Our Mission

The mission of Coffee House Press is to publish exciting, vital, and enduring authors of our time; to delight and inspire readers; to contribute to the cultural life of our community; and to enrich our literary heritage. By building on the best traditions of publishing and the book arts, we produce books that celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience.

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Submission Guidelines

Who Coffee House Press Publishes

Coffee House Press publishes emerging and midcareer authors. Nearly all CHP authors have had works published in literary magazines or other publications (a resume including a list of prior publications can strengthen your submission). Although prior publications are important, they are not a requirement; part of our mission is to present promising debut authors alongside those who have been previously published.

Recent Coffee House Press titles have included Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow by Andy Sturdevant, Collected Poems by Ron Padgett, Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli, and The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic by Christopher Merkner.

What Coffee House Press Publishes

Coffee House Press publishes literary novels, full-length short story collections, poetry, creative nonfiction, book-length essays and essay collections, and the occasional memoir. CHP does not accept submissions for anthologies. CHP also does not publish genre fiction, such as mysteries, Gothic romances, Westerns, science fiction, or books for children.

Since Coffee House Press produces relatively few titles each year, our books reflect the individual tastes of our small staff. CHP looks for writing that instructs, inspires, and/or entertains the reader, and that does so with a unique voice. CHP currently publishes eighteen trade titles annually.

Please familiarize yourself with our books to see if your work and our list are compatible. Most independent bookstores and many libraries carry our titles. You can also browse through our online catalog.

How to Submit a Manuscript

Electronic Submissions

During our annual reading period (March 1–31, 2016), we will accept electronic submissions through our online submissions manager. We are not currently accepting unsolicited poetry or short story manuscripts, and submissions will be capped at 300. Submit to Coffee House Press.

Mailed Submissions

Submissions sent by post are strongly discouraged. However, if circumstances preclude you from using our online submissions manager, please follow the instructions below.

Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with every mailed submission, or we will be unable to respond. We prefer to see samples (20–30 pages) with outlines before reviewing entire hard-copy manuscripts. If you would like to know if your mailed manuscript was received, please also include a self-addressed, stamped postcard so we can reply upon receipt. Only submissions postmarked in March 2016 will be considered.

Mail hard-copy submissions to:

Lizzie Davis, Editorial Assistant
Coffee House Press
79 Thirteenth Avenue NE, Suite 110
Minneapolis, MN 55413

The review process for full-length manuscripts can take up to 4–6 months, or longer in some instances. Manuscripts that seem appropriate for CHP are given several careful readings, and the final decision rests with our publisher. We empathize with your anticipation and appreciate your patience when submitting your manuscript. Phone calls or letters of inquiry will not hasten the process.

Please note: If you are interested in submitting directly to the Emily Books imprint, please email your queries to submissions@emilybooks.com.