15 Top University Presses Publishing Fiction - Writing Tips Oasis (2023)

If you’re looking for university presses publishing fiction, below we’ve featured 15 for your convenience. We’ve also indicated those university presses that are currently accepting submissions and those, which presently are not.

1. North Dakota State University Press

Located in Fargo, North Dakota, this university press is very interested in works which depict regional life. Due to their focus, they only publish fiction and poetry if they are remarkable enough to bring renown to their region.

If you’d like to check out some of their fiction titles, you can search for “The Downstairs Tenant”, by Jamie Parsley, “Home River”, by Rodney Nelson, and for “Tori and the Sleigh of Midnight Blue”, by Margo Sorenson.

Submission guidelines can be found here. You will have to send a cover letter that conveys a book description/book proposal, a table of contents, and your short bio, among other requirements.

2. Southeast Missouri State University Press

The Southeast Missouri State University Press is based in Cape Girardeau and was founded in 2001. Up until now, the titles on their backlist have earned prizes such as the Langum Award for Historical Fiction, or the Creative Spirits Platinum Award for General Fiction.

“Claire, Wading Into the Danube By Night”, by Jeffrey Condran, “Weird Pig”, by Robert Long Foreman, and “Avery Colt Is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar”, by Ron A. Austin are just three books worth checking out, if you want to learn more about the kinds of fiction they’re interested in.

Unfortunately, they are currently closed to general submissions. However, they still receive manuscripts for essays, poetry, and fiction for their “Proud to Be” volume, to name a few categories.

3. Mercer University Press

Established in 1979, Mercer University Press is located in Macon, Georgia. They have so far published over 1,600 titles, and their main goal is that of making exceptional writings accessible for a global audience.

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Their range of interests is rather wide, covering biography & memoir, art & photography, women’s studies, and religion, to name a few genres. They also publish literary works, which include fiction, literary criticism, essays, and poetry. “A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage”, by Marly Youmans, “A Plot for Pridemore: A Novel”, by Stephen Roth, and “Annie Laura’s Triumph”, by Milinda Jay are just three titles you should definitely look up.

They are open to submissions, but you should keep in mind that their standards are very high. If you wish to collaborate with them, you will have to send your contact information, a short bio, a book outline, and several other details.

4. Michigan State University Press

Located in East Lansing, the Michigan State University Press was founded in 1947, with the purpose of enabling intellectual change through the publication of scholarly works. At present, they are committed to using environmentally-friendly means of publication.

When it comes to genres, their backlist includes architecture, business & economics, foreign language studies, fiction, juvenile fiction, and poetry, to give a few examples. If you want to become familiar with their preferences, you should check out “The Schoolmaster’s Daughter”, by John Smolens, “The Perp Walk”, by Jim Ray Daniels, and “The Tree Stump”, written by Samiha Khrais and translated by Nesreen Akhtarkhavari.

Before submitting a fiction manuscript, make sure to respect their guidelines when it comes to software, organization, formatting, and other such criteria.

5. Northwestern University Press

Northwestern University Press was established in 1893 and is located in Evanston, Illinois. At present, they have an imprint known as TriQuarterly Books, which specializes in poetry and American fiction.

The subjects featured on their website are history, Latin American studies, philosophy, nature, business, literature in translation, and fiction, to give some examples. When it comes to the latter, you can look up “Farewell, Mama Odessa”, by Emil Draitser, “A Death in Harlem”, by Karla Holloway, and “Stone Baby”, by Michelle Sacks to learn more about what they like.

If you want to send them your work for publication, make sure to include a cover letter, a synopsis, a table of contents, your CV, as well as several other details mentioned here.

6. Ohio State University Press

The Ohio State University Press has its headquarters in Columbus and was founded in 1957. One of their imprints, respectively Mad Creek Books, specializes in creative works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

To learn more about Mad Creek’s backlist, make sure to look up “Quakertown”, by Lee Martin, “Angelitos: A Graphic Novel”, by Ilan Stavans and Santiago Cohen, and “United States of Banana”, by Giannina Braschi and Joakim Lindengren.

