Alternating Current Press is an indie press dedicated to publishing and promoting incredible literature that challenges readers and has an innate sense of self, timelessness, and atmosphere. We love science, history, homebound roots, rural landscapes, place, poetic literary fiction, diverse voices, and all that is electric in the literary world.

We award several annual writing prizes, including The Luminaire Award (best poetry, best prose), The Charter Oak Award (best historical), The Coil Book Award (best published book from a different press), The Spark Book Award (unpublished YA manuscript with STEM or history themes), and The Electric Book Award (unpublished adult manuscript), that reward publication, certificates, medallions, cash honorariums, and more. All submissions to our press are automatically eligible for their respective award categories. There is no separate submission process.

We also feature Microgrants for Marginalized Voices, including The Oblaye Award (Native Americans), Still I Rise Grant (black women), Unsilenced Grant (Muslim American women), and more.

We have a heavily trafficked online journal, The Coil, that features fresh content daily. To submit fiction, poetry, and history-themed pieces, use the forms below. To submit interviews, reviews, columns, editorials, timely personal essays, current event pieces, book lists, or material for our feature columns, please read more here, and email pieces to their correct editors.

We pay all of our authors for their work.

Read all general guidelines here.
Read about calls for submissions for special projects here.
Read about judging processes and code of ethics here.
Read about submission transparency and acceptance rates here.
Ends on May 15, 2017

Alternating Current is hiring!


Since 1993, we have been kickin’ it in the indie press scene. In 2013, we ventured into full-length paperbacks and away from our humble beginnings with zines, cut ’n’ paste leaflets, and tiny, handmade chapbooks. Last year, we welcomed a new Acquisitions Editor (Hi, Eric!) to play second fiddle to our Editor-in-Chief (Hi, Leah!), and since then, we’re bursting the seams of our britches and in need of a few tailors to stitch us up. We have lots of volunteer positions if you just want to help a little, but what we truly need are some dedicated people to help a lot.

Alternating Current Press publishes literary fiction, historical fiction, some creative nonfiction (with an emphasis more on history and literary, and less on memoir), short story collections, hybrid works (that border more on literary and less on experimental), novels, novellas, poetry collections (more universal and less experimental, and especially thematic and conceptual works), literary journals, anthologies, and an online journal. We really like history, science, rural homebound roots, the Great Plains, strong poetic prose, a sense of place and atmosphere, home and landscape, fantastic literary presence, awareness of our place in time and space, unique literary voice, diverse writers, and timeless writing that just must be published.

We go out of our way and into our own pockets to make sure our authors get paid, get marketed, get promoted, get loved, and feel like part of the family. All authors on our press get paid for all material we publish.

And now it’s time to grow even more, but we can’t do it alone. We want to take on more books, more authors, more press outlets, and expand to become one of the best indie presses out there. We’re looking for commitment. We’re looking for people with a little extra time on their hands who want to be part of our press, who want to help it become something big and have a hand in that process.

If you are already involved with tons of journals, editing projects, writing projects, organizations, and awesome community literary endeavors—good for you! BUT—you’re not right for us. Please be honest with yourself: If you are already constantly wondering how to manage your time and how to finish everything on your plate because there’s ten different pie pieces on it—please don’t apply. We aren’t asking you not to have a life, but we are looking for someone dedicated who can afford the time to make a commitment, and someone willing to dig deep into the literary community and world, to make contacts, to know what’s going on bookwise and authorwise all over the country, and to be in it for the long haul. There will be boring tasks and endless Google searches and slogging emails to parse through and constant contact with people who’ve forgotten that you already contacted them twice. It’s not all fun and games. But the end is rewarding, and you will be a partner whose ideas have equal weight, not just a gopher. If you aren’t even remotely familiar with our press, then you might not be the right person. We’ve been around for a good long time, so if you don’t know us, then you might not be paying enough attention for a job like this. (But then again, you might be perfect for it, so we won’t hold it against you, but please, go get to know us first. Know why you want to work with us. Because if it’s just for a hundred bucks, then you aren’t the right fit for us.)

