29 Literary Fiction Publishers You Need to Know

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Literary fiction is a diverse art form that encompasses prose, poetry, literary essays, and everything in between. It focuses on the written word as an art form and aims to broaden the reader’s horizons by encouraging them to think and enriching their life. As with all art, the possibilities are endless, which has resulted in countless publishers specializing in various areas of literary works. Regardless of what kind of literary piece you’ve composed, you can find the right literary publisher in this list.

In 1983, Algonquin Books set up shop in a woodshed behind cofounder Louis Rubin’s Chapel Hill, NC, home. He and Shannon Ravenel founded Algonquin as an independent press devoted to publishing literary fiction and nonfiction by undiscovered writers, mostly from the South. And from its very first books Algonquin garnered national attention, with authors—including Julia Alvarez, Jill McCorkle, Robert Morgan, Larry Brown, and, later, Lee Smith—who earned great acclaim and devoted fans.

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Antrim House publishes poetry by emerging and established authors as well as memoirs and photo essays.

Antrim House

Simsbury, CT, USA

Ara Pacis publishes contemporary poetry, short fiction collections, and novels. Memoirs, reprints of forgotten modern classics, literary essays, and anthologies as well as art and film criticism are published through its imprint, Bigio Morato. The editorial staff welcomes all published and unpublished authors and accepts submissions for Ara Pacis and Bigio Morato year round. Response time is three to four months.

Ara Pacis Publishers

Des Plaines, IL, USA

Baskerville Publishers offers quality books for lovers of the arts, humanities, and literary fiction. It is best known for its Great Voices series, memorializing the lives and accomplishments of some of the greatest opera singers of our time, and for its quality contemporary novels.

Baskerville Publishers Inc.

Fort Worth, TX, USA

BOA Editions Ltd., a not-for-profit publisher of poetry and other literary works, fosters readership and appreciation of contemporary literature. By identifying, cultivating, and publishing both new and established poets and selecting authors of unique literary talent, BOA brings high-quality literature to the public. Support for this effort comes from the sale of its publications, grant funding, and private donations.

BOA Editions Ltd.

Rochester, NY, USA

Catapult publishes books of the highest literary caliber, offers writing classes taught by acclaimed emerging and established writers, produces an award-winning daily online magazine of narrative nonfiction and fiction, and hosts an open online platform where writers can showcase their own writing, find resources, and get inspired.


New York, NY, USA

At present, Codhill continues to offer books that aid the “serious seeker.” At the same time, it has expanded its poetry list, which now includes a chapbook series. Codhill publishes from four to six books a year. All books have high production values and are of durable quality.

Codhill Press

New Paltz, NY, USA

Coffee House Press is an internationally renowned independent book publisher and arts nonprofit. Through its literary publications and Books in Action program, CHP acts as a catalyst and connector—between authors and readers, ideas and resources, creativity and community, inspiration and action.

Coffee House Press

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Counterpoint LLC was created in 2007 through the acquisition of three notable independent presses: Counterpoint, Shoemaker & Hoard, and Soft Skull Press. In January 2008, the company began publishing two imprints, Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press. Shoemaker & Hoard titles are now being published under the Counterpoint imprint.

Counterpoint Press

Berkeley, CA, USA

Daniel & Daniel Publishers is a literary small press that publishes fiction, memoirs, essays, and poetry.

Daniel & Daniel Publishers Inc.

McKinleyville, CA, USA

Elixir Press was founded in 2000 by poet and editor Dana Curtis. Elixir specializes in publishing poetry and literary fiction.

Elixir Press

Denver, CO, USA

Housed at Wilkes University and partnering with Youngstown State University, Etruscan is a nonprofit literary press working to produce and promote books that nurture the dialogue among genres, cultures, and voices.

Etruscan Press

Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA

Exact Change publishes books of experimental literature with an emphasis on Surrealism, Dada, Pataphysics, and other 19th- and 20th-century avant-garde art movements.

Exact Change

Cambridge, MA, USA

Gival Press LLC, an award-winning independent literary publishing house located in Arlington, Virginia, publishes fiction, nonfiction (essays/educational texts), and poetry. To promote writing, Gival Press sponsors four annual contests for fiction and poetry. Its publications are in English, French, and Spanish.

Gival Press, LLC

Arlington, VA, USA

Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature.