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Luckily, they are currently open to general submissions. If you want to send them your fiction manuscript, make sure to include its title, an overview, your target audience, the word count, and a few other details specified here.

7. Ohio University Press

Based in Athens, Ohio, this university press is the oldest in the state, as it was founded in 1947. They publish about 40-50 new titles on a yearly basis, and are renowned for their imprint, Swallow Press, which specializes in literary works, general nonfiction, guidebooks, and in regional interest books.

Anthropology, politics & political science, philosophy, law, religion, and literature, fiction, nonfiction & poetry are just a few categories you will find on their website, in the Subjects section. “How Fire Runs”, by Charles Dodd White, “Collages”, by Anaïs Nin, and “Fire Is Your Water”, by Jim Minick are just three of their best titles.

Interested in working with Ohio University Press? Then you should know that they only accept book proposals – full manuscripts should be sent only if an editor requests them. To learn more about their guidelines, click here.

8. University of Alaska Press

The University of Alaska Press has headquarters in Fairbanks, Alaska, and it was founded in 1967. Reaching readers from all around the world, they produce books in both print and digital formats, and they are a part of the American Association of University Presses.

They have a wide range of interests, covering fiction & anthologies, biography & memoir, politics & history, and original translations, to give some examples. To learn more about what they like, make sure to look up “In the Quiet Season and Other Stories”, by Martha Amore, “Cabin, Clearing, Forest”, by Zach Falcon, and “Scavengers”, by Becky Hagenston.

Unfortunately, they are currently closed to submissions, but you can still check their guidelines page for updates.

9. University of Georgia Press

Located in Athens, Georgia, this university press was established in 1938 and it produces around 60-70 new books on a yearly basis. Besides works of scholarship and regional books, their publishing program also includes creative and literary works.

In terms of genres, their backlist includes fiction, philosophy, gardening, music, art, social science, true crime, travel, and law, to give some examples. If you want to learn more about their fiction titles, check out “If We Were Electric”, by Patrick Earl Ryan, “The Slow Release”, by Ethan Laughman, and “Once Removed”, by Colette Sartor.

Interested in submitting a book proposal? Make sure to include your book title, an overview, two sample chapters, an approximate word count, and a few other details listed here.

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10. University of Nevada Press

Robert Laxalt established this university press in 1961 in Reno, Nevada. They are interested in exceptional works which can have an impact on both general and academic readers.

When it comes to genres, their backlist features fiction & poetry, history, art & photography, public health, nature writing, and gambling studies, to give some examples. To become familiar with their preferences, make sure to check out “Where Light Comes and Goes”, by Sandra Cavallo Miller, “Brightest Place in the World”, by David Philip Mullins, and “Desert Between Us”, by Phyllis Barber.

If you want to submit a manuscript proposal, keep in mind that you should send your book description, your target audience, your CV, and several other pieces of information listed here.

11. University of Michigan Press

Based in Ann Harbor, this press is a division of the University of Michigan’s main publisher, Michigan Publishing. They are renowned for their contributions to digital scholarship, and are promoters of racial justice.

The subjects they are interested in are, to give a few examples, fiction, anthropology, law, papyrology, classical studies, history, and sports. “Full Metal Jhacket”, by Matthew Derby, “Spirits and Wine”, by Susan Newhof, and “Lebanese Blonde”, by Joseph Geha are three titles which could help you understand what kind of works they’re looking for.

To have your submission considered, you will have to send a chapter outline, a table of contents, your book’s purpose, your target audience, your CV, and several other details listed within their guidelines.

12. University of New Orleans Press

Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, this university press was established in 2003. Although they are passionate about works which reflect the cultural tradition of their city and its surroundings, this is not their only interest.

