Book proposals

Since 2004 Penned in the Margins has published over 75 books, spanning poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction. We publish between six and ten new titles per year, and are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts and book proposals for publication in 2019 onwards. Please read these guidelines carefully before contacting us.


We aim to publish exciting, risk-taking new poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction.

We are interested in innovative writing, and in performance.

We do not publish single poems or previously published books, including self-published books.

We edit all our books rigorously. If this will upset you, please do not send us your manuscript.

A track-record of magazine, pamphlet or online publication, readings, residencies and/or creative projects is desirable.

We encourage proposals from all writers, regardless of age, gender, race, religion and background.

Our focus is UK-based literature. If you based outside the UK, please give careful consideration to how you would work with us to prepare and market your work.

If you’re unclear whether we’re the right publisher for you, we recommend reading some of our books to find out.

Send us your proposal

Send your proposal to with your book title in the subject line.

Please ensure all attachments are in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

As well as a sample of your work please include a short covering note and biography in the body of your email.

Proposals by post (or by hand) will be recycled without having been read. Please do not telephone our office with queries.

We aim to respond to your email within three months.


We will consider proposals of literary fiction including full-length novels and collections of short stories. Please include a synopsis and one sample chapter.


Send us a sample of poetry up to ten A4 pages (in one document). Please note: we do not publish pamphlets/chapbooks, visual/concrete or illustrated poetry.


We are interested in publishing non-fiction in the following, and related, subject areas: alternative approaches to landscape and place, new nature writing, the environment, psychogeography, cities and urban studies, London history and society, literary criticism, literary history. Please include a chapter outline and one sample chapter.


We are unable to give you specific feedback if your proposal is unsuccessful. If you require editorial feedback, we would recommend you try Arvon, The Poetry School or The Literary Consultancy.

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