What We're Interested In:

We have eclectic interests and are open to many voices, forms, and styles. Please send your best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic narratives, comic strips, artwork, and photography.

Simultaneous Submissions:

We hope you're pursuing simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your piece if accepted elsewhere. If this is the case, we offer you a sturdy e-handshake and congratulations!

Multiple Submissions:

No problem. Send all you like.


We offer all contributors a complimentary copy and several discounted copies of their issue, a bio and photo in the contributors' section, and the support of a caring and hardworking editor!

Response Time:

Currently: a few days to a few weeksPalooka believes in having a fast turnaround while still taking great pride in reading every word and giving each piece thorough consideration. 

Past Contributors:

We're only looking for work by authors and artists who haven't yet published with us.

About Palooka Press

The press was founded to offer an opportunity to writers seeking a home for shorter manuscripts. 

How It Works

We take great pride in reading every word and giving each manuscript its due attention. We consider manuscripts of all types, 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, graphic narrative, or hybrid genres. Manuscripts should be roughly 35-50 pages, but we're flexible. The $10 entry fee comes with an electronic issue of Palooka

The Winner Receives...

       *Publication by Palooka Press (a perfect-bound book with a glossy color cover)
       *$200 honorarium
       *20 free copies of the book
       *A bio and photo featured on our website 
       *Chapbook will be sent out for review and promotion

Deadline: May 15, 2017


All submissions are read "blind" to ensure pure contest ethics. The contest judge is Jonathan Starke, the founding editor of Palooka. Jonathan has published essays, stories, poetry, and plays in The Sun, Missouri Review, Threepenny Review, North American Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Greensboro Review, Shenandoah, Brevity, River Teeth, and Fourth Genre, among others.


*Amount: Multiple submissions are permitted.
*Page count: 35-50 pages, roughly, but we're open to more or less.
*Formatting: No author information on the manuscript
*Bio section: Please identify if the manuscript is fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic narrative, or hybrid.
*Simultaneous submissions: Encouraged. Please withdraw your manuscript if accepted elsewhere. 
*It's OK if some of the work has been previously published; proper citations will be made.


For questions, please e-mail the editor at palooka [at] protonmail.com
$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: One short story or up to three flash pieces (combine the flash pieces into one document).

Word Count: Up to 12,000 words.

Editor Says:

"I believe in strong storytellers with unique plots or characters I can say I've never met before but had a really great time getting to know them." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor
$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: Up to five poems (combine into one document)

Editor Says:

"I like poems with a great narrative or vivid imagery. I want to feel startled and alive." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor
$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: One essay or up to three flash essays (combine the flash essays into one document).

Word Count: Up to 12,000 words.

Editor Says:

"I'm interested in personal essays, memoir, hybrids, and academic or scholarly pieces if they're fused well with the creative. I'm looking for honesty, vulnerability, risk." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: Up to five photographs (combine into one document or zip file). 

Editor Says:

"I like images that tell a story or offer a fresh glimpse of life or landscape." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: Five pieces -- painting, collage, mixed-media, etc. (combine into one document or zip file).

Editor Says:

"I'm open to anything that creates a mood, an emotional response, or tells a story." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: One graphic narrative or up to three comic strips (combine into one document). Nothing over 50 pages.

Editor Says:

"I'm looking for something that moves both within the language and the image. The piece must hit on several levels if it's a graphic narrative. With the comic strips, I'm looking for thoughtful, dark, zany, funny, deep." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor