Cornerstone Press seeks book-length manuscripts in poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction and makes publishing decisions based on the quality and marketability of the manuscripts submitted. We read and evaluate manuscripts throughout the year. We only consider original material not previously published in book form for our fiction/nonfiction series, though we do consider “collected” or “selected” poetry manuscripts from established poets for our poetry series on a case-by-case basis. We do not publish chapbooks of poems, nor are we acquiring novel manuscripts at this time. Please query the publisher prior to sending a manuscript proposal with questions regarding these issues.

If material in your submission has been published elswhere in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, please include a complete Acknowledgments page with your manuscript. 

Cornerstone Press strives to support diverse investigations into and experiences with the Midwest. In particular, we encourage writers of underrepresented communities to submit their work for consideration in all series. However, we are open to all well-written submissions regardless of region.

Cornerstone Press Submission Guidelines

When submitting a manuscript for consideration by Cornerstone Press, please include the following items:

1) Please indicate either in your cover letter or email submission which series your work will be considered for. The press is actively acquiring in its Legacy Series (short fiction), Portage Poetry Series (poetry), and Back Home Series (creative nonfiction).

2) A cover letter. Recommended content includes a paragraph describing the manuscript you are submitting, a second paragraph containing any additional information relevant to the work submitted, and a final paragraph outlining your writing experience (a biography). Please address your letter to: Dr. Ross K. Tangedal, Cornerstone Press. Within your letter, please include your mailing address, email address, and phone number.

3) A synopsis of the work submitted.

4) A complete, typed manuscript, with your name and the manuscript title on the first page.

Submit the cover letter, synopsis, and manuscript digitally to:

*Note: We will only consider manuscripts sent digitally. Manuscripts and materials sent via post will not be evaluated, nor will they be returned to the sender.

Additional Guidelines:

  • Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should strive to be a maximum of 70,000 words. Please query the publisher prior to submission if your manuscript falls well below or far beyond this word count.

  • Poetry manuscripts can vary in length, but our minimum page count for a printed volume is 80 pages. Please take this into account when submitting your poetry manuscript.

  • Poetry submissions for the Portage Poetry Series may inc​lude a thematic overview in lieu of a synopsis.

Cornerstone Press typically focuses on up-and-coming regional authors, but we are open to all original, well-written, and polished submissions. If your manuscript is accepted by another publisher, please inform us via email. We look forward to reading your work. You may contact us at