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Oak Award (best historical), The Coil Book Award (best published book from a different press), The Spark Book Award (unpublished YA manuscript with STEM or history themes), and The Electric Book Award (unpublished adult manuscript), that reward publication, certificates, medallions, cash honorariums, and more.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.
This category is to submit material for Special Projects, Series, Collections, and Anthologies with open calls at Alternating Current Press. All accepted pieces receive payment and are considered for their respective awards categories (prose, poetry).

Pieces submitted to special projects are still read blind and still go through our selection process. There are no expedited or feedback options for this category. You will receive a standard form reply only.

You may only submit once per month to this category. If submitting to more than one project at once, please bundle all your submissions into one single file, and simply indicate in the cover letter which pieces correlate with which projects.

All pieces should adhere to our regular guidelines for poetry and prose:
Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read prose guidelines here.
Read poetry guidelines here.
Read special project guidelines here.

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.
•You can ignore stated word counts and page counts for this category.

We pay for all the work we accept.

SPECIAL PROJECTS WITH OPEN CALLS:

Undeniable: Writers Respond to Climate Change
Retell It Like It Is: Classic Fairytales Retold by People of Color
Spectral Lines: Poems about Scientists
On Being LGBT+ in Rural Areas
On Being LGBT+ in the Deep South
DaguerreoTyped #2: Historical Ekphrastic Challenge
Ends on May 31, 2017$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 on May 31, 2017$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 on May 31, 2017$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 on May 31, 2017$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.
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.)

This free category does NOT come with the complimentary copy of our latest short-story collection or any feedback or expedited options. You will receive a standard form reply only. Our regular prose category is still open if you want feedback, expedited services, or a copy of the collection.

Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read prose guidelines here.

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 on May 31, 2017$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.
This category is for people of color, LGBT+, minority ethnics, and Native Americans to be able to submit to our press for free. Alternating Current is dedicated to helping the world read more diverse literature. In our efforts to help diverse voices be heard, we have removed all barriers for underrepresented groups to be able to submit to our press.

You may submit one regular submission (of 4 prose, 10 pages of poetry, 6 history-themed, or 1 full adult or YA manuscript) per month to this category. Out of respect for people who truly are underrepresented, please only use this category if it applies to you.

PLEASE follow all regular guidelines listed in the respective categories for which you are submitting, even if you use this form. The same guidelines apply to all submitters evenly.

All submissions are still read blind by an external reading panel, and submission acceptance is still based on merit of the writing only. There is no feedback or expedited services available for free entries; responses are via form acceptances and declines only. All other regular categories are open if you want feedback, expedited services, or copies of our books.

All submissions through this portal are still considered for their respective awards.

Read our complete general guidelines here.
Read guidelines for the diversity category here.
To see our Microgrants for Marginalized Writers, go here.

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.
$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.