We're open to all voices, forms, and styles. Please send your best unpublished chapbooks, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, artwork, photography, graphic narratives, and comic strips.
We hope you're pursuing simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw your piece if accepted elsewhere. If this is the case, we offer you a big congratulations!
No problem. Send all you like.
Contributors receive a free copy and unlimited discounted copies of their issue, a bio and photo in the magazine, and the support of a caring and hardworking editor!
Currently: about a week. Palooka believes in having a fast turnaround while still taking great pride in giving each piece thorough consideration.
"Starke's knockout punch of a debut will remind readers of Hemingway's punch-drunk 'The Battler' and the broken dreamers of Leonard Gardner's Fat City. Starke's bruising, brooding book is a real heartbreaker." —Publishers Weekly
"A commanding novel that makes a haunting impression as it explores the fallout of a father's relentless, flawed love...graceful lines and emotional punches." —Foreword Reviews
You've Got Something Coming, winner of the Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction, is a breakthrough debut novel about a down-and-outer and his small daughter and his attempt to give them a better life. Trucks, an aging boxer with only thirty dollars, breaks his deaf daughter, Claudia, out of a children's home in Wisconsin one night during the dead of winter. He gives her used hearing aids, and they hitch toward Nevada. Claudia is a winsome, feisty little girl who tries to hold her father to account, and Trucks loves her unconditionally. Claudia's mother, an addict, has disappeared and is likely dead.
Their first ride takes them to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Trucks teaches Claudia about "need borrowing," or shoplifting. They meet a number of people on their journey, including June, a woman about Trucks' age who was abandoned by her husband, and Gerald, an older rancher in Montana who offers them a place to stay, an offer Trucks refuses. While he does all he can to provide for Claudia and offer as normal of a life as possible, Trucks can't let go of boxing, knowing no other way to live. Soon they're utterly broke and living in a gazebo in a park.
Trucks, unable to find work, returns to boxing, trapped in a vocation for which he's no longer suited. The damage to his mind and body worsens, fight after fight, and it changes Claudia seeing her father so broken. His mind no longer reliable, Trucks steals a car. Delusional and drifting in and out of consciousness, Trucks drives Claudia east with the final hope of reconnecting with June.
"This is the most compelling and emotionally bruising novel I've ever read. Trucks's epic love and endurance to suffer for his daughter, Claudia, spark a northern odyssey I will never forget. Fraught with moral battles, and offering a deep look at the backroads of our country, every page is stamped with grit and grace. I felt renewed after taking this journey, the language as cool and crisp as mountain water, announcing the arrival of a marvelous talent." —Devin Murphy, bestselling author of The Boat Runner
"You've Got Something Coming is a devastating meditation on love, regret, and perseverance. Part McCarthy, part Carver, Starke's prose is as lyrical as it is brutal and hits with the intensity of his characters' jabs. You will be hard pressed to find a novel that is simultaneously gut-wrenching and brimming with the beauty of inextinguishable hope. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a better novel published this year." —Peter Stenson, bestselling author of Fiend
We take great pride in reading every word and giving each chapbook its due attention. We consider manuscripts of all styles and genres and aren't looking for a particular aesthetic. We'll give anything a fair chance. Please send your best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, graphic narrative, or hybrid work.
If Chosen for Publication:
- A perfect-bound book with a glossy or matte color cover
- Considered for the Palooka Press Chapbook Award ($200 bonus honorarium)
- An honorarium
- 20 free copies of your book
- Your own bio/photo page featured on our website
Page Count: 25-100 pages, roughly.
Bio Section: Identify the manuscript as fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, graphic, or hybrid.
Multiple/Simultaneous: Send all you like. Please withdraw your manuscript if accepted elsewhere.
Citations: It's okay if some of the work has been previously published; proper citations will be made.
Amount: One short story, a novel excerpt, or up to three flash pieces (combine into one document).
Word Count: Up to 10,000 words.
Amount: Up to five poems (combine into one document).
Amount: One essay, a book excerpt, or up to three flash essays (combine into one document).
Word Count: Up to 10,000 words.
Artwork: Up to ten pieces—paintings, sketches, drawings, collage, mixed-media, etc.
Photography: Up to ten photographs.
Amount: One graphic narrative, up to three flash graphic narratives, or five comic strips.
We can only ship within the United States. Please include in the cover letter 1: The correct mailing address (print) or email address (digital) and 2: Which issue(s) or chapbook(s) you'd like to receive.
Digital: All issues and chapbooks are available.
Print: Palooka #11 is available // All chapbooks are available.