The press has a select list of genres which can be found on their backlist, among which we can name fiction, anthropology, poetry, art, and history. “With Extreme Prejudice”, by Fredrick Barton, “A Catalogue Of Small Pains”, by Meghan L. Dowling, and “Death by Pastrami”, by Leonard S. Bernstein are just three well-written titles which could help you understand what they like.

An author bio, a 1-page book description, and a table of contents are three pieces of information you have to include in your proposal in order to have your submission considered. Although they prefer digitally sent submissions, you can also send your proposal via mail.

13. University Press of Kentucky

Founded in 1969, the University Press of Kentucky is a nonprofit scholarly publisher located in Lexington. They produce around 50-55 new titles on a yearly basis.

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Biography & memoir, cooking, current affairs, gender studies, fiction, literary criticism, and religion are just a few of the many genres they are interested in. You can learn about the kind of books they’re looking for by checking out “Even As We Breathe”, by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, “The Murder of Marion Miley”, by Beverly Bell, and “Amreekiya”, by Lena Mahmoud.

Fiction submissions will be reviewed only if they are sent between March 15th and May 1st every year, so, if you would like to collaborate with them, you have to wait until then. In the meantime, you could become more familiar with their guidelines.

14. UWA Publishing

Based in Crowley, Western Australia, UWA Publishing is a university press which was founded in 1935. They produce around 30 new titles every year, and they’re interested in collaborating with both aspiring and established authors.

When it comes to genres, their backlist includes works which fit the standards of fiction, architecture, memoir, health & medicine, poetry, and politics, to give a few examples. “A History of the Beanbag: and other stories”, by Susan Midalia, “As the River Runs”, by Stephen Scourfield, and “Cloudless”, by Christine Evans are just three titles that will help you become familiar with their preferences.

Unfortunately, they are currently closed to submissions, but you can still check this page for any updates.

15. Victoria University Press

Located in Kelburn, Wellington, Victoria University Press was established in the 1970s. They publish approximately 35 new titles yearly, and are determined to promote the works of talented aspiring authors.

Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are three of their favorite genres, but the press also specializes in scholarly works. If want to learn more about what kind of fiction books they prefer, make sure to check out “Escape Path Lighting”, by John Newton, “What Sort of Man”, by Brenton Dukes, and “The Burning River”, by Lawrence Patchett.

To have your manuscript taken into consideration, also include a short cover letter and a book synopsis in your submission. Feel free to read their full guidelines here.

I am a content writer from Romania. My projects involve non-fiction writing, academic writing, product reviews, as well as technical writing. Although I have a personal preference for articles regarding social issues and human rights, I can provide content on any other topic.


Do university presses publish fiction? ›

University Presses in particular help to preserve local culture by producing regional literature. They have always been important publishers of poetry as well, such as the University of Pittsburgh Press, but more and more they are accepting literary fiction and memoir.

What is the biggest challenge in university press publishing? ›

Tuition no more covers the cost of a college education, or patient fees the cost of treatment at a university hospital, than sales revenue can cover the cost of university-press publications.

Which University Press is best? ›

The results were:
  • Cambridge University Press.
  • Oxford University Press.
  • Springer Nature.
  • Routledge.
  • Elsevier.
  • Peter Lang.
  • Thomson Reuters.
  • Blackwell.

What do university presses publish? ›

A university press is an academic publishing house specializing in monographs and scholarly journals. Most are nonprofit organizations and an integral component of a large research university. They publish work that has been reviewed by scholars in the field.

Do you need an agent for a university press? ›

You don't have an agent.

Though some small and university presses do work exclusively with agents, a large percentage not only don't require an agent, but offer precise submission guidelines on their website so authors can confidently submit their work in the way editors want to see it.

Do university presses pay advances? ›

A press will not offer advance contracts to authors of first books. Rather, they only offer full contracts based on peer-reviewed manuscripts.