Please also know what kind of press we are. We believe in promoting diverse voices. We read blind because we value the words and ideas above all else. We believe that books can transform the way people think, can teach compassion and end biases—so if you’re only reading books by dead white men, then we aren’t the place for you. We want to make people less afraid of Muslims. We want to create a safe space for LGBT+. We want diverse books, own voices, and a fair shot for underprivileged writers. If you voted for the dangerous, hateful man who is our current president, then we aren’t the right place for you. If you didn’t vote at all, then we aren’t the right place for you. If you don’t believe climate change is real, then we aren’t the right place for you. If you don’t care about history, the human experience, the heart behind every breath—then we aren’t the right place for you.

If that sounds like too much to you, please don’t apply.

But if that sounds AMAZING (and it is!), please DO apply!

All positions are remote, although we are looking for someone in the United States. It is necessary to be close to our market, to be within our North American time zones, and to have an excellent grasp of the English language. All positions are also completely adjustable around your hours, as long as you meet any deadlines or needs we have in a timely fashion.

Our big empty shoes to fill:

Deputy Editor
Publicity Manager
Event Coordinator
Funding Director



All paid positions will have a three-month trial run. At the end of those three months, we will have an evaluation to determine if you truly are right for the team, based on your performance.
Ends in 5 days, 21 hours $5.99 - 15.99
$5.99 - 15.99
This category is to submit UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS TARGETED AT ADULTS to Alternating Current Press to consider for The Electric Book Award and open-reading publication on our press.

Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, A Room in Dodge City, a surreal, twisted Lynchian novel-in-vignettes by David Leo Rice.

4-Tiered Pricing:

$5.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$8.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.
$12.99: Get an EXPEDITED form response within 4 days, plus a digital copy of The Girl Wakes.
$15.99: Get an EXPEDITED response within 4 days, plus FEEDBACK, plus a digital copy of The Girl Wakes.


Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read full manuscript guidelines here.
Before you request feedback, read this paragraph.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with identifying information or acknowledgments within the file.

We pay for all the work we accept.
Ends in 5 days, 21 hours $4.99 - 15.99
$4.99 - 15.99
This category is to submit YOUNG ADULT MANUSCRIPTS on the themes of science, mathematics, engineering, computing, invention, or history to Alternating Current Press to consider for The Spark Book Award and open-reading publication on our press.

Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, A Room in Dodge City, a surreal, twisted, Lynchian novel-in-vignettes by David Leo Rice.

4-Tiered Pricing:

$4.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$8.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.
$12.99: Get an EXPEDITED form response within 4 days, plus a digital copy of The Girl Wakes.
$15.99: Get an EXPEDITED response within 4 days, plus FEEDBACK, plus a digital copy of The Girl Wakes.


Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read full YA manuscript guidelines here.
Before you request feedback, read this paragraph.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with contact information or acknowledgments within the file.

We pay for all the work we accept.
Ends in 5 days, 21 hours $2.99 - 10.99
$2.99 - 10.99
This category is to submit up to 6 individual pieces with HISTORY THEMES to Alternating Current Press to consider for The Charter Oak Award for Best Historical and open-reading publication in our annual literary journal of history, Footnote.

Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest issue of Footnote: A Literary Journal of History (currently issue #1), a full-length collection of authors’ personal and non-scholarly viewpoints on historical people, places, events, and ideas in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

4-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.
$8.99: Get an EXPEDITED form response within 3 days, plus a digital copy of A Room in Dodge City.
$10.99: Get an EXPEDITED response within 3 days, plus FEEDBACK, plus a digital copy of A Room in Dodge City.


Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read history-themed and Footnote guidelines here.
Before you request feedback, read this paragraph.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•Submit up to 6 pieces with a noticeable history theme in a single document.

We pay for all the work we accept.
Ends in 5 days, 21 hours $2.99 - 10.99
$2.99 - 10.99
This category is to submit up to 4 individual pieces of PROSE to Alternating Current Press to consider for The Luminaire Award for Best Prose and open-reading publication on our daily literary journal, The Coil. (Please note that this is not the place to submit reviews, interviews, current articles, trends, booklists, or other lit-related columns. To submit the latter type of material, go here.)

Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest short-story collection, The Girl Wakes, a collection of dark, coming-of-age, feminist fairytales by Carmen Lau.

4-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.
$8.99: Get an EXPEDITED form response within 3 days, plus a digital copy of Moon Up, Past Full.
$10.99: Get an EXPEDITED response within 3 days, plus FEEDBACK, plus a digital copy of Moon Up, Past Full.


Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read prose guidelines here.
Before you request feedback, read this paragraph.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•Submit up to 4 pieces of prose in a single document.

We pay for all the work we accept.
Ends in 5 days, 21 hours $2.99 - 10.99
$2.99 - 10.99
This category is to submit up to 10 pages (or one long poem if over 10 pages) of POETRY to Alternating Current Press to consider for The Luminaire Award for Best Poetry and open-reading publication on our daily literary journal, The Coil.

Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest poetry release, Poiesis Review #6, a literary journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by various authors.

4-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.
$8.99: Get an EXPEDITED form response within 3 days, plus a digital copy of Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love.
$10.99: Get an EXPEDITED response within 3 days, plus FEEDBACK, plus a digital copy of Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love.


Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read poetry guidelines here.
Before you request feedback, read this paragraph.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.
•No cover pages with contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•Submit up to 10 pages of poetry in a single document.
•You may submit one single poem if your piece is longer than 10 pages.

We pay for all the work we accept.
$10.99 - 15.99

So you wrote a book.
Congratulations. So did everyone else. How can you make your book stand out when it lands across the desk of a literary agent or publisher? How do you know your pitch is solid and ready to bowl ’em over? Let a publishing company and a team of experienced editors look over your query before you send it out into the world.


Let us help.


We’ve been editing serious, eclectic, indie, and mainstream writing for over 20 years. We receive hundreds of pitches, samples, short works, and full manuscripts per year, and we can tell you without a doubt which books we want to publish before we even leave the first page. Let us help you make your pitch that good, too.


If you want your query to be noticed in the slush pile, it has to pop. Here, we offer you a chance to run your query letter through our Editing Bootcamp, where it undergoes a panel of veteran editors, authors, readers, and manuscript selectors who will come up with a collective critique of your work. We are fortunate to have one of the best teams of editors in the independent press, and our editing services are highly coveted and requested, even award-winning.


Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, currently Moon Up, Past Full, a collection of dark, rural Midwestern novellas and short stories by Eric Shonkwiler.


It’s easy: You submit your query letter. We read it very carefully. We return to you an in-depth critique and breakdown of editing needs (and we fix your typos), depending on the work that still needs to be done before your query pops. You cry. You fix it. You become a successful, rich author. Piece of cake.


WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU:
Our Editing Bootcamp is the toughest workshop you might ever encounter. That’s why we call it Bootcamp. The critique that comes back will probably make you cry and want to bury your pen and notebook in the bottom drawer. We are not here to coddle or nudge you lovingly from the nest. We are here to make your work stand out from the rest when it lands on the desk of the next agent or publisher, and we’re willing to bet that, right now, it doesn’t do that. We dare you to prove us wrong. No written material is ever above further improvement, even the most polished pieces, manuscripts, or queries.


This will be the best and most painful $10 you’ve ever spent. Trust that your manuscript is worth it.


Furthermore, if your query sounds interesting ... we might just want to read more of it.


We can only critique queries in English. Service fees are not refunded if you don’t like what we say about your query. We’re not lying when we say you will not receive a pat on the back. Our turnaround is generally inside of a month. We make every effort to get your critique to you swiftly, but sometimes we have a great volume of work at once. Please trust that your critique is in the queue, in the order it was received, and please do not follow up on the status of your submission unless you have not heard back from us after two months.


Need it quicker?
Select the EXPEDITED option, and you’ll have it within 6 days.

$10.99 - 15.99
$10.99 - 15.99

Your first chapter has to slit throats and stab hearts.
Everyone knows the first chapter is the most important one in a novel. It’s the beginning of everything. A seasoned reader will pick up a book in a bookstore, and you’re lucky if he gets to the end of the first page. If he continues ... you’ve got something. How can you ensure that he continues reading? How can you ensure that an agent will read your email? Get yourself some good opinions on each of your drafts. Edit, edit, edit. Don’t be satisfied with mediocre.


Let us help.


We’ve been editing serious, eclectic, indie, and mainstream writing for over 20 years. We receive hundreds of pitches, samples, short works, and full manuscripts per year, and we can tell you without a doubt which books we want to publish before we even leave the first page. Let us help you make your book that good.


Literary agents and publishers often ask for the first chapter. It has to pop, to slit throats and stab hearts and make them want more. Here, we offer you a chance to run your most important chapter through our Editing Bootcamp, where it undergoes a panel of veteran editors, authors, readers, and manuscript selectors who will come up with a collective critique of your work. We are fortunate to have one of the best teams of editors in the independent press, and our editing services are highly coveted and requested, even award-winning.


It’s easy: You submit your first chapter. We read it very carefully. We return to you an in-depth critique that can range anywhere from several paragraphs to several pages, depending on the work that still needs to be done before your story pops. You cry. You fix it. You become a successful, rich author. Piece of cake.


WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU:
This is the toughest workshop you might ever encounter. That’s why we call it Bootcamp. The critique that comes back will probably make you cry and want to bury your pen and notebook in the bottom drawer. We are not here to coddle or nudge you lovingly from the nest. We are here to make your work stand out from the rest when it lands on the desk of the next agent, and we’re willing to bet that, right now, it doesn’t do that. We dare you to prove us wrong. No manuscript is ever above further improvement, even the most polished ones.


This will be the best and most painful $10 you’ve ever spent. Trust that your manuscript is worth it.


Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, currently Moon Up, Past Full, a collection of dark, rural Midwestern novellas and short stories by Eric Shonkwiler


Furthermore, if we love your first chapter ... we might just want to read more.


Manuscripts can be any format, subject, genre, style, length, or theme. We can only critique work in English. You can send your manuscript to us at any step of your drafting process, and you are welcome to resubmit it at a later date in a later draft, as well.


Service fees are not refunded once editing has begun or if you don’t like what we say about your manuscript. We’re not lying when we say we’ll be tough. You will not receive a pat on the back.


It is important to note that we are not editing your work; we are critiquing and analyzing it. (We do also edit.)


You may submit as many first chapters for as many manuscripts as you’d like at any time, but the service fee must be paid for each submission. This service is for first chapters only. Do not send chapters from the middle of a story.


Our turnaround is generally inside of a month. We make every effort to get your critique to you swiftly, but sometimes we have a great volume of work at once. Please trust that your critique is in the queue, in the order it was received, and please do not follow up on the status of your submission unless you have not heard back from us after two months.


Need it quicker?
Select the EXPEDITED option, and you’ll have it within 6 days.

$25.99 - 33.99

“Thank you, but we’ll pass.”
A literary agent asked for your query pitch and the first three chapters. That’s a good chunk of your book for someone to get interested, so you’ve got no excuse for an agent not requesting to see more. By the end of chapter three, a reader must be hooked. So ... the agent wasn’t? Then you’re not done yet. Most agents and editors know if a book is going to be good by the end of the first page, so you don’t have much time to make it count. Three chapters is the longest an interested reader will give you before she calls it quits, so put the effort into a beginning that pops. How can you ensure that she continues reading? Get yourself some good opinions on each of your drafts. Edit, edit, edit. Don’t be satisfied with mediocre.


Let us help.


We’ve been editing serious, eclectic, indie, and mainstream writing for over 20 years. We receive hundreds of pitches, samples, short works, and full manuscripts per year, and we can tell you without a doubt which books we want to publish before we even leave the first page. Let us help you make your book that good.


Literary agents and publishers often ask for the first three chapters. It has to pop, to slit throats and stab hearts and make them want more. Here, we offer you a chance to run your most important chapters through our Editing Bootcamp, where they undergo a panel of veteran editors, authors, readers, and manuscript selectors who will come up with a collective critique of your work. We are fortunate to have one of the best teams of editors in the independent press, and our editing services are highly coveted and requested, even award-winning.


It’s easy: You submit your first three chapters. We read them very carefully. We return to you an in-depth critique that can range anywhere from several paragraphs to several pages, depending on the work that still needs to be done before your story pops. You cry. You fix it. You become a successful, rich author. Piece of cake.


WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU:
This is the toughest workshop you might ever encounter. That’s why we call it Bootcamp. The critique that comes back will probably make you cry and want to bury your pen and notebook in the bottom drawer. We are not here to coddle or nudge you lovingly from the nest. We are here to make your work stand out from the rest when it lands on the desk of the next agent or publisher, and we’re willing to bet that, right now, it doesn’t do that. We dare you to prove us wrong. No manuscript is ever above further improvement, even the most polished ones.


