Please read the guidelines before submitting your work.

Are We Open for Submissions?

Come sit a spell and listen closely to what we’ve got to say. First off, WE ARE ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS for our 2020-2021 publishing calendars.



Photo by Aleksander Pedosk on Unsplash


Theme: family

Mountain Gap Books is accepting submissions for a 2020 holiday/seasonal short story anthology. We are looking for nontraditional Appalachian stories set in the November/ December months that share the theme of family however you might define it. Stories can feature couples, two-parent families, single-parent families, found families, and created families alike. First holidays together are good, as are funny or touching seasonal stories. (Hint: we’d love to see the unexpected as long as it adheres to our general guidelines listed below.)

Submitting authors should be originally from or currently living in Appalachia, and submitted stories should be set in Appalachia (this is a wide area, so check below in the general submission guidelines for our definition).

We encourage submissions from Appalachian minorities (Blackalachia, Hispanics, Muslims, Native Americans, Jewish, LGBTQIA+…) and their own voices authors.

We encourage first-time authors to submit.

We are not, however, looking for retellings of the traditional Christian Christmas story or heavily faith-based tales of any sort.

Give us something different. (IE: friendly family spirits, a historical tale, unexpected visitors, a memorable holiday from seeming nothing, a quiet holiday made chaotic and fun by…, this is when I knew… Wow us!)

But please adhere to our general guidelines concerning content while doing so.

The meat of the matter:

This is a paying anthology. Rates will be announced soon, but they will be a flat rate payment, based on length, in exchange for three years, exclusive, worldwide rights.

Stories should be between 300 and 10,000 words in length.

Submission emails should contain the following subject line: Holiday Anthology Story Title Author Name (Example: Holiday Anthology An Uncommon Turkey Jane Author)

Deadline for submissions: April 30, 2020.


Photo by Andrea Boldizsar on Unsplash


We will be placing a formal call for submissions to Haints and Hollers Two – More Ghost Tales from Appalachia in mid-2020. Check back for more information


Please read these thoroughly and apply them liberally because those who do stand a much better chance of having their work accepted. Thank you.

Quick Submission Checklist

This will get you started, but please read all the guidelines before you submit to Mountain Gap.

  1. No romance, horror, or erotica.
  2. We’re seeking Appalachian authors though the stories don’t need to be necessarily set in Appalachia
  3. No poetry at this time, no reprints unless all rights have reverted to the original author, and no children’s stories unless the artwork is included (see below for details)
  4. No faith-based stories. Faith can certainly play a part, but the story cannot be based on a belief system or use religion as its basis, this includes moral tales.
  5. General formatting: Lucinda Bright size 14 font (our editor is low vision), 1″ margins, five space indents at paragraphs, single spaces between sentences, MSWord .doc or .docx file type
  6. Submit to publisher @ mountaingapbooks . com (remove spaces for full address)
  7. Format your email subject line to read Submission Story Title Author Name (Example: Submission My Appalachian Story Jane Doe) Please follow this so your submission can be separated from the others and reach the appropriate editor



First off, and this is very important: We do not accept any submissions containing erotic content. There is a fine line between sexy and erotic content. We define sexy as teasing and perhaps sensual but knowing when to shut the door on the scene. Erotic content describes body parts in fine and often slang-laden detail, their actions, and invites others in to watch. Sexy is fine. Erotica will land your submission email straight in the trash without further response.

But, wait, but my story’s erotica is different, they’re really in love, it’s the next 50 Shades of Grey, and– no. We are not interested in seeing erotic content for any reason.

Also, while we’re at it, don’t submit material that negatively stereotypes the Appalachian people. We’re a unique blend of traditions, beliefs, and ethnicities, and not what’s been shown so recklessly online and by popular media. Please think hard about this before you submit because if your story negatively stereotypes Appalachia and/or its people, we’ll certainly let you know about it, and probably not in a friendly manner. You will also be blacklisted from submitting to Mountain Gap Books ever again. Not certain what constitutes an Appalachian stereotype? Look up Deliverance or The Beverly Hillbillies.

Other MGB taboos include – gratuitous violence, child abuse, rape for titillation, dubious sex, sexism… you know, the basic no-nos of a stable society.

Also note that we are not a religious, Christian, or faith-based publisher and, as such, do not accept faith-based submissions of any sort. 

As a publisher, we celebrate diversity in all its forms and encourage diverse submissions from across Appalachia.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as you notify us that you’re doing so. But we also expect you to let us know if you’ve been accepted elsewhere. Thanks.

Reprints: We consider reprints that are completely and totally out of all publication and are back in full control of the original author.

