
    • War and the Southwest Series
    • Western Life Series
  • How to submit a proposal

    For submitting poetry and short fiction, please consult the guidelines below for the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. We currently are not accepting fiction or poetry outside these series.

    For all other subject areas, please send a query letter directed to the appropriate editor:

    • Ron Chrisman: Texas and Western History, Military History, Multicultural, Criminal Justice
    • Karen DeVinney: Music, Women's Studies, Literature, Environmental Philosophy, Culinary History

    Do NOT attempt to pitch your manuscript by phone. We deal with the written word in publishing and must see a query in writing first, by mail or e-mail.

    Your query letter should explain your project, its purpose, primary audience, how it compares to similar books available, and why you are qualified to write about it. Also provide an approximate length or word count for your manuscript, including any illustration requirements you may have. Attach with the query letter a table of contents or annotated chapter outline, a short sample chapter, and a copy of your vita or a brief biographical paragraph. If mailing, you must include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

    We will respond promptly, usually within 2-4 weeks, and let you know if we are interested in evaluating your manuscript for publication. If we are, we will request the full manuscript and copies of any illustrations you may have now. We will consider your manuscript so long as we are the only publisher currently evaluating it (i.e., no simultaneous submissions).

     

If we respond favorably to your query and invite your manuscript for consideration, we ask that you send one clean copy of the manuscript, double-spaced, with photocopies of any illustrations you deem pertinent for review at this stage. We may also request that you send a computer disk containing the manuscript files for back-up purposes.

The complete manuscript will be evaluated in-house, and if it passes initial scrutiny it will then be sent to outside readers for a full reading and written report. We strive for outside readers who are recognized experts in their field, demonstrated by research and publications in the discipline relating to the author's manuscript and by academic rank and stature.

For complete manuscripts we must have two positive reports before recommending the project to our Editorial Board and issuing a contract. In the case of proposals for a book or a partial manuscript, in which the complete manuscript will be written later after a contract is awarded, we still secure two outside positive readings before recommending a provisional contract before our Editorial Board. For reprints of books previously published elsewhere, we seek a minimum of one positive outside reading and supplement the Board proposal with copies of published reviews, preferably those in scholarly journals.

Each reader has the option of withholding his or her name from the author so as to make the report "blind." Conversely, if an author requests that his or her name be withheld from readers, then we will do so, but typically we do not mask an author's name unless there are special circumstances.

This process of obtaining two reports usually takes three or four months, although we ask that you not contact us regarding status until at least two months have passed.

Sometimes the outside reader report will call for revisions before recommending publication. In this case, we may return the manuscript to you for revision and invite you to resubmit the manuscript later, at which time we may ask the original reader to verify that revisions are done satisfactorily, or else we will obtain a new reading.

If the evaluations are positive, we then present your project to our faculty Editorial Board, who has the final authority on whether we issue a contract. Both the readers and the Editorial Board may have suggestions on revising and improving the manuscript. Sometimes Board approval may be contingent on whether or not these changes are made.

If the vote is in favor of publication, we will issue a contract to publish your book. The contract will include a due date for the final manuscript, illustrations (and their permissions), maps, figures, etc. complete and ready for editing. Once you deliver a final manuscript to us, you can expect your book to be published within a year.

If the Editorial Board votes for a provisional contract on a proposed book or partial manuscript, then publication is contingent upon full evaluation of the completed manuscript by outside experts and final approval by the Editorial Board in a follow-up publication proposal (i.e., still need two positive readers'; reports on the completed manuscript).

Announcing the 2014 winner of our Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

Judged by Matt Bell

The Year of Perfect Happiness

by Becky Adnot-Haynes

to be published November 2014

Katherine Anne Porter Guidelines
The University of North Texas Press announces the 2015 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. The winner of this annual award will receive $1000 and publication by UNT Press. Entries will be judged by an eminent writer.

Dates for submission: Manuscripts may be submitted between 9:00 a.m. on May 1 and 5:00 p.m. on June 31. The winning manuscript will be announced in January 2015.

  • We only accept electronic submissions.
  • The Katherine Anne Porter Contest online submissions manager is now available.
  • The $25 entry fee can be paid online via credit card or PayPal.

Entries can be a combination of short-shorts, short stories, and novellas, from 100 to 200 book pages in length (word count between 27,500 and 50,000). Material should be previously unpublished in book form. Once a winner is declared and contracted for publication, UNT Press will hold the rights to the stories in the winning collection. They may no longer be under consideration for serial publication elsewhere and must be withdrawn by the author from consideration.

Manuscript Guidelines:

  1. Please be sure manuscript pages are numbered.

  2. Please include a table of contents.

  3. Please use a standard, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman in twelve-point size.

  4. Stories included in the submission may have appeared previously in magazines or anthologies but may not have been previously published in a book-length collection of the author’s own work.

  5. Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration as long as no material is duplicated between submissions. Each submission will require a separate entry fee.

