Acquisitions from the IFP 2019/2020 Poetry Books Submission Call

With statistics, because We’re Nerds!

Holly Lyn Walrath
Sep 25 · 4 min read
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nterstellar Flight Press is pleased to announce that we have finished reviewing all poetry books from our 2019/2020 call for poetry books. As the managing editor, I am grateful for everyone who submitted to us during our first submissions call. From this call, we are accepting five poetry books that will appear over the next two years. It was astonishing and wonderful to see how many folks were interested in what we are doing as a press enough to take a chance on us.

I would also like to thank our Guest Editor, Saba Syed Razvi. Saba helped us to select the final manuscripts for this call and was vital to the process. Her keen eye and deep reads brought us five books we are extremely proud of being able to publish in the coming years. She is a gem among poets!

I would also like to thank our volunteer slush adventurers, a growing list of diverse and talented readers who are ceaseless in their pursuit of good speculative works. They keep IFP afloat and without them, nothing would get done around this ship of strange.

Lastly, we are always grateful for those patrons who support us via Patreon. If you sign up for just $1/month, you get access to early cover reveals, exclusive interviews, and our Discord chat.

Who We Accepted

Full-Length Books:

  • Escaping the Body by Chloe N. Clark
  • The Gravity of Existence by Christina Sng
  • A White Boat and Foam by Margarita Serafimova


  • Can You Sign My Tentacle? By Brandon O’Brien
  • Field Guide to the Invasive Species of Minnesota by Amelia Gorman

Submitter Data

We sent out an optional survey to our submitters asking for identifying information. We received 17 responses from our 77 submitters. Here is the data from the survey:

  • 53% of submitters identified as female. 29% of submitters identified as male. 18% identified as nonbinary/genderqueer.
  • 76% of submitters identified as within the QUILTBAG/LGBTQ2IA spectrum.
  • 88% of submitters were Caucasian. The remaining percentages were of black/African, Asian, Native American, and Indian descent.
  • 35% of submitters lived outside of the United States. We received submissions from Egypt, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the UK.
  • 12% of submitters were age 18–30. 47% of submitters were age 30–45. 29% were age 45–65. 12% were over 65.

Submission Data: Acceptances, Rejections, etc.

I also like to collect data on our submission process for interested writers. It’s curious to see how this works.

  • We received 77 manuscripts.
  • Of the 77 manuscripts novellas, we accepted five total books. We sent five revise & resubmit requests. (If we accept any of these at a later date, we will update this article.)
  • 23 manuscripts were “bumped” from the slush reader pile to the desk of the editors. (This is an estimate, it is harder to calculate this one because the editors sometimes choose to bump a piece too!)
  • One submission was rejected for not meeting our guidelines (sending a previously published book.)
  • We didn’t get any withdrawn manuscripts for this call.
  • Our average response time was 99 days. Our fastest response was two days, our longest response was 233 days.

All of our submissions are processed blind, i.e. with identifying information removed. (The exception being certain PDFs that are uneditable, which the managing editors read.) Once a manuscript is bumped, it is always read by the managing editor(s) and/or guest editor. Also, if a manuscript is bumped, we send it to a second reader to get a second opinion. If it is bumped a second time, it goes to a third and fourth reader. In the case where we (the editors) know a submitter personally, we will usually get multiple reader opinions.

As far as subject matter goes, our call received a very high quality of poetry submissions. I would encourage anyone who submitted to keep sending their work out — these were some high-quality books and the reason it took us so long to reply was that there were so many good books from talented writers. I saw a great number of SFPA names I recognized, which encouraged me about the field of SFF poetry.

On the flip side, I should note that we did receive many submissions that just weren’t the right fit for us. At IFP, our goal is to publish books from marginalized voices or relating to marginalized topics, books that wouldn’t get published otherwise.

As always, we’ll be striving to make our submitter statistics more diverse and reflective of the world we live in. I’m grateful that so many writers trusted us with their work. We will continue to push for gender parity in submissions. We will continue to solicit work from writers of color, women, writers with disabilities, and LGBTQ writers.

Interstellar Flight Magazine publishes essays on what’s new in the world of speculative genres. In the words of Ursula K. Le Guin, we need “writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope.” We use affiliate links and Patreon to pay our writers a fair wage. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Holly Lyn Walrath

Written by

I'm a writer, editor, and poet. Find me online at

Interstellar Flight Magazine

Interstellar Flight Press is a new speculative publishing house. We publish essays on science fiction and fantasy, pop culture, and geek fandom.

Holly Lyn Walrath

Written by

I'm a writer, editor, and poet. Find me online at

Interstellar Flight Magazine

Interstellar Flight Press is a new speculative publishing house. We publish essays on science fiction and fantasy, pop culture, and geek fandom.

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