This week my copy of the Mslexia Indie Presses guide 2016/17 arrived, and never has the publication of a new reference book been met with so much enthusiasm! What an awesome feat of collation and hard work – the team at Mslexia have been working flat out to put this up-to-date guide together, and I think it’s a brilliant resource.

Mslexia indie presses guide cropped


Why is it needed?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Writers these days stand a far better chance of publication with a small press, but since the death of The Small Press Guide in 2002, there has been no single resource for writers to consult. Mslexia explains in their introduction:

“…there are literally hundreds of independent book publishers and literary magazines (…) but they are incredibly difficult to catalogue. As fast as a new book publisher is launched, another shuts up shop; new magazines appear every year and others disappear into the ether. The original Guide had to be updated every year, which was a truly daunting prospect in the days before websites, emails and smartphones …”

I’d add that trawling through the Writers and Artists Yearbook, trying to sort out which publisher might accept submission and which are only there as a standard listing, is no fun either. Thank goodness Mslexia decided to take up this project and run with it.

What does it include?

Detailed listings of around 200 literary magazines and 250 small presses, including advice on genres and how to submit. There is also a section on competitions, and a useful index. Many of the listings have an additional ‘We say’ section, with helpful comments from the Mslexia team about the press in question. And all of the entries are open to submissions and actively looking for writers at this time!

Who is it for?

You! It’s for all writers, whether you write prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction, and it’s also a great resource for those working in the publishing industry as a freelance. As well as checking out the listings of small presses for my novel This Beautiful World (which is still looking for a home), I’m also planning to use this guide to target my pitches for indexing work. Win win.

Where can I buy it?

You can buy the guide from the Mslexia website here, and it costs £12.99 +p&p. In terms of the amount of effort and legwork this guide will save you, I think it’s a bargain!