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Oak Award (best historical), The Coil Book Award (best published book from a different press), The Spark Book Award (unpublished YA manuscript with STEM or history themes), and The Electric Book Award (unpublished adult manuscript), that reward publication, certificates, medallions, cash honorariums, and more.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 interviews, reviews, columns, editorials, timely personal essays, current event pieces, book lists, 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.
Read about judging processes and code of ethics here.
Read about submission transparency and acceptance rates here.
Read about critique guidelines here.

This category is open for any submission you want to submit to Alternating Current Press. Please submit ONLY ONCE per month to our free category for August and October. Fee and feedback categories remain open if you want to submit more material or to receive feedback options. This category comes with a form response only and does not come with any complimentary digital copies or book samples.


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

•No identifying cover pages or acknowledgments within the file.


Please read the guidelines for the respective categories before you submit. Even though this is open to any submission category, we still expect general guidelines to be followed.

Read general guidelines and FAQ here.

Read guidelines for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction manuscripts (full-length collections and novels) here.

Read guidelines for all special themed projects and anthologies here.

Read guidelines for history-themed poetry and prose and Footnote here.

Read guidelines for individual prose, fiction, stories, and prose-hybrid pieces here.

Read guidelines for individual poetry and poetry-hybrid pieces here.

If you are submitting your book reviews, interviews, columns, features, &c., to The Coil, please submit here instead.


Please note that we are not open for Young Adult manuscripts or submissions for the LGBT+ in Rural Areas and the Deep South essay anthologies at this time. We are still in the process of training editors for those departments and catching up on our past submission queue with new editors. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we will be open for those categories during the August 2019 Submit Anything! Open Reading Period.


We pay for all the work we accept.

DO NOT submit poetry, short stories, Footnote submissions, book manuscripts, anthology pieces, or anything for Alternating Current Press through this portal.



This category is to submit material to our online literary magazine, The Coil. The portal is for journal pieces only: nonfiction, essays, columns, interviews, memoir, reviews, booklists, trend articles, journalism, themed calls, &c. Become familiar with what our journal publishes before you submit. Poetry, Fiction, and Historical pieces go through the press, NOT this portal. Anything that is not listed in the acceptance list below will be declined unread.  


If your piece is declined, you will receive a standard form reply only; we do not have the personnel to provide feedback. If your work is accepted, there is a tiny token payment the month after publication. We run on the Medium platform, so if your work is accepted, you will have to make a free Medium account to host your pieces, if you do not already have one. We pay higher rates for invited work from those who have solid, experienced bylines, on an individual basis. All work is edited, period.  


We welcome diverse and underrepresented voices and are an LGBT+ safe-space. Do not submit material that is: religious, hateful toward any type of person or culture, pro-gun, or erotica. We believe in the ethical treatment of all people and reject the hateful ideologies and rhetoric of this current Presidential Administration; material in support of it will not find a home here.  


DO NOT SUBMIT UNTIL YOU HAVE READ OUR GUIDELINES HERE.


We are currently accepting:

Book Reviews for The Volt

Essays, Articles, & Columns for The Spark

Memoir for The Spark

Literary Recipes for Naked Lunch Menu

Essays on Topics of Expertise for On:Topic

Essays on Writing Craft for On:Craft

Essays on Moments of Passion for The Last Thing I Loved

Alternate Histories

Essays on Literary or Historical Events for On This Day

Photos & Essays of Items Collected by Authors for The Collector

Essays on How Books Hold up Years Later for The Hold-Up

Interviews and Conversations for The Inductor

Self-Interviews for The Inductor

Photo-Interviews for The Inductor

Shelfies for The Signal

Spotlights & Profiles for The Beam

Soundbites, MP3, Video, & Media for The Frequency

Comics, Illustrations, & Artwork Portfolios for The Electromagnet

Novel & Book Excerpts for The Spark


A Note on Photo Prompt Submissions for DaguerreoTyped:

Our monthly photo prompt submissions are currently read by our History Editor, not a Coil editor, so they should not be submitted here. Submit them here instead.  


