Submission Guidelines

We are a tiny publisher, and only publish 12 manuscripts per year. We run several competitions per year, including a couple of anthologies. When we have any open submission periods, you will find all the information on our submissions page via our Submittable link, below.

All manuscripts published by Madville Publishing undergo a rigorous vetting process before they are accepted for publication. While we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, we do accept queries by email and we also sometimes solicit manuscripts from those authors whose work fits our catalog. We send promising manuscripts out for review to published authors and professional editors who write reviewers’ reports detailing the works’ strengths and weaknesses before we decide whether or not to offer an author a contract.


After you have sent us a query, and if we ask you to submit your manuscript, here is how you should format it:

Prose should be submitted in 12 pt., Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins and pages numbered. If it is not a contest submission, make sure your name and contact information is on it.

Poetry should be 12 pt., Times New Roman, single spaced, one inch margins, one poem per page, and pages numbered. Full manuscripts should include credits for previously published poems, and a table of contents.

We only accept submissions through Submittable. You can see all our open Calls for submissions by following this link to our Submittable page:


The Arthur Smith Poetry Prize

September 2022 publication for winner

Judged by Jesse Graves

The winning poet receives a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book. Finalists will also be considered for future publication.

There are no restrictions on the type of poetry we will consider.

Competition Guidelines

  • Eligibility: We will be happy to receive work by any poet writing in English. Poems published in print or online periodicals, anthologies, or chapbooks may be included, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Original work only; translations are ineligible.
  • Format: Minimum of 48 pages. There is no maximum length, but we expect manuscripts not to be much more than 90 pages. Pages should be numbered with no more than one poem per page. Please include a title page with title only, a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page.
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify Madville Publishing immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple Submissions: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable, but each manuscript must be submitted separately and include a separate entry fee.
  • International Submissions: We accept international submissions.
  • Revisions: The winner will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.
  • Entry Fee: A $25 entry fee.
  • Deadline: September 1, 2021.
  • Winner will be announced by December 31, 2021, and the winning collection will be published Fall 2022.
The contest will be judged by Jesse Graves. This is his picture.
The contest will be judged by
Jesse Graves

JESSE GRAVES is the author of four poetry collections, including Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, Basin Ghosts, Specter Mountain (co-authored with William Wright), and Merciful Days. His work has received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University, as well as two Weatherford Awards from Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association. Graves has been an editor on several collections of poetry and scholarship, including three volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology and The Complete Poems of James Agee. He teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is Poet-in-Residence and Professor of English.

Poet Arthur Smith for whom the contest is named
Arthur Smith
for whom the contest is named.

ARTHUR SMITH was born in central California. He received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.). He passed away on November 9th, 2018. To those who knew and loved him, he was a master teacher and a masterful poet. His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of American to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002, also by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His most recent book of poems is The Fortunate Era (2013). His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and he was selected as the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Poetry for the 1987 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He served two terms as an advisory member of the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Panel, and he was a Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and North American Review.                              

—Curt Rode

Muddy Backroads: Stories from off the beaten path - call for submissions flyer
Click image for larger version.

Muddy Backroads: Stories from off the beaten path

Submissions are open until August 1, 2021

For this anthology, the editors are looking for stories that move away from the norms of daily life to explore the side roads that take us away from the known. What do your characters do when they step away from what’s seen as normal or the usual? What happens when they find themselves in unexpected situations or locations? What if nothing about their lives is what most consider typical? When a character takes a “muddy backroad,” he, they or she moves away from society and out into a place where anything can happen. We want to see where those backroads and back alleys take us. No mud actually required.

The editors this year are Luanne Smith, Jodi Angel and Bonnie Jo Campbell.

The Judge will be Alan Heathcock, author of Volt: Stories.

Important points to consider:

  • We are interested in believable dialogue. We love dialect and regionalisms, but there is an art to writing them well, and we will judge poorly written dialect and slang harshly.
  • We’re looking for a sense of time and place, so be careful of anachronisms.
  • While we want to see character development, we still want a story. Give us a beginning, a middle, and especially, an end.
  • Grammar and mechanics count. Please proofread.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2021

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions are open March 4 – August 1, 2021.
  • A reading fee of $10 must be paid at the time of submission.
  • All submissions must be in English.
  • We accept previously published fiction and nonfiction as long as the author discloses the publication history of the work in the cover letter accompanying the submission.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify Madville immediately if the story is accepted elsewhere and you wish to withdraw it from consideration. There will be no refunds of the reading fees.
  • Writers may submit more than one story, but each must be submitted separately.
  • We hope to announce the stories we’ve selected by December 1, and publish the anthology by April, 2022.


  • Short stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, should have a total word count of no more than 5,000 words.
  • Please include page numbers.
  • Please double-space and use a 12pt. font.
  • Do not include an acknowledgments page.
  • Submissions will be judged blind. Please remove any identifying information from the submission. 
  • Submit as a .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt file format.
  • No revisions will be accepted once the submission is uploaded.

All authors chosen for the anthology will receive two free copies of the book.

There is a $10 reading fee.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2021.


MORE INFO: Email questions/comments to, but please do not send your submissions to this email address. We only accept submissions through Submittable.