Our contract is generous. 10% of net print sales (if produced in print). 35% of net ebook sales (if produced in ebook format), and a three-year exclusive first rights contract. Also, while we’d certainly like to see your next work if you’ve published with us, you will be under no obligation to send it our direction.

Here’s what we are looking for:

Appalachian authors – this is a wide area both geographically and by definition. “Most broadly, it refers to the entire mountain range with its surrounding hills and the dissected plateau region,” (ala Wikipedia) and we agree. Furthermore, if you were born and raised in Appalachia or currently call Appalachia home, then you qualify to submit to Mountain Gap Books. This does not mean, however, that your story needs to be set in Appalachia. Actually, we’re looking for diverse stories from Appalachian authors, not just stories set in Appalachia. We don’t care who you are, your history, if you’ve published or not, your faith, whether you’re a POC or not, if you’re LGBT+, alien, a mountain spirit, or what have you— if you were born or currently reside in Appalachia, you can submit as long your work fits our guidelines.

We’re specifically looking for submissions in the following areas:

  • Adult Fiction to include general, Suspense, Thriller, Humor, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Crime, Thriller, Action, Romance, Women’s, and Realistic genres (no Dystopian novels, please)
  • YA and New Adult fiction to include general, Suspense, Thriller, Humor, Sci-Fi,  Fantasy, Crime, Thriller, Action, Romance, Women’s, and Realistic genres (no Dystopian novels, please)
  • Children’s fiction/ nonfiction – must include both interior illustrations and text (see expectations under submission guidelines)
  • You may query about adult nonfiction, but, unless it’s something new and different, chances are we won’t accept.

We are not, at this time, considering short stories, novellas, novelettes, memoir, adult biography, adult autobiography, or single poem submissions. If and when we’re ready for such submissions, we’ll post a call.

Anthologies are by individual call only. (see top of page)

When we are accepting submissions, our response time is 60-90 days unless otherwise noted. After that, feel free to inquire at publisher @mountaingapbooks. com

Please submit a cover letter in the body of your email. Attach the entire manuscript of your Adult, YA, or New Adult manuscript, ten poems for poetry, the entire manuscript as detailed in formatting for children’s books, as an attached file in DOCX, or RTF format. The submissions email address is publisher @mountaingapbooks. com

Your cover letter should include the following:  Your ties to Appalachia, your publication history (if any), and a brief, one-two paragraph overview of your submission (this is often called a blurb). Remember to include your contact information and any required attachments as detailed below.

And by all means, proofread your cover letter!

Submission Formatting:

We only accept submissions via email at the following address:

publisher @mountaingapbooks. com  (please reassemble this for the actual address)

How to format your submission email

  • In the subject line put the following (individualized as needed)  SUBMISSION Last Name First Name Manuscript Title
  • The body of the email should contain your cover letter with the required info
  • Remember your attachment(s) should be in MSWord or RTF format.

Adult, YA, and New Adult fiction submission files should be formatted as follows:

  • Lucinda Bright size 14 font (our submissions editor is low vision) with no changes in font throughout the manuscript
  • Double-spaced text (set in the word processor, not done manually)
  • Black text
  • There should be a page break at the end of each chapter and after the title page
  • 1-inch margins on each side.
  • Five space indents at the beginning of each paragraph with a hard return at the end of each paragraph (do not use tab indents)
  • one space between each sentence
  • scene breaks inside chapters should be marked by a *** centered on the line that separates each scene
  • On the title page of the submission, the author’s name and contact information including full name, pen name (if applicable), contact information including email address and word count should appear in the top left corner in that order.
  • The manuscript should include the Author’s last name, the title of the manuscript, and the page number in the header – all set to the right
  • No images should be included with an Adult, YA, or New Adult fiction submission

Children’s book submissions should be formatted as follows. (note: one book will require a cover letter and two separate files for proper submission)

  • The text should be in one file following the adult, YA, and New Adult fiction guidelines. No images should be included in this file. This should be submitted in DOCX or RTF format.
  • A copy of the book’s proposed interior layout including illustrations, in PDF format should be submitted (please note: we do not provide illustrators so you must provide an illustrator or a designer who knows how to properly work with images including copyrighted images. All image submissions will be carefully scrutinized for their source and availability). We will work with you concerning cover design if you are accepted for publication.
  • Do not include image attachments with your email submission. They will be asked for if the book is accepted for publication. When asked for the images should be in PNG format, though we might be able to work with JPG images as well. All images must be at least 300 DPI.


Thank you for your interest in Mountain Gap Books.