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, sense of 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Award (best historical), The Coil Book Award (best published book from a different press), and The Electric Book Award (unpublished adult manuscript), that reward publication, certificates, medallions, cash honorariums, and more.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 have a heavily trafficked online journal, The Coil, that features fresh content daily. To submit interviews, reviews, columns, editorials, timely personal essays, current event pieces, booklists, or material for our feature columns, please read more here before submitting.


We pay all of our authors for their work.


Read all general guidelines here.

Read about calls for submissions for special projects here.

Visit our book catalog here.

This category is to submit themed INDIVIDUAL SPECULATIVE STORIES AND NONFICTION HYBRID to consider for the Parenting Stories Gone Speculative one-time print collection, edited by Hannah Grieco. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.


Read about the anthology and its guidelines here.


•You may submit up to 3 pieces, in one single document.
•Work that does not fit the theme will be declined unread.


We pay token (~$10) for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit unpublished BOOK-LENGTH FICTION MANUSCRIPTS, targeted at adults, to consider for the Electric Book Award and open-reading publication on our press. Fiction is: novels, novellas, story collections, plays, and prose hybrid. Fiction is not: essays, memoir, scholarly works, or poetry. This is NOT the place for individual stories or slim chapbooks.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest novel, A Room in Dodge City, Vol. 2: The Blut Branson Era, a bizarro literary horror novel-in-vignettes by David Leo Rice.


Read full manuscript 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 identifying information or acknowledgments within the file.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not publish slim chapbooks or slim volumes (except in the Little Pigeon series) for our full-length titles. For story collections, we recommend submitting manuscripts with at least 10 full-length stories (more if the collection comprises flash stories), and we are probably not the best home for collections of fewer than 5 stories, although we will consider them. Single novellas should be lengthy enough to stand on their own.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit unpublished BOOK-LENGTH NONFICTION MANUSCRIPTS, targeted at adults, to consider for the Electric Book Award and open-reading publication on our press. Nonfiction is: essay collections, memoir, creative nonfiction, and scholarly works. Nonfiction is not: novels, novellas, story collections, prose hybrid, or poetry. This is NOT the place for individual essays, individual journalism, or slim chapbooks.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest memoir, Eats of Eden, a foodoir of writing craft, body image, recipes, and relationships with food, by Tabitha Blankenbiller.


Read full manuscript 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 identifying information or acknowledgments within the file.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not publish slim chapbooks or slim volumes (except in the Little Pigeon series) for our full-length titles. We are probably not the best home for your slim work, but we will still read and consider all submissions.

•We do not print academic textbooks, although we will consider well-sourced scholarly work with a literary bent.

•Straight nonfiction requires sources, references, and / or bibliographies that should be included in the endpages. Work should be factchecked and acknowledged, and we will further factcheck all scholarly work before it is accepted.

•We do not publish quack science, which includes metaphysics and astrology.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit unpublished BOOK-LENGTH POETRY MANUSCRIPTS, targeted at adults, to consider for the Electric Book Award and open-reading publication on our press. This is NOT the place for individual poems or slim chapbooks.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest poetry release, A Gospel of Bones, a collection of poetry on the biracial Black single-motherhood experience in America, by Suzi Q. Smith.


Read our manuscript 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 identifying information or acknowledgments within the file.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not regularly publish slim chapbooks (except in the Little Pigeon series) in our full-length titles. We recommend submitting manuscripts with at least 40 poems, and we are not the best home for collections of fewer than 20 poems (except in the Little Pigeon series).


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit unpublished CHAPBOOK-LENGTH MANUSCRIPTS, targeted at adults, to consider for publication in the Little Pigeon chapbook series on our press. All genres and styles considered that can work within a small setting, including poetry, hybrid, prose poems, experimental, flash stories, flash memoir, one-act plays, textual/visual, etc., but the manuscript should have a unifying theme, link, or hook.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest short work, 20;, erasure poems of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jennifer Roche.


Read chapbook 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 identifying information or acknowledgments within the file.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit up to 5 INDIVIDUAL pieces with HISTORY THEMES to consider for the Charter Oak Award for Best Historical and for open-reading publication in our annual literary journal of history, Footnote. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest issue of Footnote: A Literary Journal of History (currently issue #4).


Read our history-themed and Footnote guidelines here.

Read historical pieces we have previously published 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 5 pieces with a noticeable history theme in a single document.


We pay a tiny token (~ $10) for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit up to 4 INDIVIDUAL FICTION PIECES to consider for the Luminaire Award for Best Prose and open-reading publication on our daily literary journal, The Coil. Journalism, personal essays, creative nonfiction, and memoir should be submitted to other categories. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest short-story release, Remapping Wonderland, a collection of 30 classic fairytales retold by 27 BIPOC writers.