  6. Manuscripts under consideration for this competition may be submitted elsewhere at the same time. Please withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted by another publisher and should no longer be considered for the Katherine Anne Porter Award competition. Withdrawal can be completed via the submissions manager website. Entry fees are not refundable.

Blind review: Manuscripts will be considered on the merits of the fiction and neither the initial reading committee members nor the final judge will be aware of the names or publication records of the authors. Please do not include your name on the pages of the manuscript—only in the form boxes of the electronic submission manager. The first page of the manuscript should include the title of the collection only.

Previous Winners

In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place by Jessica Hollander was our 2013 winner, judged by Katherine Dunn.

Venus in the Afternoon by Tehila Lieberman was our 2012 winner, judged by Miroslav Penkov.

Out of Time by Geoff Schmidt was our 2011 winner, judged by Ben Marcus.

A Bright Soothing Noise by Peter Brown was our 2010 winner, judged by Josip Novakovich.

Irish Girl by Tim Johnston was our 2009 winner, judged by Janet Peery.

Last Known Position by James Mathews was our 2008 winner, judged by Tom Franklin.

Wonderful Girl by Aimee LaBrie was our 2007 winner, judged by Bill Roorbach.

Body Language by Kelly Magee was our 2006 winner, judged by Dan Chaon.

What Are You Afraid Of? by Michael Hyde, was our 2005 winner, judged by Sharon Oard Warner.

Let's Do by Rebecca Meacham was our 2004 winner, judged by Jonis Agee. Let's Do was selected for the Spring 2005 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program.

Here Comes the Roar by Dave Shaw was our 2003 winner, judged by Marly Swick.

The Stuntman's Daughter, a collection of stories by Alice Blanchard, was the 1996 winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Ms. Blanchard went on to sign a lucrative contract with Bantam for her first novel, Darkness Peering.

Announcing the 2014 winner of our Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry,

Jordan Windholz

Other Psalms

was chosen by Averill Curdy

and will be published in April 2015

Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Guidelines
The University of North Texas Press announces the 2015 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. The winner of this annual award will receive $1000 and publication by UNT Press. This year’s judge is Morri Creech. To avoid conflicts of interest, current or former students of the judge should not enter.

Dates for submission: Manuscripts may be submitted between 9:00 a.m. on September 1 and 5:00 p.m. on October 31. The winning manuscript will be announced by March 2015.

  • We only accept electronic submissions.
  • The Vassar Miller Contest online submissions manager is now available.
  • The $25 entry fee can be paid online via credit card or PayPal through Submittable.

Manuscript Guidelines:

  1. Please be sure manuscript pages are numbered.
  2. Please include a table of contents.
  3. Poems included in the submission may have appeared previously in magazines or anthologies but may not have been previously published in a book-length collection of the author’s own work.
  4. Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration as long as no material is duplicated between submissions. Each submission will require a separate entry fee.
  5. Manuscripts under consideration for this competition may be submitted elsewhere at the same time. Please withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted by another publisher and should no longer be considered for the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry.
  6. Submit a 50- to 80-page manuscript. All pages indicating the poet's identity will be removed from the manuscript prior to forwarding to the final judge. The winning manuscript will be announced by March 2014 on the UNT Press website.

Previous Winners

In the Permanent Collection by Stefanie Wortman was our 2013 winner, selected by Chad Davidson.

Club Icarus by Matt Miller was our 2012 winner, selected by Major Jackson.

Death of a Ventriloquist by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc was our 2011 winner, selected by Lisa Russ Spaar.

Circles Where the Head Should Be by Caki Wilkinson was our 2010 winner, selected by J. D. McClatchy.

Stray Home by Amy M. Clark was our 2009 winner, selected by Beth Ann Fennelly.

Ohio Violence by Alison Stine was our 2008 winner, selected by Eric Pankey.

Mister Martini by Richard Carr was our 2007 winner, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye.

The Next Settlement by Michael Robins was our 2006 winner, selected by Anne Winters.

Re-Entry by Michael White was our 2005 winner, selected by Paul Mariani.

The Black Beach by J. T. Barbarese was our 2004 winner, selected by Andrew Hudgins.

Losing and Finding by Karen Fiser was our 2003 winner, selected by Lynne McMahon.

Bene-Dictions by Rush Rankin was our 2002 winner, selected by Rosanna Warren.

The Self as Constellation by Jeanine Hathaway was our 2001 winner, selected by Madeline DeFrees.

The Perseids by Karen Holmberg was our 2000 winner, selected by Sherod Santos.

A Protocol for Touch by Constance Merritt was our 1999 winner, selected by Eleanor Wilner.

MOVING & ST RAGE by Kathy Fagan was our 1998 winner, selected by T. R. Hummer.

Soul Data by Mark Svenvold was our 1997 winner, selected by Heather McHugh.

American Crawl by Paul Allen was our 1996 winner, selected by Sydney Lea.

The Sublime by Jonathan Holden was our 1995 winner, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa.

Delirium by Barbara Hamby was our 1994 winner, selected by Cynthia Macdonald.

Partial Eclipse by Tony Sanders was our 1993 winner, selected by Richard Howard.