Graywolf Press

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Hawthorne Books is an independent literary press with a national scope and deep regional roots. For more than a decade, its focus has been on literary fiction and nonfiction with innovative and varied approaches to the relationships between essay, memoir, and narrative. If the press specializes in anything, it’s in finding superb writing and giving it the attention it deserves.

Hawthorne Books

Portland, OR, USA

Patricia Wilcox founded Iris Press in 1975 in Binghamton, New York, as a small publishing company, emphasizing literary quality and innovation. An important goal of Iris Press was, and still is, to give talented but underappreciated writers an audience and to help them reach their potential. The first book published by Iris Press was Don Revell’s first book of poems, The Broken Juke. The press has published a number of important books since those early days.

Iris Publishing Group

Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Manic D Press was founded by Jennifer Joseph in 1984. An award-winning literary press publishing fiction, poetry, pop culture, music, art, narrative-oriented comix, children’s, and alternative travel books, it represents a diverse group of unique writers and artists, with emphasis on those who have been shunned by the traditional publishing establishment for lacking commercial viability, regardless of their talent or future promise.

Manic D Press

San Francisco, CA, USA

Marick Press publishes six to eight titles annually in both hardcover and paperback, covering a broad spectrum of topics that range from literary nonfiction to creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and reprints of previously published titles.

Marick Press

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, USA

Founded in 1974, McPherson & Company is an independent literary and arts publishing house. Here you’ll find literary nonfiction and fiction (contemporary American and British fiction; translated Italian, French, and Spanish fiction), books in the arts and general culture, and a rediscovery series, Recovered Classics.

McPherson & Company

Kingston, NY, USA

Founded in 1980, Milkweed Editions is one of the nation’s leading independent publishers of literature. Operating as a nonprofit organization empowers it to acquire titles on the basis of artistic excellence and transformative potential and to invest significant resources in developing writers’ work and bringing it to a wide audience—engaging local, national, and international communities in the kind of conversation facilitated uniquely by literature.

Milkweed Editions

Minneapolis, MN, USA

New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914–1997), then a 22-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. “I asked Ezra Pound for ‘career advice,’” James Laughlin recalled. “He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do ‘something’ useful.”

New Directions

New York, NY, USA

BkMk Press was founded in 1971 by Dan Jaffe, a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Roy Fox, head librarian of the Johnson County Library system in Kansas. Initially housed at the library, BkMk Press moved to Missouri and in 1983 became part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Today the BkMk Press offices are located in University House on the UMKC campus, together with the offices of New Letters magazine.

New Letters & BkMk Press

Kansas City, MO, USA

Open Letter—the University of Rochester’s nonprofit, literary translation press—is one of only a handful of publishing houses dedicated to increasing access to world literature for English readers. Publishing 10 titles in translation each year and running an online literary website called Three Percent, Open Letter searches for works that are extraordinary and influential, works that it hopes will become the classics of tomorrow.

Open Letter

Rochester, NY, USA

Other Press publishes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays from America and around the world that represent literature at its best.

Other Press, LLC

New York, NY, USA

For more than 70 years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world, providing readers with a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. It focuses on bringing together the best of the past and the future, using cutting-edge design and production as well as embracing the digital age to create unforgettable editions of treasured literature.

Penguin Classics

New York, NY, USA

Sarabande Books was founded in 1994 by Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner to publish poetry, short fiction, and essays; to disburse these works with diligence and integrity; and to serve as an educational resource for readers, students, and teachers of creative writing. First titles appeared in 1996, and the press currently has more than 220 titles under contract or in print, many of them prize-winning. Sarabande authors and staff members conduct an estimated 225 readings, workshops, and lectures per year, and they strive to make their programs and services accessible to all.

Sarabande Books

Louisville, KY, USA

Penguin Press was founded in 2003 by Ann Godoff and launched its debut list in the winter of 2004. Dedicated to publishing quality nonfiction and literary fiction, Penguin Press seeks to publish ideas that matter, storytelling that lasts, and books that don’t just start conversations but detonate them. In twelve years, it has published numerous New York Times and national bestsellers and won two National Book Critics Circle awards, one National Book Award, and five Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2016. Books from Penguin Press have also earned prestigious prizes and citations such as the James Beard Award, the Orange Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Man Asian Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award, and the Financial Times Goldman Sachs Business Book Award.

The Penguin Press

New York, NY, USA

Tupelo Press Inc., which released its first five books in fall 2001, is an independent literary press devoted to discovering and publishing works of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers. Tupelo Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company.

Tupelo Press

North Adams, MA, USA