Read individual fiction guidelines here.

Read fiction we have previously published 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.

•Soft word-limit guideline of 3,000 words.

•Submit up to 4 stories in a single document.


We pay a tiny token (~ $10) for all the work we accept. We currently have over 69k readers.

This category is to submit up to 5 INDIVIDUAL POEMS to consider for the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry and open-reading publication on our daily literary journal, The Coil. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest poetry release, A Gospel of Bones, a collection of poetry on the biracial Black single-motherhood experience in America, by Suzi Q. Smith.


Read our poetry guidelines here.

Read poems we have previously published here.


Do not put your name or any identifying marks inside the file, in the title, or in the file name.

•No cover pages that contain contact information or acknowledgments within the file.

•Submit up to 5 poems in a single document.


We pay a tiny token (~ $10) for all the work we accept. We currently have over 72k readers.

This category is to submit INDIVIDUAL STORIES to consider for the Maintain the North: An Epic Mountie Adventure Anthology one-time print collection. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts or any poetry or nonfiction.


Read about the anthology and its 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 that contain contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•You may submit as many stories as you choose, in one single document.
•Fiction only; do not send poetry or nonfiction of any kind. Work that does not fit the theme will be declined unread.


We pay token (~$10) for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit INDIVIDUAL ESSAYS to consider for the Riding Fences: Essays on Being LGBTQ+ in Rural Areas one-time print anthology and the Bottomland: Essays on Being LGBTQ+ in the Deep South one-time print anthology. You can submit to both anthologies at the same time through this portal. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts, and this anthology is NOT seeking fiction or poetry.


Read about the anthologies and their 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 may submit as many pieces as you choose, in one single document.

•Work may only be essays, memoir, and creative nonfiction by LGBTQ+ writers. We are not seeking fiction or poetry for this anthology.


We pay token (~$10) for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit INDIVIDUAL STORIES, NONFICTION, POETRY, AND / OR HYBRID to consider for the Hear & Now: An Anthology on Deafness one-time print collection. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.


Read about the anthology and its 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 that contain contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•You may submit as many pieces as you choose, in one single document.
•Poetry, fiction, hybrid, and / or nonfiction should touch on D/deafness in some way (however slight) and must be WRITTEN BY D/deaf and hard-of-hearing writers. Work that does not fit the theme will be declined unread.


We pay token (~$10) for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit INDIVIDUAL POEMS to consider for the We've Always Done It!: Poems about Wartime Women one-time print collection. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts or any fiction or nonfiction.


Read about the anthology and its 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 that contain contact information or acknowledgments within the file.
•You may submit as many poems as you choose, in one single document.
•Poetry only; do not send fiction or nonfiction of any kind, although hybrid, experimental, and prose poems will be considered. Work that does not fit the theme will be declined unread.


We pay token for all the work we accept.

This category is for Black/black writers to be able to submit to our press for free. Alternating Current believes in helping the world read more diverse literature. In our efforts to help black voices be heard, especially in this time of police brutality, we have removed fee barriers for black writers to be able to submit to our press.


You may submit one regular submission (of 4 stories, 6 poems, 6 history-themed, or 1 full fiction, nonfiction, or poetry book-length manuscript) per month to this category.


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


DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, IN THE TITLE, OR IN THE FILE NAME.

•No cover pages that contain contact information or acknowledgments within the file.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is for Native American/North American Indian writers to be able to submit to our press for free. Alternating Current believes in helping the world read more diverse literature. In our efforts to help Native American voices be heard, we have removed fee barriers for Native American writers to be able to submit to our press.


You may submit one regular submission (of 4 stories, 6 poems, 6 history-themed, or 1 full fiction, nonfiction, or poetry book-length manuscript) per month to this category.


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


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


We pay for all the work we accept.

$2.00

If you are an agent representing an author, you may make your fee-free pitch here. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AGENT REPRESENTING AN AUTHOR, THEN THIS PORTAL IS NOT FOR YOU.


Please note: We are seeking literary, historical, science, rural, timeliness, sense of place, social causes and awareness, poetry, Indigenous voices, and highly poetic, intelligent craft. We're interested in novels, novellas, story collections, play scripts, hybrid, literary memoir, creative nonfiction, essay collections, and poetry collections. We especially like work that is linked or themed or has an interesting hook.


