October 2021 Update

We’ve been slowly making our way through the manuscripts received during the open reading period that ended a little over a month ago.  We’re hoping to be able to contact and announce our finalists in the next week.  Thanks for your patience.

By the end of this month, we should have our schedule more or less set for the first half of 2022.  

UPDATE:  Finalists have been contacted, and the plan is to make our selections by the end of the month and announce everything in early November.  

Open Reading Guidelines (August 2021)

The 2021 open reading period starts at midnight August 17 and runs through 11:59 PM August 31.  That’s the “standard” two weeks.  Here are the guidelines:

      • One entry per person.  No reading fee.
      • Manuscripts will be read as “blindly” as possible, so please take your name off the title page.
      • Manuscripts should have between 16 and 24 pages of poems.
      • Email submissions to greybookpress (at) gmail (dot) com.  Subject line: “SUBMISSIONS – [LAST NAME] – [TITLE]”
      • There are no limitations this year for authors who have had a chapbook published by GBP.  
      • The goal is to choose at least two manuscripts for publication with a maximum of five.  Runs will either be open-ended with 25 author copies or limited limited editions of 50 (in which case, 15 author copies). 
      • The goal is to notify all finalists by sometime in October.  We likely will not notify you if you are not a finalist, but feel free to check with us after Halloween if you haven’t heard anything.  Updates will be posted here.

In selecting chapbooks for publication, we usually aim for “range” in across accepted manuscripts.  For instance, we may choose a favorite, or “winner,” that would be the best/most resonant manuscript, and other selected manuscript(s) would be “different” from that one in some way.  If several are chosen, ideally, they’d be different from one another.

If you have any questions not answered/addressed here, let us know at the email listed above.

Good luck!


August 2021 Update

Just a quick update that the promised Open Reading period kicks off on Tuesday at noon.  Guidelines will be posted this weekend (honestly, it’ll be late Sunday).  In early/mid-September, we’ll have a more comprehensive update.  Things are happening!  

Small and Fierce

The final chapbook from last year’s open reading period is Small and Fierce by Andrea Fischer.  It’s the type of collection that we have a soft spot for . . . a story of growing up and finding a place in the world.  A story of finding love (hard love, intense love) and losing love.  Andrea takes us to Europe and back.  She introduces us to tenderness and brutality, and the many points in between.  

From “Both Small and Fierce”:

“There is your hand, yes—
now skimming my breasts,

then patting, listening now—
waiting for the tumblers to click,

a burglar curled up in my lap,
hungry, wanting more.”


This chapbook is limited to 50 copies, so don’t wait too long and miss out!  Visit our Titles page to pick one up.

July 2021 Update

We’re getting ready to finish out our 2020/2021 chapbook “season” this coming week with the release of Small and Fierce by Andrea Fischer.  It seems like there have been slight delays for each of our recent titles, so we’re really happy to finally be able to get this one out to everyone.  And it’s a limited edition (50 copies), so don’t miss out!

We’ll be taking off the rest of July to prepare for a likely project that should come to fruition early next year.  More details on that later.  

The next open reading period will be sometime in August.  It’ll be a two-week window, with details to be announced a week or so before.  As with previous years, we’ll be picking at least two titles for publication.  By that time, we should have a better idea of how the next six to eight months should look for the publication schedule.  

June Story

A large part of June Story (and other poems) by Margaret Anne Ernst details the loss of a parent.  On the surface, that sounds like a simple enough proposition.  But in this chapbook, nothing is just “surface.”  The parent, in this case, is transgender, and the title poem is a touching exploration of her life, her development, her movement through the world.  

Margaret also explores the changed world one might have after losing a parent, as well as the “trapped” world that will seem familiar to many of us who lived through a global pandemic.  

From “Letter to Shame”:

“At fourteen, I hid my rage.
Instead, it went inside.
The truth?

I have wasted
so much time
on shame.”


Now available on the Titles page!

May 2021 Update

After a few unforeseen delays, the next GBP chapbook (June Story by Margaret Anne Ernst) will be out later this week.  Following that by about a month will be a chapbook from Andrea Fischer.

We had quite a flood of unsolicited submissions, so we are now “officially” closed until the open reading period, which will likely open in August.  There are some things brewing that will necessitate us planning a little further in advance with a clear idea of how many chapbooks we’ll be doing in the next year or so.  Which will be hard when usually don’t have more than six to eight months of backlog and our publishing schedule is always in flux.  Don’t worry . . . we’ll never be professionals!

See you in a few days!

April 2021 Update

You probably noticed that we didn’t have a new chapbook come out around the Equinox as planned.  There were some unforeseen delays in getting our next chapbook (Margaret Ernst’s June Story and Other Poems) ready to go to press.  In the meantime, there will be a Zoom reading with Margaret and Sara Luisa Kirk (whose chapbook, only all the blood, came out last month) on April 15.  Margaret’s chapbook will be out a week or two after the reading.  

In other news, we’ve been flooded with unsolicited chapbook manuscripts and queries.  Our “Submissions” page has been updated . . . for the first time in a decade or so.  Typically, we receive sporadic queries on submitting outside our reading period, and consider some of these for “off-cycle” chapbooks.  I think the press now appears on multiple website lists, which is fine, but we don’t have time to review a continuous stream of manuscripts.  So, we have “shut the door” for now.  I’ll respond to queries received recently, as well as a couple manuscripts I’m currently reviewing.  We’ll announce our next open reading period in a couple/few months, at which time we’ll update our “Submissions” page again.


Here’s the link to the reading next week!

When: Apr 15, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

 Register in advance for this meeting:


 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

(All the) Blood

The first chapbook of 2021 is only all the blood by Sara Luisa Kirk.  I was drawn to the sparse, yearning beauty of the poems, each of which is paired with a “word wall” that looked to be a kind of source material.  The pieces were numbered . . . but out of order.  Turns out, as Sara explains, that the word lists are sourced from song lyrics on the Sufjan Stevens album, Carrie and Lowell.  That album had been a balm to Sara during a difficult time, and she chose to use the lyrics’ source language to create her own poems.  As the pieces were completed, they “demanded their own sequence” but the song numbers were kept as parts of the reordered poems. 

Like Stevens’ album, which was about the loss of his mother, these poems explore the end of a complex relationship.  It’s a stirring, engaging exploration. 

From [8]:

“we spurn hope

carried us”


This chapbook is now available on the Titles page.

January/February 2021 Update

I guess we’re late getting started in the new year.  Maybe we were waiting for a new administration here in the U.S.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with post-Holiday malaise and laziness.  (Let’s go with that.)

Next week, we’ll be launching the first of our 2021 chapbooks, only all the blood by Sara Luisa Kirk.  Following that, in Spring, will be a collection by Margaret Ernst.  As we approach Summer, we’ll have a limited-edition chapbook from Andrea Fischer.  We may have other announced titles as we get halfway through year, and/or we may have another open reading.  Who knows.  Stay tuned and see you in a few days!