Throughout the year we have several submissions slots, as well as our ever-popular writing competitions: The Pamphlet Prize and The Writing Prize (now the Poetry Prize). So there is nearly always something that writers can submit to.
We are currently accepting submissions for The Forgotten and the Fantastical 5 (from the beginning of September 2018 onwards). Also, once a year I try to have a GENERAL submissions slot. This slot is usually open at the start of autumn, but please do check back here for more updates. Please note: in 2018 I will not be opening up the general submissions slot because our publishing schedule for 2019/early 2020 is currently full.
We welcome submissons from women and men from all backgrounds.
Thanks for stopping by and for considering Mother’s Milk Books as your publisher of choice. We would appreciate it if you read the following information carefully.
Mother’s Milk Books is run by at-home mother and founder Dr Teika Bellamy and Helen Lloyd, who provides editorial assistance. Mother’s Milk Books receives no grant funding and the press survives purely through sales of books, cards and prints. So if you’d like us to continue publishing books (possibly your books!) please do consider buying something from our store. It will give you a good idea of the kind of writing we love, and also, we think you’ll love our beautiful books and gifts.
Mother’s Milk Books is about these things:
- Normalizing breastfeeding
- Empowering both mothers and fathers
- Celebrating femininity and empathy (which is by no means only a female trait)
- Providing positive role models
- Encouraging creativity
We welcome excellent writing that covers any of those individual aspects (or even all of them at the same time!). My definition of excellent writing? A few pointers:
- Deep reflection on powerful ideas
- Thoughtfulness and thorough planning
- A page-turning story with a strong AND intriguing beginning, an exciting middle and a satisfying end. The story doesn’t have to end happily but it must be truly satisfying. Does the story tell us something about the human condition? (Always a bonus in my eyes!)
- Characters that we are interested in and want to know more about (whether we like them or not)
- Well-executed writing, whatever its style; grammatically correct; double and triple-checked for typos
- Well-rounded and cohesive world-building. I totally agree with what Stephen King said in an interview: You can never bend reality to serve the fiction. You have to bend the fiction to serve reality...
We are currently accepting submissions for:
1. GENERAL SUBMISSIONS (CURRENTLY CLOSED)
POETRY (full collection), FICTION (for adults & children) & NON-FICTION
First, let’s get the realistic, boring businessy stuff out of the way. Our publishing schedule is FULL for 2017. And we’ve only got ONE, maybe TWO, slots for 2018. But over the years we have received HUNDREDS of submissions. So the chances of us being able to take on your book for publication is slim. So, please do carefully consider the following:
a) is your book a good fit for Mother’s Milk Books? i.e. does its themes tie in with the ethos of Mother’s Milk Books and the kind of things we like to publish?
b) second, is your manuscript as polished as it could be? If not, I’d suggest that you carefully consider whether you want work that isn’t at its best ‘out there’. Have you had your manuscript professionally edited, or have you received positive feedback from beta-readers or other writers? Are you new to writing or have you been committed to writing for a long time? What do you like about the kind of writing I publish? Which book of ours has particularly impressed you?
c) do you understand what the publishing process entails, and as such, are you completely happy to be published by a small, indie press? And what would be your input to the marketing/promotion/publicity of your book?
Lastly, this is a useful post by one of my authors, Rebecca Ann Smith which gives an insight into the publishing process:
So if you think your manuscript is right for us and you’re ready to submit, please do the following:
1) If you haven’t bought any of our books from our online store (or directly at one of our events) in the past six months, please do that first. If you’ve already bought a something from us in the past six months, please have your invoice to hand. It’ll be a three digit number on your printed or emailed receipt.
2) Consider the above questions a – c. Write out some answers to them, along with a bio. An A4 page length will do. This will constitute your cover letter. Please put your contact details (including email address) on this page. I can then email you to let you know that your submission has been received.
3) Print out a sample of your book. Approx. 15 A4 pages will do.
4) Put your cover letter and book sample into an A4 envelope and send it along to: Mother’s Milk Books, 30 Brockwood Crescent, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5HQ
I will reply to all those who have submitted to us and will make a decision re: publication before the end of the year. If you have any queries regarding this, please do email: submissions [at] mothersmilkbooks.com
SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: 28th OCTOBER 2016
2. THE FORGOTTEN AND THE FANTASTICAL 5 (to be published in the last half of 2019) (CURRENTLY CLOSED)
Original short stories or flash fiction of approx. 500 – 5000 words. Think Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Think the Brothers Grimm. Think the fairy tales of Charles Perrault. Think Angela Carter, Angela Slatter, Angela Readman... Think Moss Witch by Sara Maitland (published by Comma Press). Think Rupetta by Nike Sulway (published by Tartarus Press). Think New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin (published by Salt). Fantastical stories set anywhere, and in any time/place would be welcomed as well as stories set in the present day. We also welcome well-written sci-fi that reflects the aims of Mother’s Milk Books. And... please, please, please read my blog post about submitting tips. Also, Teika is one half of The Book Stewards which offers motivation, inspiration and insider information to authors. This post, from the blog, about how to impress a publisher gives you a good insight into how I assess authors' work.
This year I will also be considering reprints i.e. previously published short stories, as long as you, as the author, have the right to sell reprints. Please include information about where your story has previously appeared in your email.
To submit a short story you will need to purchase a copy of any one of the books from The Forgotten and the Fantastical series from the Mother’s Milk Books online store or have made a purchase of one of the books from the series since May 2018. Then, when you are sure your story would be a good fit for The Forgotten and the Fantastical 5, please email me your story along with the invoice number i.e. the invoice number as provided to you by THE MOTHER’S MILK ONLINE STORE which will be a five digit number starting with 00. Or if you have made a purchase bypassing the store (i.e. in person with cash or directly via Paypal or BACS) please include this information in the email. I will have made a record of your purchase.
Please include a postal address and telephone number with your submission.
If you would like to submit more than one story additional copies of any in the series of The Forgotten and the Fantastical would need to be purchased. Feel free to email Teika if you have any questions about this.
CLOSING DATE for submissions is: 30th November 2018
I will aim to contact all those who submit work by the end of FEBRUARY 2019 (give or take a week) to let them know if they’ve been successful or not. I wish this time was shorter, I really do, but there are only the two of us here reading submissions alongside our other publishing and family commitments.
Remuneration: £20 per story + complimentary copy of the paperback book + there will be a chance to read at the launch, which should be held in Nottingham 2019. Also, your short story will be accompanied by a beautifully illustration, as created by the very talented Emma Howitt (the image below is by Emma). You will have the chance to purchase the original artwork.
All submissions must be emailed to: submissions [at] mothersmilkbooks.com and stories should be in standard manuscript format (preferably with tabs rather than first line indents and single speech marks) and attached as a Word .doc or .docx document. Please, no PDFs! If you’d like to send your work by post please email me to get full address details.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this carefully. Please do stop by and connect with us on Twitter or Facebook; your support and engagement is much appreciated!
Please note: all emails will be acknowledged, and replied to as soon as possible.