For Prospective Authors

One of the first—and most important—decisions an author should make is where to submit his or her proposal. Every publishing house, large or small, has its own strengths.

Before submitting your proposal, consider which press has published the books in your field that you admire most. Which publishers' lists include books that are related to yours?

Likewise, please consider the sorts of books a press does not publish. In the case of the University of Iowa Press, we do not publish the following: unrevised doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings or symposium volumes, Festschriften, plays, or manuscripts on topics outside of our acquisitions focus. (For advice on revising your dissertation, please see our guidelines.)

The University of Iowa Press seeks proposals in the following areas:

  • book arts and history
  • fan studies
  • fiction
  • food studies
  • literary and general nonfiction
  • literary studies and poetics (only in the Contemporary North American Poetry, Iowa Whitman, and New American Canon series)
  • midwestern history, culture, and archaeology
  • natural history of the Upper Midwest
  • public humanities
  • theatre history and culture

Submitting a proposal


We publish single-author short fiction through the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award.


We publish poetry through the annual Iowa Poetry Prize. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts for the Kuhl House Poets series.

Who should you contact?

If you are proposing a project for a particular series, please send your proposal to the series editor or editors. That information is available on the series pages.

If your proposal is not intended for a particular series, please send it to James McCoy, Director.

Please note that the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award have their own submission procedures. The University of Iowa Press does not handle these submissions. Please contact the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with questions about them.