Chapbook Guidelines

Please follow guidelines carefully.  Manuscripts that deviate from these guidelines will not be read or considered. 


Send manuscripts for consideration only during open reading periods.  To learn whether or not we are currently reading manuscripts, click here. 

Manuscripts are accepted electronically, by email only.  We do not accept manuscripts via US Mail. 
Email manuscripts to

Red Bird accepts simultaneous submissions.

Only one manuscript per genre per author per reading period. 

Previously published poems, stories, essays, excerpts may be included in your manuscript.  Please provide publication acknowledgements (title of poem/story/essay, where and when published) in the body of your email.  

We publish poetry, non fiction, fiction, illustrated and multi genre/ hybrid chapbooks.   

Any questions or queries outside of designated reading periods should be emailed to our Editor in Chief, Sarah Hayes

Red Bird reserves the right to refuse any manuscript.


Format your possibility email as follows…

Enter the genre and your manuscript title as your subject line.  Examples from past titles include:

  • Poetry, The Heart of Everything That Is
  • Fiction, Tree in Winter
  • Non Fiction, My Life as a Pencil
  • Multi Genre, Book of If & Ever
  • Pamphlet, Three Oranges

Enter your contact information, a brief bio and any publication acknowledgements in the body of the email.  Do not include any contact or identifying information or publication acknowledgements within your manuscript.  

Attach your manuscript as a single Word .doc or .docx file.  Manuscripts received in any other file format will not be read.  Do not paste manuscript into the body of your email. 

A cover letter is not required. 

Format your manuscript…

A typical chapbook manuscript begins as a Word Document between 24 and 30 pages in length.  Manuscripts should be no longer than 30 pages, not including the cover page. The Table of Contents, any section page breaks, dedication pages, etc. do count towards this 30 page limit.  

Manuscripts should include the Table of Contents (if necessary) and the manuscript text only. Tables of Contents page(s) are necessary if more than one piece of writing (poem, short story, essay, vignette, etc.) appears in the manuscript.  

Manuscripts must be formatted as MS Word documents.  Use standard .doc or .docx files only. 

Remove all special formatting from your Word document before attaching it to your email.  No headers, footers, or page numbers are permitted.  You may use page breaks, but do not use section breaks, tables, WordArt or other special formatting within your manuscript.   Do not include images in your manuscript. 

Poetry Manuscripts:

  • Each poem should begin on a new page

Prose Manuscripts:

  • Each story or essay should begin on a new page
  • Manuscript body should be double-spaced

Manuscripts with artwork, illustrations or images: 

  • Send artwork as separate attachments
  • Images should be provided as high resolution jpeg files
  • Identify artist and placement in the manuscript of each image in the file name
  • Do not include images in manuscript document