WHAT BOOKS PRESS

With its genre-bending list of bilingual poetry, eco-fabulist science fiction, magic journalism, hybrid collaboration, and graphic narrative, WPB was founded in 2008 to assert the imperative for serious writing that reflects the diversity of literary and political cultures emerging from Los Angeles, a center for art in the globalized world, and elsewhere. We came together with a single purpose: to create an outlet for groundbreaking fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with extraordinary art by renowned Chicano artist Gronk on every cover. And we’re still doing it, bringing out exciting new work every year that we believe truly needs to be in this world. We remain committed to—and are always looking for—new, innovative, and underrepresented writing that challenges both formal boundaries and the pressing social and political issues of our time. 

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Please submit a query letter telling us a little bit about yourself, your submission, and your interest in What Books Press.

For your submission, please also submit a 10-20 page sample of your novel, short story collection, work of creative nonfiction, or other prose project. Works submitted in their entirety at this stage in the process will be returned unread.

Should we find your work of interest, we will invite you submit the rest of the manuscript. 

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Please submit a query letter telling us a little bit about yourself, your submission, and your interest in What Books Press.

For your submission, please also submit a 10-20 page sample of your poetry collection, long poem, or other poetry work. Works submitted in their entirety at this stage in the process will be returned unread.

Should we find your work of interest, we will invite you submit the rest of the manuscript. 

Thank you for your interest in continuing the process with What Books Press. We are excited to review your whole manuscript and will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Per our prior correspondence, please do remember that we are a small group of collective members with highly limited resources, and so—in the collective spirit—are obliged to ask that writers share some of the cost of publishing their work. While we are now able to cover somewhere between 30% to 50% percent of the expense (depending on genre and length), we still ask that writers pay for the layout and design of their book. This usually comes to about $800 for poetry and $1000 to $1200 for prose (again, depending on length). If this arrangement is acceptable to you, and if your work is accepted for publication, you will receive 25 copies of your book, submissions to reviewers, two LA-based readings, promotion at literary events, and other benefits. You will also receive 75% of all proceeds once we recoup some costs from the sale of the first 50 books, along with the right to keep 100% of proceeds from personal sales you make on your own. Finally, you will have the very special opportunity to participate in the selection of an original work of art by Gronk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gronk) for your book cover. Your book will be distributed by Amazon, Ingram, and IndieBound.

Please bear in mind that this is not an offer of publication, but an invitation to continue with the next step. We look forward to reading more of your work.

In the interests of continuing our surprisingly provocative discussion at AWP Portland (2019), What Books Press invites submissions from writers over 60 for an anthology inspired by our panel: The Sense of an Ending, Writers Over 60 Talk About Death. There, we embraced the obvious--that whether personal or global, one day the bombs go off. Everybody knows this. Yet it somehow comes to each of us as a big surprise: we can die; we will die; we do die. Our aim was to reflect on what it might mean to explore, in the same breath, writing, aging, and death.

Not that we really expected to be there, for as one prospective panelist, who politely declined to participate said, “There is so much discrimination against people over 60 in the arts that it requires sangfroid to ‘come out’ under that banner.” Old, we knew, was old. To our surprise, the panel was accepted and the standing-room only audience responded with warmth, enthusiasm, and appreciative laughter to our remarks, and a good number asked for more. 

This anthology seeks to expand that conversation by bringing together voices of others who find themselves in a late and final act contemplating writing and the writing life, what it has been and continues to be for them, even—or especially—as the sense of an ending comes upon us.

Essays should be no more than 3000 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, but each manuscript must be submitted separately, with a separate reading fee. Simultaneous submissions also are welcome, but please do let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere. And yes, submitters must be 60 years or older.

What Books Press