In Canadian vernacular, Upper Rubber Boot is slang for a remote, possibly unhip, probably insignificant place, much like America’s Podunk. Upper Rubber Boot Books was founded in July 2011 to give a voice to writers working from a (metaphorically) remote place, and to that end we publish fine literary and speculative writing, with a special focus on poetry and short story collections, genres which have a particularly difficult time finding a home in the publishing world. Some of our editions are available as ebooks only, while others are available as ebooks and print editions.


If you buy the wrong ebook format, we will replace it. Likewise, if you decide to change e-readers and have purchased one of our books for your old device, we will replace it with a copy compatible with your new device, assuming we publish one. Simply email us at joanne at upperrubberboot dot com with a copy of your original receipt, and let us know which format you would like to switch to.

Please note that Upper Rubber Boot Books never uses DRM. If you discover DRM on any of our titles, it was put there by the bookseller—please let us know so we can correct the situation with our vendor.


Submissions: We are currently CLOSED to submissions, except:

I’m currently open to anthology pitches from editors for science fiction/speculative fiction (or blends of fiction and poetry), for publication in spring 2017 or later. I like anthologies to have a diverse blend of writers, with plenty of women, writers of color, and writers from outside the English language tradition.

Our anthologies so far are CHOOSE WISELY: 35 WOMEN UP TO NO GOOD (feminist dark fiction), HOW TO LIVE ON OTHER PLANETS (immigrant sci-fi), and APOCALYPSE NOW: POEMS AND PROSE FROM THE END OF DAYS (obviously, apocalyptic lit), and in 2016 we’re publishing the adventure scifi anthology THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM.

Traditionally I’ve paid editors a small cut of royalties and some free copies. Upper Rubber Boot is a very small press; I don’t expect you to work for free but can’t pay a lot either.

Before Dec 23, 2015, email me at joanne at upperrubberboot.com with your ideas: the more fleshed-out and detailed, the better—please include the concept, suggested titles, suggested authors/pieces, and how you’d like to get submissions (open call? invite-only? you already have all or most of a manuscript?). Thanks!


  • The editor has special loves for: feminist writing; LGBTQ/QUILTBAG writing; writing from traditions outside the English-language publishing world; and writing from the American South and Canadian Maritimes; but we don’t limit ourselves to those categories. We look for poetry and fiction with a unique vision and honed language that goes beyond the merely functional. See below for specific genres.
  • For poetry, we’re open to all forms but have a special interest in ghazal, lyric poetry, haiku/tanka, formal verse (metrical, sestina, pantoum, sonnet, villanelle), prose poetry, and free verse. We publish poetry chapbooks and full-length collections (but are currently closed to chapbook submissions). Please do not send individual poems except in response to open calls for submissions to anthologies.
  • For fiction, we’re interested in speculative* writing with a literary feel, including magical realism, science fiction (alternate history, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, contemporary/near future, cyberpunk, dystopian, science fantasy, space opera, steampunk, time travel, zombie), fantasy (apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, contemporary, dark fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, vampire), and literary writing which exploits SF/F tropes. We publish novels and short story collections. Please do not send individual short stories except in response to open calls for submissions to anthologies.
  • We’re interested in new work, and also in reissuing older work which is no longer available to the public in any form (or is only available in a language other than English, and you own English-language rights, and can provide the manuscript in English) and which is still vital and relevant to today’s audience.
  • Writers need not have previous book publications, but we do ask that writers have at least a handful of individual pieces published in anthologies, journals or magazines. If you’ve never been published anywhere, we suggest you work on magazine publication before leaping to full-length collections.
  • Please do not send submissions via postal mail.
  • Please do not submit more than one manuscript at a time.
  • We do not take simultaneous submissions.
  • We try to reply within a month or two.
  • We are only able to pay a token advance, but pay royalties of at least 9% for print sales and 30% for ebook sales, for single author books, as negotiated when we accept your manuscript.

*Speculative is an umbrella term for fantastical works, including the genres of science fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, fantasy, utopian and dystopian, and horror. We’ve listed these genres in order of our interest in them: we’re tremendously interested in science fiction, and not very interested in horror. Please do not submit mystery, romance, true crime or other non-SF/F genre work unless it has speculative elements.

Send your complete manuscript as a .RTF to joanne at upperrubberboot dot com with a cover letter briefly telling us about yourself and listing your previous publications (if this is a long list, please limit it to one page by selecting some more recent or representative works).


For cover art submissions, please contact us by email to direct us to your work online, and let us know what areas you work in so we can keep your name on file for future projects as needed. we are closed to cover art submissions at the moment.


Review copies: Please simply email the publisher at joanne at upperrubberboot dot com to let her know what you would like to review, and where you plan to publish.


URB’s Editor and Publisher is Joanne Merriam, a Nova Scotian poet and short story writer living in Nashville. She is the author of The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005; URB, 2011). When you submit unsolicited to URB, you’re submitting to her.

URB’s Acquisitions Editor is Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. His writing has appeared in The Missouri Review, storySouth, New Letters, Glimmer Train, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Potomac Review, and many others. He is currently only editing the Floodgate Poetry Series.

You can reach us at:
Upper Rubber Boot Books
PO Box 41232, Nashville, TN 37204
But please don’t send submissions here.


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