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The Emma Press

At time of writing, since appearing in January 2013 The Emma Press has produced 4 collections (2 of which by co-editor Rachel Piercey), 7 pamphlets (mostly debuts), and 5 anthologies. Forthcoming is an anthology of poems on female friendship, edited by Amy Key, and it has open or recently closed calls for submissions on “urban myths and legends,” dance, and “ageing and age.” It is also calling for submissions of prose pamphlets.

The Press apparently has “4-6 calls for themed poems every year and two different calls for pamphlets,” and runs “The Emma Press Club,” whereby to submit for an anthology one must have “bought a book from the Emma Press website in the same calendar year as you are submitting, or to already have been accepted in an Emma Press book.” For pamphlets one must also pay a £5 submission fee on top of Club membership, or £10 without it.  Much of the poetry audience are ultimately more keen to publish than to read; the Emma Press uses the chance of a book that has your poem to sell all the books that haven’t. (We’re told sales are approximately “150 a month.”) I’m not aware of any other British small publisher doing this.

The female friendship anthology, Best Friends Forever, has 32 contributors. I suspect at least some from established poets were solicited, so presumably exempt. But if we assume conservatively that it had 100 submissions (of up to 3 poems each) – for The Emma Press Anthology of Motherhood, Emma talks about sorting through 1,000 submitted poems, which could have come from 333 submissions – that’s 100 new members of The Emma Press Club (i.e. sales). 4-6 calls for submissions a year would then be, assuming no one submits twice, 4-600 book sales. If the cheapest of the Press’ attractive books is £3.50, that’s £1,400-£2,100 of gross revenue.

Anyway, this is why we see so many calls for submissions from The Emma Press.