Mad Creek Books

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Mad Creek Books is the literary trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. With a mission to foster creativity, innovate, and illuminate, Mad Creek Books champions diverse and creative literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry writing.


This series showcases fresh stories, innovative forms, and books that break new aesthetic ground in nonfiction—memoir, personal and lyric essay, literary journalism, cultural meditations, short shorts, hybrid essays, graphic pieces, and more—from authors whose writing has historically been marginalized, ignored, and passed over. The series is explicitly interested in not only ethnic and racial diversity, but also gender and sexual diversity, neurodiversity, physical diversity, religious diversity, cultural diversity, and diversity in all of its manifestations. The machete enables path-clearing; it hacks new trails and carves out new directions. The Machete series celebrates and shepherds unique new voices into publication, providing a platform for writers whose work intervenes in dangerous ways. 

The series is edited by Joy Castro, Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and author and editor of several books of nonfiction including Island of Bones: Essays, The Truth Book: A Memoir, and Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family. Her books have won the Nebraska Book Award and an International Latino Book Award and she has been a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award.

We are not accepting any additional submissions through the end of January 2021.


This series showcases graphic novels, memoir, nonfiction, comic books, and more by Latinx writers and artists. The series welcomes projects with any balance of text and visual narrative, from larger graphic narratives to collections of vignettes or serial comics, in color or black and white, fiction or nonfiction. Projects in the series take up themes of all kinds, exploring topics from immigration to family, education to identity. The series provides a place for exploration and boundary pushing, and celebrates hybridity, experimentation, and creativity. Projects will be produced with quality and care, and will exemplify the full breadth of creative visual work being created by today’s Latinx artists.The series is edited by Frederick Luis Aldama, University Distinguished Scholar and Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of 24 books, including the bilingual illustrated fiction book, Long Stories Cut Short: Flash Fiction from the Borderlands.

We are not accepting any additional submissions through the end of January 2021.

21st Century Essays

A vehicle to discover, publish, and promote some of the most daring, ingenious, and artistic new nonfiction. This is the first and only major series that announces its focus on the essay, a genre whose plasticity, timelessness, popularity, and centrality to nonfiction writing make it instantly important in the field of nonfiction literature, with books that use words as artistic medium, appealing to literary, academic, and trade audiences. 21st Century Essays is a major addition to the possibilities of contemporary literary nonfiction, focusing on that central, frequently chimerical, and invariably supple form: The Essay.

Submissions to the series are accepted annually March 15 - April 15.

The Gournay Prize

The Gournay Prize selects one book length collection of essays each year to receive $1,000 and publication in the 21st Century Essays series. The award is open to all writers for first books of essays. Writers may have published books previously in other genres.

The 21st Century Essays series is edited by David Lazar, Professor at Columbia College Chicago, and Patrick Madden, Professor at Brigham Young University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Madden is the founding editor of Hotel Amerika and is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction for 2015–2016. Lazar's essay collections include I’ll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms, On Character, Occasional Desire and The Body of Brooklyn. Madden is the author of two books of essays, Sublime Physick and Quotidiana (ForeWord magazine and Association for Mormon Letters awards winner) and he is the coeditor with Lazar of After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays.

Submissions to The Gournay Prize are accepted annually March 15 - May 15.

General Submissions

In addition to accepting submissions for each of these series, we also welcome general submissions in nonfiction and fiction that don't fit within the purview of any particular series.

We are not accepting any additional submissions through the end of January 2021.

We are not currently accepting unsolicited poetry manuscripts.

Mad Creek Books