What is the current issue facing the publishing industry? ›

In the current era of competition, with the excessive availability of content, which is easily accessible over the internet, it is a challenge for book publishers to ensure their book is in the spotlight. As a result, book publishers must select a manuscript that has a unique writing style and content.

Who takes the most significant risk in the publishing industry? ›

Publishers are especially vulnerable to legal and financial risks. Publishers face many of the same legal risks faced by any business, but there are others which are specifically more of a problem in publishing than elsewhere: Copyright infringement. Never underestimate the seriousness of breaching copyright.

What challenges do publishers face? ›

Small and medium publishers have to consistently grapple with issues like inadequate financial access, high transaction costs, low R&D expenditure, and lack of market information. Consequently, the growth and development of the Indian publishing industry have remained stagnated at around $2 billion since 2012.

What is the most prestigious publisher? ›

1Penguin Random House
3Simon & Schuster
4Hachette Book Group
16 more rows
Feb 24, 2017

How much do you get paid for an academic book? ›

How Much Money Do You Make Publishing An Academic Book? You get royalties from book publishers, but you normally don't get one from articles. You won't make the most of it if there are any exceptions. Universities typically pay between 5 percent and 10 percent of net receipts for academic press royalties.

Which is better Springer or Elsevier? ›

Elsevier's brand is ranked #653 in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Elsevier. Their current market cap is $47.90B. Springer Nature's brand is ranked #- in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Springer Nature.

Do university presses pay authors? ›

But for the most part, academic books sell to a small audience, and given the time and cost of doing the research required to publish one of these books, they don't make any money for their authors. They don't make a lot of money for their presses either, though the people who work for a university press are paid.

Why are university press books so expensive? ›

The long answer: your scholarly book might cost more than commercially published nonacademic books because academic presses are spreading the cost of producing a title across a smaller number of print units. Each unit therefore has to be priced higher to enable the press to recoup the cost of production.

What is the largest university press? ›

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world, publishing for three primary markets: research, education, and English language teaching.

Can you submit a manuscript directly to a publisher? ›

If you're submitting directly to a publishing house, without using an agent as an intermediary, check to see if they accept unsolicited manuscripts. (Traditional publishers generally won't.)

Who is the best literary agent for new authors? ›

Best Literary Agents for New Writers | 25 Top Book Agents for First-Time Authors and Debut Authors
  • Marly Rusoff (Marly Rusoff & Associates)
  • Jenny Bent (The Bent Agency)
  • Susan Golomb (Writers House)
  • Dorian Karchmar (William Morris Endeavor)
  • Daniel Lazar (Writers House)
  • Bill Clegg (The Clegg Agency)

What is the difference between a publisher and an agent? ›

Agents make their money by taking a percentage of your advance or continuing royalties, and they can only do that if they successfully place a book in a publishing house—and they can only do that if the publishers trust the agents to hand them only titles that will be right for their houses, which makes the agents as ...

What are publishers looking for in 2022? ›

Here are our top eight publishing trends for 2022.
  • Direct sales continue to grow.
  • Indie Authors embrace next-gen tech.
  • BookTok goes mainstream.
  • Book prices will increase.
  • More success for small publishers.
  • Advertising becomes more inclusive.
  • Advertising becomes more expensive and difficult to track.
Dec 27, 2021

What is the average book advance for a new author? ›

The average author does not get a huge advance like that.” New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Brandewyne weighed in on how much author advances are “An author signing a first contract can expect to receive an advance of anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, on average, per book.

How many copies does the average academic book sell? ›

I found an interesting table revealing that the vast majority of academic history books sell fewer than 500 copies to libraries. Since libraries are the main buyer for most academic history books, this suggests that the average book sells fewer than 500 copies overall.

Do university presses pay authors? ›

But for the most part, academic books sell to a small audience, and given the time and cost of doing the research required to publish one of these books, they don't make any money for their authors. They don't make a lot of money for their presses either, though the people who work for a university press are paid.


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