Listed below are our current open calls. We are open for our chapbook contests from March to May, our open reading period for full-length poetry manuscripts from June to August, our broadside contest from September to November, and our open reading period for prose manuscripts from December to February. Our residency applications are open year-round. Other calls will be published here as they open.

Sundress Publications Open for Full-Length Poetry Manuscript Open Reading Period

Deadline: August 31, 2024

Sundress Publications is open for submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts. All authors are welcome to submit qualifying manuscripts during our reading period of June 1st to August 31st, 2024, but we especially welcome authors from marginalized and underrepresented communities.

We’re looking for manuscripts of forty-eight to eighty (48-80) single-spaced pages; front matter is excluded from page count. Individual pieces or selections may have been previously published in anthologies, chapbooks, print journals, online journals, etc., but cannot have appeared in any full-length collections, including self-published collections. Single-author and collaborative author manuscripts will be considered. Manuscripts translated from another language will not be accepted. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but we ask that authors notify us immediately if their manuscript has been accepted elsewhere.

From June 1st through 14th, submissions to this contest are free for the first submission for any and all writers. Beginning June 15th, the reading fee is $15 per manuscript, though the fee will be waived for entrants who purchase or pre-order any Sundress title or broadside. Authors may submit as many manuscripts as they would like, so long as each is accompanied by a separate reading fee or book purchase. Entrants can place book orders or pay submission fees at our store at Please note that this submission fee is waived for all BIPOC writers for the duration of the reading period.

All manuscripts will be read by members of our editorial board, and we will choose at least two manuscripts for publication. We are actively seeking collections from writers of color, trans and nonbinary writers, disabled writers, and others whose voices are underrepresented in literary publishing. Please note that Sundress does not have a defined aesthetic and invites you to send your strange, unique, hybrid, beautiful, and hard-to-place work for us to consider. Selected manuscripts will be offered a standard publication contract, which includes 25 copies of the published book, as well as any additional copies at cost.

Submit your manuscript to us here.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Open for Spring 2025 Residencies

Deadline: September 1, 2024

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writing residencies in all genres—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, journalism, academic writing, and more—for their spring residency period which runs from January 6 to May 11, 2025. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

Each farmhouse residency costs $300/week, which includes a room of one’s own, as well as access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet.

Residencies in the Writers Coop are $150/week and include your own private dry cabin as well as access to the farmhouse amenities. Because of the low cost, we are rarely able to offer scholarships for Writers Coop residents.

Residents will stay at the SAFTA farmhouse, located on a working farm on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. The farmhouse is also just a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city that is home to a thriving artistic community. SAFTA is ideal for writers looking for a rural retreat with urban amenities.

SAFTA’s residencies, which also include free access to workshops, readings, and events, offer a unique and engaging experience. Residents can participate in local writing workshops, lead their own workshops, and even have the opportunity to learn life skills like gardening and animal care.

As part of our commitment to anti-racist work, we are now also using a reparations payment model for our farmhouse residencies which consists of the following:

  • 3 reparations weeks of equally divided payments for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers at $150/week
  • 3 discounted weeks of equally divided payments for BIPOC writers at $250/week
  • 6 equitable weeks of equally divided payments at $300/week

Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers are also invited to apply for a $350 support grant to help cover the costs of food, travel, childcare, and/or any other needs while they are at the residency. We are currently able to offer two of these grants per residency period (spring/summer/fall). If you would like to donate to expand this funding, you may do so here.

For the Spring 2025 residency period, SAFTA will be offering the following fellowships only:

  • LGBTQIA+ Fellowship: one 100% and one 50% week-long fellowship for writers who identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Black & Indigenous Writers Fellowships: one full week-long fellowship for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers

The application deadline for the spring residency period is September 1, 2024. Find out more about the application process at

The application fee is waived for all BIPOC identifying writers. For all fellowship applications, the application fee will also be waived for those who demonstrate financial need; please state this in your application under the financial need section. All application fees are used to fund support grants for Black and/or Indigenous writers.

Call for Submissions for Anthology of Poetry by Sexual Assault Survivors

Deadline: September 30, 2024

Sundress Publications announces an open submission call for a new anthology of poetry written by sexual assault survivors. Submissions can but do not need to directly deal with sexual assault. We hope to both provide an avenue for publishing work about sexual assault, as it can be challenging to find markets open to that topic, and showcase the full, vibrant lives survivors lead outside their trauma.

Contributors will be paid a small honorarium and receive a copy of the print anthology. This anthology will appear in a digital and print format.

Interested writers and poets should submit up to (3) poems along with a short bio (max. 100 words), a preferred email address, phone number, and physical mailing address on this form by September 30, 2024.

Submit your poems here.

Previously published work will be considered as long as you retain the right to reprint it and note where it first appeared. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are noted as such and the author notifies the editor at that the work has been accepted elsewhere before notification of acceptance in the anthology.

Erin Elizabeth Smith will serve as the editor for this anthology. Erin Elizabeth Smith (she/her) is the Executive Director of Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts and a 2023 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, most recently DOWN (SFASU 2020) and the founder of the Best of the Net Anthology. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Guernica, Ecotone, Crab Orchard, and Mid-American. Smith is a Distinguished Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

A special thanks to the Academy of American Poets whose grant made this anthology possible.

Sundress Reads Looking for Recently Published Books to Review

Deadline: Rolling

As part of Sundress’ Publications’ ongoing commitment to service and the importance of highlighting work from other small presses, we are now accepting submissions for consideration for inclusion in our review series, Sundress Reads. We’re looking to feature reviews for any books published or to be published in 2023 or 2024.

We at Sundress champion writers whose work highlights human resilience and challenges misconceptions. We will not consider reviewing any book that promotes actions or includes language that contribute to oppression. Books by authors from LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, neurodivergent, disabled, immigrant, incarcerated, and otherwise marginalized communities are encouraged to submit. Recent titles we’ve reviewed include Alicia Mountain’s Four in Hand (BOA Editions), Teow Lim Goh’s Faraway Places (Diode Editions), and Noreen Ocampo’s Not Flowers (Variant Literature).

Authors or publishers of books published within this date range are invited to submit books, chapbooks, or anthologies in any genre for consideration by our reviewers who are standing by. Books must be published by independent presses, university presses, or small presses; we do not accept submissions from “the Big 5” or self-published collections. Submissions will be considered on a rolling basis.

Find out more here.