This will be the best and most painful $25 you’ve ever spent. Trust that your manuscript is worth it.


Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, currently Moon Up, Past Full, a collection of dark, rural Midwestern novellas and short stories by Eric Shonkwiler.


Furthermore, if we love your first three chapters ... we might just want to read more.


Manuscripts can be any format, subject, genre, style, length, or theme. Please indicate the genre and age target, so we know what we’re walking into. We can only critique work in English. You can send your manuscript to us at any step of your drafting process, and you are welcome to resubmit it at a later date in a later draft, as well.


Service fees are not refunded once editing has begun or if you don’t like what we say about your manuscript. We’re not lying when we say we’ll be tough. You will not receive a pat on the back.


It is important to note that we are not editing your work; we are critiquing and analyzing it. (We do also edit.)


You may submit as many first-three chapters for as many manuscripts as you’d like at any time, but the service fee must be paid for each submission. This service is for your first three chapters only. Do not send chapters from the middle of a story.


Our turnaround is generally inside of a month and a half. We make every effort to get your critique to you swiftly, but sometimes we have a great volume of work at once. Please trust that your critique is in the queue, in the order it was received, and please do not follow up on the status of your submission unless you have not heard back from us after two months.


Need it quicker?
Select the EXPEDITED option, and you’ll have it within 10 days.

$10.99 - 15.99
$10.99 - 15.99

Have a short story you wrote?
Getting ready to send it out for publication? Have someone else look it over first. Get yourself a second pair of eyes and some good opinions on it, no matter what stage the draft is in. Edit, edit, edit. Don’t be satisfied with mediocre.


Let us help.


We’ve been editing serious, eclectic, indie, and mainstream writing for over 20 years. We receive hundreds of pitches, samples, short works, and full manuscripts per year, and we can tell you without a doubt which books we want to publish before we even leave the first page. Let us help you make your story that good, too.


If you want your story to be noticed in the slush pile, it has to pop. Here, we offer you a chance to run your short story through our Editing Bootcamp, where it undergoes a panel of veteran editors, authors, readers, and manuscript selectors who will come up with a collective critique of your work. We are fortunate to have one of the best teams of editors in the independent press, and our editing services are highly coveted and requested, even award-winning.


It’s easy: You submit your short story. We read it very carefully. We return to you an in-depth critique that can range anywhere from several paragraphs to several pages, depending on the work that still needs to be done before your story pops. You cry. You fix it. You become a successful, rich author. Piece of cake.


WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU:
This is the toughest workshop you might ever encounter. That’s why we call it Bootcamp. The critique that comes back will probably make you cry and want to bury your pen and notebook in the bottom drawer. We are not here to coddle or nudge you lovingly from the nest. We are here to make your work stand out from the rest when it lands on the desk of the next agent or publisher, and we’re willing to bet that, right now, it doesn’t do that. We dare you to prove us wrong. No manuscript is ever above further improvement, even the most polished ones.


This will be the best and most painful $10 you’ve ever spent. Trust that your story is worth it.


Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, currently Moon Up, Past Full, a collection of dark, rural Midwestern novellas and short stories by Eric Shonkwiler.


Furthermore, if we love your story ... we might just want to read more.


Stories can be any format, subject, genre, style, length, or theme. We can only critique work in English. You can send your story to us at any step of your drafting process, and you are welcome to resubmit it at a later date in a later draft, as well.


Service fees are not refunded once editing has begun or if you don’t like what we say about your manuscript. We’re not lying when we say we’ll be tough. You will not receive a pat on the back.


It is important to note that we are not editing your work; we are critiquing and analyzing it. (We do also edit.)


You may submit as many stories as you’d like at any time, but the service fee must be paid for each submission. This service is for stand-alone stories or works only. Do not send excerpts from a larger book or only part of a story.


Our turnaround is generally inside of a month. We make every effort to get your critique to you swiftly, but sometimes we have a great volume of work at once. Please trust that your critique is in the queue, in the order it was received, and please do not follow up on the status of your submission unless you have not heard back from us after two months.


Need it quicker?
Select the EXPEDITED option, and you’ll have it within 6 days.