July 9th, 2013 / 9:20 pm

Subito Press is Open for Submissions…

Subito Press, publisher of Mathias Svalina’s The Explosions, and Sandra Doller’s Man Years, is having an open reading period. Subito is “a non-profit publisher of literary works. It is based in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder.” You can submit work, here.


  1. A D Jameson

      What’s wrong with competitions?

  2. connortomas

      Adam, some great points. I reckon I might bow out of this discussion as, ultimately (and for all the reasons you’ve outlined), I don’t think it’s fair to target Subito. However, I also don’t think it’s worth brushing this all off. There are clearly some real issues with the business model(s) around small publishing. I appreciate those in this thread that have been able to examine the issue more broadly, and I hope this discussion continues elsewhere.

  3. A D Jameson

      Obviously I don’t know exactly what Subito’s doing, and for all I know they’re spending the submission fees on designer pet monkeys to ferry them coke, but $700 to design and lay out the two winning books isn’t much—it’s slightly better than minimum wage for two weeks to do all the production work on those two books (and more, if they can publish more). Speaking as someone who used to help design and lay out books, that ain’t much.

      Not saying there aren’t alternative business models available, but it might be helpful to look into some of the specifics here before getting too enraged.

      Also, $3/book isn’t an exorbitant publishing cost. And it’s often more expensive to print fewer copies than more. Funny how that works! Blame capitalism.

  4. connortomas

      http://www.nospec.com – again, can only really speak from the perspective of a designer, here. When it comes to publishing, things get a little hazier (as many competitions for writers allow writers to publish previously-written work, as opposed to producing work specifically for the competition), but I do sometimes wish more writers were familiar with the No Spec movement.

  5. A D Jameson

      I should stress that I, too, don’t really know what Subito is doing. I’m mainly trying to sharpen the criticisms. Lord knows the publishing industry deserves many.

      Good night, connortomas. Your handle reminds me of Die Fledermaus :)

  6. rawbbie

      if the designer gets paid more than the author, the author’s work is less valuable than the work of the designer. If I just wanted a book to be in print, I would send it to LULU. It’s more than that. It’s knowing that you have people who love your work, stand by it, promote it, and value your words more than they value the cover art. (it’s also how you get things like NEAs and Tenure Tracks and fluffy things like that, but I’m not interested in these aspects of getting published. I think that stuff is more valuable to older poets who love institutional recognition)

  7. A D Jameson

      Being against spec work makes total sense to me. But literary competitions aren’t the same thing, I don’t think (?).

      Doesn’t anyone here ever pay money to participate in a contest? Like, to run in a marathon? Tho maybe I’m just numb because I spend lots of time watching people pay to play in Magic: the Gathering tournaments.

  8. rawbbie

      it’s $700 per book.

  9. A D Jameson

      Well it’s gotta be monkeys and blow, then.

      Hey, Subito, I’m available…

  10. Jason Jimenez

      Implication here is that someone like you, because you haven’t paid no f**king reading fee!, is the next Rimbaud or Dostoevsky or Woolf… pretty convenient.

  11. Matt Rowan

      As a former athletic competitor (at the collegiate level, which I say only to indicate that my status was a higher tier level of amateur), I really am tired of the whole competitive fiction prize thing. I’ve served as a judge to a fiction prize or two and it’s unavoidable, I think, for it to come down to random aesthetic sensibility. If I remember correctly, the winner of a prize I judged was chosen first (of six or so finalist) by two judges of, I believe, five total. That’s a little more parity than most of these contests I see judged by a single writer / poet and still the annihilating subjectivity (randomness of those who entered and ultimate taste of those reading) of the experience makes me feel as though it really does come down to a quasi-lottery, or maybe in some ways like the outcome of a wrestling match in which the wrestlers’ identities are hidden? That might be getting a bit divergent from the topic at hand, but I kind of love / hate physical competition and in that there is worlds more room for evaluative parity. Art doesn’t lend itself terribly well to competitions and judging.

      Also, Subito’s reading fee is exorbitant — no two ways about it.

  12. Brendan Connell

      Did FC2 used to charge reading fees? I seem to recall no.

      By the way, as far as Dalkey, they do not charge reading fees or run contests, which is what I am arguing is a lousy way to run a press. I am not saying people need to publish commercial fiction – you misunderstood me there. I simply said it is the presses responsibility to find ways to publish the work without charging authors.

  13. Brendan Connell

      It’s always nice to see a young man on his toes.

  14. Nic Sebastian

      This is all about keeping alive a publishing paradigm that no longer works for poetry. We should get creative and explore and invest in new paradigms. One possible alternative is the nanopress model – details here: http://thenanopress.wordpress.com

  15. Guest

      No offense. It just annoys the hell out of me. You’re still a pretty cool guy though. No sarcasm there.

  16. Diane

      Possible solution: Give each submitter a copy of the winning book. That gives something back for the fee. It also gives the book a wider readership. Another possible solution: Require submitters to purchase one Subito book that’s already in print.