Guidelines for Submissions

Brick Books’ mandate is to publish poetry of the highest quality by both new and established Canadian writers. Each book represents a full collection of one writer’s work. Brick Books can only publish authors who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

We receive approximately 100 manuscripts for consideration every year. We publish only 7 books a year. Please note that we only read submissions between January 1 and April 30. Submissions received outside of our reading period will be returned. Our publishing schedule is filled two years in advance.

Please send the full manuscript when you are submitting to Brick Books. Unfinished manuscripts are unlikely to be considered. You should be familiar with our books to see if your writing is a good fit with our publishing program. Check out our books in your local bookstore or library or browse our website.

With your submission, include a brief cover letter telling us about previous publications or literary accomplishments.

There are 3 options for a response to your submission:

1. For an e-mail reply only, please note this in your letter and provide your e-mail address. We will recycle the manuscript. [You will receive an e-mail from acquisitions editor Barry Dempster whose address is barrydempster@rogers.com If you do not receive a response by July 1st, please check your junk or spam folders, and add Barry's e-mail address to your safe-sender list.]

2. For a reply and return of your materials, you must include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient Canadian postage.  [This return postage should be stamps - please note that dated return postage labels are only good for the day that they are dated and are not accepted by the post office.] 

3. For a reply only, you may include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient Canadian postage.

Keep in mind that writers without previous publications in literary journals or magazines (such as The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead and ARC) are rarely accepted by Brick Books for publication. Having a publishing history shows that the writer is seriously developing their career, and has some experience with the editorial process.

We do not consider multiple submissions. See note below.

We do not accept submissions by e-mail. Submissions received outside of our reading period will be returned.

Please allow 3-4 months from the time of submitting your work for a response as to the progress of your manuscript in our selection process.

Submissions can be sent to:

Brick Books
Box 20081, 431 Boler Road
London, ON N6K 4G6

Submissions will be received from January 1 to April 30.

It is fine to send your submission toward the end of the reading period, but it must be POSTMARKED on or before April 30.  If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day. If you are sending your submission by courier, please use this alternate address: Brick Books, 115 Haliburton Road, London, ON N6K 2Z2. [Courier packages can't be left at a postal outlet which is where we receive our mail at 431 Boler Road; this leads to delays and messages back and forth to redirect the package to the proper place.]

Acknowledgement of Receipt – if you wish an acknowledgement of receipt of your manuscript submission, please include a self-addressed and stamped envelope with your submission.  We will fill it out and mail it when we receive your submission.  Or you can e-mail us at brick.books@sympatico.ca

Good luck with your writing.

Selection Process At Brick Books

The present procedure of selecting the final manuscripts for publication, evolved over a number of years, involves a three-phase sorting:

  1. first reading by the acquisitions editor, occasionally in consultation with another editor, to choose a long list;
  2. reading through the long list by a committee of three editors towards choosing the year’s seven books; and
  3. an in-person meeting to compare and discuss shortlists.

If a book by a member of the committee is on the long list, a different editor takes his or her place. No book written by Brick Books personnel, or by anyone else, however eminent, is automatically accepted.

Brick Books and Multiple Submissions

The editors and managers at Brick Books realize that it is tough being a poet with a manuscript craving publication. Frequently there is a long waiting period to endure while the publisher considers the decision, and you imagine your manuscript languishing in a pile of other unread manuscripts, relegated to limbo. And then, of course, there is no guarantee of acceptance, and you are only too much aware that you may go through it all again with other publishers once it has been declined. So it can seem sensible to submit to several publishers at once and reduce the agony – the equivalent to serving concurrent sentences rather than consecutive ones.

Despite our recognition of the poet’s plight (we are, after all, mostly poets ourselves), we deplore the practice. Here’s why:

  1. At Brick Books there is no limbo. You are assured that, within our reading period of January 1 to April 30, your work will be read closely, and either returned to you within that time or retained for further, more intense reading. You will be informed of the progress of your manuscript throughout the selection process. You are also assured that a final decision will be rendered by late summer
  2. The quality of editorial attention is high. At Brick Books we believe in the importance of the editing process, both in the acquisitions and production phases of a book’s birth. Much time and energy is invested in reading and editing manuscripts by editors whose reputation in the poetic community is – so we believe – deservedly high. As you may imagine, we will make this investment less cheerfully if there is a possibility that, once we’ve devoted our attentions to your manuscript, you tell us that it’s to be published elsewhere. We enjoy a reputation for high production values and excellence in promotion and distribution, but it is probably editorial attention that most draws poets to Brick Books.
  3. Because we think that editorial dialogue is important, we leave ample time between acceptance and publication for this dialogue to occur. If the sense of urgency that can lead to multiple submissions also extends to an impatience with this process, then perhaps Brick Books is not the publisher for you.

Once you have weighed these factors with your own requirements, you may find it worthwhile to submit to Brick Books exclusively.

That’s how it is with Brick Books and multiple submissions.

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