We do not consider metaphysics or quack sciences. We do not publish textbooks. We only publish books geared toward adults: no children's books, picture books, middle grade, young adult, or new adult. We have a highly literary readership and are not the best place for commercial works or genre works that are not also literary. No religion, erotica, or genre romance. We are a highly liberal venue and are absolutely not the place for any conservative or right-wing ideas. We emphatically do not print Christian fiction. We are a Black Lives Matter, MeToo, and LGBTQ+ safe space.


We pay 50/50 royalties for the work we publish, but please understand that advances are < $1,000. This isn't negotiable because we can't magically make funds appear, so if it's a problem right out the gate, please don't query.

We are currently accepting applications for July 2021 through February 2022 for 3-month and 4-month editorial internships. Please choose your timeframes carefully because you will be expected to commit to those times, if selected for a position.

Pays $150 per month each for 5 rotating internship positions. We are an indie press, and while we wish we could pay more (and will hopefully be able to in the future), we are delighted to offer this humble stipend for positions that we could previously only offer as volunteer.

There are training sessions, picture tutorials, and templates available for all aspects of the internship.


We offer 3-month internships, for a total of 12 per year, which are:

  • (#1) December, January, February
  • (#2) March, April, May
  • (#3) June, July, August
  • (#4) September, October, November
  • (#5) January, February, March
  • (#6) April, May, June
  • (#7) July, August, September
  • (#8) October, November, December
  • (#9) February, March, April
  • (#10) May, June, July
  • (#11) August, September, October
  • (#12) November, December, January


We offer 4-month internships, for a total of 6 per year, which are:

  • (#13) March, April, May, June
  • (#14) July, August, September, October
  • (#15) November, December, January, February
  • (#16) May, June, July, August
  • (#17) September, October, November, December
  • (#18) January, February, March, April


Your duties will be:

  • Interacting as an editorial group
  • Attending virtual weekly meetings
  • Reading and deciding on submissions across all genres
  • Responding quickly to 48-hour submissions across all genres
  • Operating the administrator side of Submittable (for submissions)
  • Editing and laying out pieces for The Coil
  • Operating the administrator side of Medium (for The Coil)
  • Operating a shared work email through Gmail (for Medium access)
  • Responding to simple emails (status updates, proof checks, easy author questions)
  • Writing at least one column per month for The Coil
  • Soliciting at least two columns per month for The Coil (especially pertaining to monthly themes)
  • Writing at least one book review per month for The Coil 
  • Contributing to the weekly Indie Book Radar staff column on The Coil
  • Creating and hosting at least one virtual or multimedia event per month
  • Participating in a virtual editorial workshop at the end of your tenure
  • Researching and reaching out to literary advertisers for The Coil (with templates)*
  • Researching and reaching out to literary professionals about The Coil promo columns (with templates)*
  • Reaching out to libraries, universities, bookstores, and festivals to feature our materials*
  • Operating our social media profiles**
  • Creating social share images and advertisement images**
  • Following our authors and their successes in order to promote contributor spotlights**
  • Initial manuscript editing for Alternating Current Press titles***
  • Proofreading final print ARCs for ACP titles***
  • Finding publicity for the ACP titles that we are currently promoting***
  • Deciding as a team on award winners***
  • Setting up table and onsite event preparation for festivals and bookfairs
  • Focusing on how we can make and include spaces for safer and more diverse lit
  • Following our literary community code of conduct


*these tasks are divided amongst 5 people, with different focuses for each person each month, so you will only focus on your assigned task for the duration of each month.

**each person will be in charge of one or two social media profiles per month, and the list rotates.

***only the book releases or award announcements that occur during your months.


Some perks are:

  • You will receive our entire ACP digital catalog for free (to become familiar with our work)
  • You will receive 2 free print books of your choice from the ACP catalog (to see a sampling of our work in-person)
  • You can get 50%-off any other books from our ACP catalog with your unique code, for life
  • You will qualify for our bookfair-staff discount to the annual AWP writers conference
  • You will receive discounts to festivals that coincide with your area or internship months
  • You may request early-reader ARCs for any book (not ACP) that you want to review or spotlight on The Coil
  • The position is completely remote and flexible around your hours (we try to make meeting times agreeable to everyone)
  • You may have your own features or a running column on The Coil
  • You will meet other authors, editors, publishers, and literary folks who can help you network and connect with others for your own work in the future


Prerequisites are:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age by the start date of your internship
  • You must reside in the U.S. (we are seeking people very in-tune with our U.S. market, and 6 time zones is already enough to juggle)
  • You must be willing to have your photo and bio on our website staff page and social media profiles
  • You must agree to remain on the in-house email info list during your tenure


Some regular recurring monthly themes, duties, and activities are:

January

  • AWP prep
  • Read all qualifying applications for the Unsilenced grant and select winner
  • Beginning-of-the-year booklists