A Note on Book Blog Tours:

We are happy to be a home for your promotional or book blog tour stops. You may request a book review via The Volt guidelines, but we will not guarantee reviews by set dates. If you want a promotional post for a set date, we suggest writing a guest column, booklist, media post, or essay pertaining to something about your book; or contributing a book excerpt, self-interview, photo interview, Transmitter questions, or giveaway; or having someone else interview you and submit the post.

This category is to submit pay-what-you-can advertisements to our online magazine, The Coil.  


Information is here. Please read it and pay first before you fill out this form.

Ends on October 31, 2018$5.99 - 9.99
$5.99 - 9.99

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.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest poetry release, Solstice to Solstice to Solstice, a full year of sunrises documented in poetry by Allison Boyd Justus.  


2-Tiered Pricing:

 $5.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.

 $9.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.  



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.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not regularly publish slim chapbooks. We recommend submitting manuscripts with at least 40 poems, and we are not the best home for collections of fewer than 20 poems.  


  We pay for all the work we accept.

Ends on October 31, 2018$5.99 - 9.99
$5.99 - 9.99

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, and prose hybrid. Fiction is not: essays, memoir, scholarly works, or poetry. This is NOT the place for individual stories.


Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest novel, A Room in Dodge City, an upside-down Lynchian bizarro world in vignettes by David Leo Rice.  



2-Tiered Pricing:

$5.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.

$9.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.  




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.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not regularly publish slim chapbooks or slim volumes. For story collections, we recommend submitting manuscripts with at least 10 stories, and we are probably not the best home for collections of fewer than 5 stories, although we will consider them.  


We pay for all the work we accept.

Ends on October 31, 2018$5.99 - 9.99
$5.99 - 9.99

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, CNF, and scholarly works. Nonfiction is not: novels, novellas, story collections, prose hybrid, or poetry. Journalism should be submitted to The Coil category instead. This is NOT the place for individual essays.


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


2-Tiered Pricing:

$5.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.

$9.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.  



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.

•While we will read and consider manuscripts of any length, we do not regularly publish slim chapbooks or slim volumes. We are probably not the best home for your slim work, unless it is a meaty novella, 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.



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 #1).

2-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.
$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.


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 5 pieces with a noticeable history theme in a single document.

We pay for all the work we accept.
Ends on October 31, 2018$2.99 - 6.99
$2.99 - 6.99

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, Solstice to Solstice to Solstice, a full year of sunrises documented in poetry by Allison Boyd Justus.  


2-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.

$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.  



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 5 poems in a single document.


We pay for all the work we accept.

Ends on October 31, 2018$2.99 - 6.99
$2.99 - 6.99

This category is to submit up to 4 INDIVIDUAL PROSE PIECES to consider for the Luminaire Award for Best Prose and open-reading publication on our daily literary journal, The Coil. It is recommended that journalism and personal essays be submitted to a specific column in The Coil category instead. This is NOT the place for full book manuscripts.

Each submission comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest short-story release, Second Acts in American Lives, a collection of darkly humorous puns, plays-on-words, and political statements, by Ryan Ridge and Mel Bosworth.  


2-Tiered Pricing:

$2.99: Regular reading fee. This will come with a standard form response.

$6.99: Get brief FEEDBACK from our reading panel.  



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.

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

•Submit up to 4 stories in a single document.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This portal is for submissions for a *specific* column: novel and book excerpts for The Neon, on The Coil. This is not the place for general fiction, full manuscripts, or unpublished stories.


We will consider standalone excerpts from novels, memoirs, collections, and other books for featured exposure for your book on The Coil. This column is excellent for promotional purposes during the week of the book’s release date or during the dates of a book blog tour. Excerpts are only considered for already-published books and forthcoming ARCs for books that have already found a home at a traditional press (not self-published) within the last two years or within the next six months and not from works-in-progress that have not yet found a publisher. Publishers can be small, medium, indie, university, or major, but they should not be self-presses designed only to publish one author. No religion, Christian fiction, romance, hate speech, or erotica. This column runs on The Coil every Tuesday, on new-release day in the industry. No word count regulations, but it's recommended that you feature something between 600 and 3,000 words. Accompanying illustrations or images are permitted. If your excerpt requires a brief introduction, please include it at the beginning of your piece in the file; introductions should be no greater than 100 words.


