Orison Books is a 501(c)(3) non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives. We seek to publish spiritually-engaged poetry, fiction, and nonfiction of exceptional literary merit. In our view, spiritual writing has little to do with subject matter. Rather, the kind of work we seek to publish has a transcendent aesthetic effect on the reader, and reading it can itself be a spiritual experience. Such work is not merely about spiritual contemplation, but itself leads the reader into profound contemplation. It is not merely about the sublime, but itself has a sublime effect on the reader. It is not merely about the mystery of being, but itself heightens the reader’s sense of the mystery underlying the fabric of our daily lives.

We seek to be broad, inclusive, and open to perspectives spanning the spectrums of spiritual and religious thought, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

We are interested in work originally written in English and work in English translation from any language. We are interested in all genres, including mixed or multiple genre works, or works that simply defy genre classification. We will also consider single- or multiple-genre anthology proposals.

General submissions are open year-round in the following categories:

-Nonfiction
-Poetry in Translation
-Anthology Proposals* 

*(Note: An anthology is a collection of work by multiple authors, compiled by an editor. Do not submit a single-author manuscript in this category. It will not be considered.)

General Fiction submissions are open during the month of October only.


We do not consider self-help, how-to, or "inspirational" manuscripts.


We hold two annual contests:

-The Orison Prizes in Poetry & Fiction for book-length manuscripts (submission period: December 1 - April 1). This year's judges are Vandana Khanna (poetry) and Lan Samantha Chang (fiction).
-The Orison Anthology Awards for single works in 3 genres (poetry, fiction, & nonfiction; submission period: May 1 - August 1). This year's judges are Zeina Hashem Beck, Richard Yañez, and Gayle Brandeis.

Orison Books is committed to running ethical and transparent contests. Current or former students of a judge, or anyone with a close personal relationship with that judge, are not eligible to submit in the category in question. Judges also never see author names until after they have made their selections. Orison Books also undertakes never to extend contest deadlines, except in the case of technical problems or other events that would prevent submitters from entering the contest by the original deadline.

Orison Books releases all titles in print, and prose titles in both print and e-book formats. When possible, we offer a small advance against royalties for books accepted for publication through our open submission periods. We offer a cash prize as well as a standard royalties contract for manuscripts selected as contest winners.

Orison Books publishes The Orison Anthology every year, a collection of the finest spiritually engaged writing published in periodicals in the preceding year. Editors of periodicals may submit work for consideration from August 1 - September 15.

To submit, select the appropriate category from our list and follow the guidelines there. (Categories will only appear during their respective submission periods.)

Editors of literary periodicals (print or digital) may nominate work in a single genre or in multiple genres to be considered for inclusion in our annual print publication, The Orison Anthology, which will reprint the finest spiritually engaged writing from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives. The Orison Anthology is also available through the EBSCOhost database. 

Nominated work must have appeared, or be slated to appear, in the periodical during the 2018 calendar year. Work selected for inclusion will appear alongside the winners of The Orison Anthology Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry, judged this year by Richard Yañez, Gayle Brandeis, and Zeina Hashem Beck. Both the author of any work selected for inclusion and the periodical in which it originally appeared will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology.

The work may be by a single author or by multiple authors, as long as the total page count meets the requirements specified below.

By nominating work for inclusion in The Orison Anthology, you are indicating that you have acquired the permission of the author(s) to do so.

Editors may submit a scanned copy of print pages or a PDF, DOCX, DOC, or RTF file of the text.

Deadline: September 15, 2018.


Single genre submissions: Submit up to 6 poems (40 pp. max) or up to 2 works of prose (any genre; 60 pp. max). If the work is not easily classified, submit up to 60 pages of text. In the file, include the author’s name and biography, the name of your periodical, and the issue number(s) in which the work appeared.


Multiple genre submissions: submit up to 3 poems (20 pp. max) and a work of prose (any genre; 30 pp. max). If the work is not easily classified, submit up to 60 pages of text. In the file, include the author's name and biography, the name of your periodical, and the issue number(s) in which the work appeared.


There is no fee to nominate work for The Orison Anthology.

Nonfiction manuscript submissions are accepted year-round and may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Manuscripts will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option.

We consider most types of nonfiction, including essays, memoir, literary criticism, etc. We are not, however, interested in “how-to” or “self-help” manuscripts. Minimum word count: 30,000. We accept submissions from both agents and authors. We offer a small advance on royalties for all accepted manuscripts. Send a complete manuscript and include an author biography in the cover letter.

Nonfiction manuscript submissions are accepted year-round and may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Manuscripts will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option.

We consider most types of nonfiction, including essays, memoir, literary criticism, etc.  We are not, however, interested in “how-to” or “self-help” manuscripts. Minimum word count: 30,000. We accept submissions from both agents and authors. We offer a small advance on royalties for all accepted manuscripts. Send a complete manuscript and include an author biography in the cover letter.

Submissions of full-length (60 pp. minimum) poetry collections in English translation are accepted year-round. The translator must have permission to publish the translations, or the original work must be in the public domain per U.S. and international copyright law. Poetry in translation submissions are accepted year-round and may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Manuscripts will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option.
Submissions of full-length (60 pp. minimum) poetry collections in English translation are accepted year-round. The translator must have permission to publish the translations, or the original work must be in the public domain per U.S. and international copyright law. Poetry in translation may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Manuscripts will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option.

Single- or multiple-genre anthology proposals are accepted year-round and may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Proposals will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option. 


Send a one-page description of the anthology, biographical information for the editor(s), and upload 15 - 30 pages of sample content.


(Note: An anthology is a collection of work by multiple authors, compiled by an editor. Do not submit a single-author manuscript in this category. It will not be considered.)


Single- or multiple-genre anthology proposals are accepted year-round and may be submitted either through the no-fee option or through the $10 donation option, which will help with our administrative costs. (We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation in an amount other than $10, please visit www.orisonbooks.com/donate.) Proposals will receive equal attention and consideration, regardless of whether they are submitted through the donation option or the no-fee option. 


Send a one-page description of the anthology, biographical information for the editor(s), and upload 15 - 30 pages of sample content.


(Note: An anthology is a collection of work by multiple authors, compiled by an editor. Do not submit a single-author manuscript in this category. It will not be considered.)

Orison Books