BatCat Press is a small press specializing in limited handmade editions of awesome poetry and prose. 

* Entrant must be a student in grades 6-12 (during the 2018-19 school year) from Western Pennsylvania. (Current students of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School are not eligible for this contest.)

* There are two categories by age: Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12).

* Each entrant can enter one (1) submission: either a poem (20 lines maximum) or a piece of prose (fiction or nonfiction).

* Maximum word count is 750 words.

* A winner and runner-up will be named in each category, at each grade level.

* Winners will receive a $50 prize; runners-up will receive a $25 prize.

* Winners will be invited to read their work at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center during a Writing and Publishing event in 2019.

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Our Process

We welcome the submission of complete manuscripts throughout the year. We read in the fall (September – December) and typically send out accept/decline letters in December and January. Our goal is to select at least two new titles each year.

We encourage writers to submit during the summer months (June 1 – August 31). Submissions received at other times during the year will be added to our queue and response times may be quite long.

We welcome simultaneous submissions but do ask that you let us know as soon as possible if your manuscript has been picked up elsewhere.

If you have questions, please email us at

What We Accept

We welcome submissions of all kinds, and our guidelines are intentionally broad.

Length: Manuscripts may be of any length, short or long, as long as you consider the work to be able to stand alone. 

Genre & Form: We welcome all genres, but are generally most interested in what might be described “literary” writing. We accept poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and other forms (such as manuscripts that include illustrations or other media). Collections of short pieces are very welcome as are long and short single works – novels, novellas, poems, stories, etc.

We tend to gravitate toward chapbooks full of character and poetry collections that feature a strong narrative thread, but we will not go so far as to say that we actively seek these things out. Our door is open to everything, and sometimes we like to go off-script. 

Format: Please submit your manuscript as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Please only send complete manuscripts. If you are submitting a collection, please have all of the work compiled into a single file. We appreciate the inclusion of a brief cover letter.
BatCat Press