February

  • AWP prep (and sometimes AWP itself)
  • Black History Month activities and columns
  • Free history submissions are open
  • Read all qualifying applications for the Still I Rise grant and select winner

March

  • AWP prep (and AWP itself)
  • Women’s History Month activities and columns
  • Free history submissions are open
  • Read all qualifying history submissions and select Charter Oak award winner
  • Poetry Month poem-a-day prep for April
  • National Deaf History Month activities and columns
  • International Women’s Day activities and columns
  • International Transgender Day of Visibility activities and columns
  • International Day Against Police Brutality activities and columns

April

  • National Poetry Month activities and columns
  • Free poetry submissions are open
  • Read all qualifying poetry submissions and select Luminaire Poetry winner
  • Arab American Heritage Month activities and columns
  • NaPoWriMo activities and columns
  • Boulder Bookfest prep
  • National Deaf History Month activities and columns
  • Autism Awareness Month activities and columns
  • School Library Month activities and columns
  • Children’s Book Day activities and columns
  • Earth Day activities and columns
  • Holocaust Remembrance Day activities and columns
  • National Library Week activities and columns

May

  • Short Story Month activities and columns
  • Free fiction submissions are open
  • Read all qualifying prose submissions and select Luminaire Prose winner
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month activities and columns
  • Boulder Bookfest prep
  • National Poetry Week activities and columns
  • Older Americans Month activities and columns
  • Get Caught Reading Month activities and columns

June

  • LGBTQIA+ Pride Month activities and columns
  • Free LGBTQIA+ submissions are open
  • Pride virtual reading event
  • Read all qualifying book submissions and select Coil Book award winner
  • Boulder Bookfest prep
  • Juneteenth activities and columns
  • DeafBlind Awareness Week activities and columns
  • Audiobook Month activities and columns

July

  • Read all qualifying book submissions and select Front Range award winner
  • Xmas in July book sale
  • Lock down an event space for AWP
  • Boulder Bookfest prep (and Boulder Bookfest itself)

August

  • Read all qualifying book submissions and select Spark translation winner

September

  • Read all qualifying applications and select Wardenclyffe scholarship winner
  • Native American Day activities and columns
  • National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month activities and columns
  • Banned Books Week activities and columns

October

  • Read all qualifying book manuscripts and select Electric Book award winner
  • Indigenous Peoples Day activities and columns
  • Halloween virtual reading event
  • National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month activities and columns
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month activities and columns
  • National Book Month activities and columns
  • AIDS Awareness Month activities and columns
  • School Librarian Day activities and columns
  • Stop Police Brutality Day activities and columns
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities and columns

November

  • Holiday sales, including Small Business Saturday, Small Press Sunday, and Cyber Monday
  • Native American Heritage Month activities and columns
  • Aviation History Month activities and columns
  • Free history submissions are open
  • Free fiction submissions are open for Short-Story Week
  • Short-Story Week activities and columns
  • Read all qualifying applications and select Oblaye award winner
  • NaNoWriMo activities and columns
  • AWP prep
  • Young Readers Day activities and columns
  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women activities and columns

December

  • Holiday book sale
  • End-of-the-year booklists
  • Book It Forward
  • Read all qualifying nominations and select Small Press Poet Laureate winner
  • Read all qualifying nominations and select literary citizen winner
  • AWP prep
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities activities and columns
  • Jólabókaflóð activities and columns
  • Universal Human Rights Month activities and columns
  • World AIDS Day activities and columns



A few checkmarks to consider before applying:

  • We are not interested in religion, do not publish religious books or stories, and do not celebrate religious holidays on The Coil
  • We are a liberal safe space and are an open home for LGBTQIA+ writers, older writers, BIPOC+ writers, and writers with disabilities
  • We do not consider all opinions to be equal and will not provide a platform for hate speech, misinformation, “beliefs” that may be harmful or that go against science, or alt-right ideas
  • We do not publish quack “sciences” (metaphysics, flat-Earth, creationism, &c.)
  • We do not spotlight “holidays” on The Coil that are celebrated at the exclusion of others or that involve whitewashing or erasure of cultures and civil rights (Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Confederate Memorial Day, &c.)
  • We will not tolerate public or private harassment of anyone at any time. Yes, you are responsible for what you say and do on social media, and yes, you will be terminated if your conduct on your personal profiles is inappropriate. It still reflects poorly on us, so your personal life does affect us. (This comes with a gentle reminder that “freedom of speech” only means you are protected from THE GOVERNMENT, not from private entities, not from your peers, not from social media, and not from us.) Most importantly: Kindness matters. Practice it, always.
Alternating Current