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The Normal School Online is currently seeking submissions of comics, graphic fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, photo and video essays, spoken word pieces, and audio prose and poetry--the kind of multi-media writing and art we can't easily publish in our print magazine.

The Normal School Online has a strong emphasis on representing diverse and traditionally under-represented voices and perspectives; and we prefer content that challenges the status quo. 

Note: Please do not send us work under a pseudonym or pen-name unless you inform us of this in your cover letter.

For all submissions to The Normal School Online Magazine we consider works of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. We are also looking for insightful reviews of current work (graphic novels, new books, classics, etc.), especially by writers of color, as well as interviews with authors and artists. 

If you have current or topical work, send it quick! 

WE WANT SHORT! Please don’t send us your 40-page tomes or epic poems. We’re looking for quick reads, anything under 2000 words or 10 pages, (12-point font, double-spaced, with 1” margins).

Also our online mag has a strong emphasis on representing diverse and under-represented voices and perspectives; we want content that challenges the status quo. 


-Please indicate in cover letter the genre of your submission (fiction, poetry, nonfiction, review, criticism, interview, etc.)

-Please do not send us work under a pseudonym or penname unless you inform us of this in your cover letter.

-Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please let us know immediately if your work has been picked up somewhere else. 

The Normal School Nonfiction Series from Outpost19


Steven Church, Series Editor

The Normal School Nonfiction Series from Outpost19 will publish compelling and thought-provoking books of creative nonfiction, essay, and literary journalism. We are particularly interested in immersive and reportage based writing, socio-cultural and political criticism, pop culture analysis, and essayistic prose that artfully blends the personal and public. We are also interested in lyric essays, hybrid nonfiction, research-driven memoir, and the sort of engaging and eclectic nonfiction writing we regularly publish in our literary magazine partner, The Normal School. We also hope to publish books by diverse, historically under-represented, and/or marginalized voices.

For now, our goal is to publish one book a year and give it sustained marketing and PR attention combined with author promotion through The Normal School’s online and print platforms. This may involve interviews, excerpts, and “reader’s guides,” integrated with AWP exposure. Outpost19 will publish the selected title each year as part of its seasonal list, offering standard royalties, author book tour support, ARC mailings to reviewers, trade show exposure, advertising to the book trade, and social media outreach. 

Book Proposal Submission Guidelines:

General: We're looking for previously unpublished single-author nonfiction book manuscripts in that range from 40,000 to 100,000 words. We are interested primarily in creative nonfiction books that are already completed and not in draft form. If you have a question as to the kind of work we like, we encourage you to check out back issues of The Normal School www.thenormalschool.com

Reading Period: Dec. 1, 2017 - May 15, 2018

Approximate Publication Date: Spring 2019

Please also include in your proposal as much of the following information as you can:

  1. Title
  2. At least two sample chapters, around 50 pages total (double spaced, 12 pt. font); though complete manuscripts are preferred.
  3. Project Overview (1–2 pages) which includes the following:
    1. Brief (1 paragraph) “elevator pitch” for your book. How       would you answer the question, “What is your book about?” if you only       have a sentence or two to explain. 
    2. Longer (2-3 paragraph) “bar/coffeeshop pitch” or summary of       the book, similar to the copy you’d find on the back of a book that you       pick up in a bookstore. How would describe your book if you had longer to       talk about it?
    3. An answer to the question, “Why Outpost19 for this project?”
  4. An “outline” of each chapter/essay in the book, which should      be an approx. 1 paragraph description for each that pays attention to how      the chapters/essays connect to one another and to the whole shape of the      book. This should NOT be a "Harvard outline" of the book.  
  5. Notes on significant or unique features (e.g., new subject      area, unique form, page treatments, photographs, hybrid text, etc.). 
  6. A brief consideration of “comp” titles: Please tell us what      other books or resources are available on your topic, or on closely      related topics, and how your book differs from or compliments these other      titles. Another way to think of this is, if your book was shelved      according to subject in a bookstore, what other authors would be on that      same shelf? How is your book unique?
  7. A related but brief analysis of the “market” for your book:      The book’s target audience and relevant demographics. Who needs this book?      Readers interested in a topic? A certain sub-genre of      nonfiction? Other writers? Students? If students, in which kinds      of classes, at what level? What are the book’s selling points: What      might motivate someone to purchase the book? What will readers gain, so to      speak?
  8. A brief Author Bio is helpful; but more      important would be a short description of your platform as a writer that      might address your national presence in publishing and presenting at      conferences or as a visiting writer, your promise as an emerging writer      with publications, your online and social media presence, or other factors      that can help us market both you and the book. 

We make every effort to respond as quickly and humanely as possible. Thank you for your interest and patience. 


More information on Series Editor, The Normal School, and our Advisory Board Below:

Series Editor, Steven Church, is the author of six books of nonfiction, most recently the collection, Ultrasonic: Essays, the book-length essay, One with the Tiger: Sublime and Violent Encounters Between Humans and Animals and the Outpost19 collection, I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear, and Fatherhood. He also edited the forthcoming nonfiction anthology, The Spirit of Disruption: Selections from The Normal School, also from Outpost19, and he is a founding editor and nonfiction editor for The Normal School. He coordinates the MFA Program at Fresno State and teaches for the Low-Res MFA at Sierra Nevada College.  

The Normal School: a Literary Magazine celebrates its 10th year of publishing in 2017-18 and in just a decade, it has become one of the top journals in the field of creative nonfiction, garnering 30 “Notable” inclusions in the Best American Essays since 2010 alone. BAE series editor, Robert Atwan has called the magazine “indispensable for anyone interested in new directions in the contemporary essay.” TNS was also named one of the top 10 markets for nonfiction in the entire country and featured in a Buzzfeed article titled “29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Should Be Reading Now.” Known for our cutting edge nonfiction and striking visual design, The Normal School will serve as a primary partner for the series, providing a resource not only of potential contributors but also support staff for production, marketing, and promotions.

The Normal School Nonfiction Series Advisory Board:

Robert Atwan, Sophie Beck, Hattie Fletcher, Jeffery Gleaves, Kerry Howley, Ander Monson, Dinty W. Moore, Kristen Radtke, Matt Roberts, Jon Roemer, Emily Smith, Jerald Walker, and Steve Woodward

The Normal School