If your piece is declined, you will receive a standard form reply only; we do not have the personnel to provide feedback. If your work is accepted, there is a tiny token payment the month after publication. We are happy to be a home for your promotional or book blog tour stops if you need a specific publication date. For this category, we accept work from authors, agents, publicists, and publishers.


We welcome diverse and underrepresented voices and are an LGBT+ safe-space. Do not submit material that is hateful toward any type of person or culture, or that is pro-gun. We believe in the ethical treatment of all people and reject the hateful ideologies and rhetoric of this current presidential administration; material in support of it will not find a home here.


If you have any questions about the category or wish to send pitches, queries, abstracts, or materials via email instead, please contact Lyndsey Ellis at excerpts@thecoilmag.com.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This portal is for essay submissions for a *specific* column, The Last Thing I Loved, on The Coil. This is not the place for general essays that don't fit the topic.


The Last Thing I Loved is exactly what it sounds like. We are seeking essays on the last thing you truly loved, something you felt so passionate about when you found out about it, heard it, tried it, tasted it, read it, saw it, revisited it, that you just had to tell everyone. We want to hear about products and songs and ideas that changed your life and changed your mind. Tell us that passion, and make us feel it. This column runs on The Coil every other Thursday.


DO NOT SEND ESSAYS ABOUT LOVE OR RELATIONSHIPS.

If the last thing you loved is love itself, then you are not trying hard enough. We are not interested in your personal relationships with unknown people (and if you think we might still be interested, then try the memoir category).


Minimum of 600 words and one photo (if you have one that goes along with your passion); no maximum, but a soft upper limit of 3,000 words is recommended.


If your piece is declined, you will receive a standard form reply only; we do not have the personnel to provide feedback. If your work is accepted, there is a tiny token payment the month after publication. We run on the Medium platform, so if your work is accepted, you will have to make a free Medium account to host your pieces, if you do not already have one. All work is edited. We are happy to be a home for your promotional or book blog tour stops if you need a specific publication date.


We welcome diverse and underrepresented voices and are an LGBT+ safe-space. Do not submit material that is: religious, hateful toward any type of person or culture, pro-gun, or erotica. We believe in the ethical treatment of all people and reject the hateful ideologies and rhetoric of this current presidential administration; material in support of it will not find a home here.


If you have any questions about the category or wish to send pitches, queries, abstracts, or materials via email instead, please contact Katie Gezi at lastthing@thecoilmag.com.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This portal is for submissions for a *specific* column, Shelfies, on The Coil. This is not the place for general essays that don't fit the topic.


Shelfies are where you take a picture or pictures of your bookshelf / shelves, and talk about it / them. It can be in-depth or surface level, but we love to see what authors read and how they organize their books. Tell us what’s important to you about your books, and share as many photos as you’d like. This column runs on The Coil every Wednesday.


This series is for authors only, and you must have at least one published book in the last two years (or forthcoming within the next four months) on a traditional press (not self-published). Celebrities from other fields may be invited at the editor’s discretion. 


Minimum of 500 words and one photo; no maximum, but a soft upper limit of 3,000 words and 5 photos is recommended. Upload photos separately from main body file. For excellent examples, see the Shelfies of Christina Collins, Laryssa Wirstiuk, Keri Kellerman, and Todd Tavolazzi.


If your piece is declined, you will receive a standard form reply only; we do not have the personnel to provide feedback. If your work is accepted, there is a tiny token payment the month after publication. We run on the Medium platform, so if your work is accepted, you will have to make a free Medium account to host your pieces, if you do not already have one. All work is edited. We are happy to be a home for your promotional or book blog tour stops if you need a specific publication date.


We welcome diverse and underrepresented voices and are an LGBT+ safe-space. Do not submit material that is: religious, hateful toward any type of person or culture, pro-gun, or erotica. We believe in the ethical treatment of all people and reject the hateful ideologies and rhetoric of this current presidential administration; material in support of it will not find a home here.


If you have any questions about the category or wish to send pitches, queries, abstracts, or materials via email instead, please contact Tanner McClelland at shelfies@thecoilmag.com.


We pay for all the work we accept.

This category is to submit material for our DaguerreoTyped Monthly Ekphrastic Photo Prompt Challenge HERE.  


Do not put your name, any identifying marks, or acknowledgments inside the file, in the title, or in the file name. All work is read blind.

Alternating Current