Brain Mill Press is a small, innovative publisher actively dedicated to producing a catalog of human experiences of love — all kinds of love — with a story-first approach in multiple genres. We have open submission calls a few times a year, and we host the Driftless Unsolicited novella contest in the late spring. At other times, submission is via invitation only. We are particularly interested in submissions from people of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, and women.

For April Poetry Month, Brain Mill Press is sponsoring a Student Poetry Contest. For our purposes, “student” includes anyone enrolled either in high school or college, who has not yet graduated with an undergraduate degree.

Please submit 1-3 poems, any style and length. In a short bio, include information about where you attend school, your studies, and your poetic interests. Please also upload an author photo – which we will use it if your poem is selected as either an editors' pick or a winner. By entering the contest, you confirm the work is your own, and that it hasn’t yet been published (either print or online). We particularly encourage submissions from poets of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers.

The editors will select a poem or poems each Saturday in April as the editors' pick(s), and BMP poetry month coordinator C. Kubasta will choose a grand prize winner. Selected poems will be published on the Brain Mill Press website and social media channels. Editors' pick poets are awarded with a Brain Mill Press print book (and associated art gift, if available) of their choice. The grand prize winner receives a full set four Brain Mill Press Mineral Point chapbooks from 2015-2016 and associated broadsides, as well as a set of poetry from our catalog for their school’s library. Brain Mill Press will also notify their school of their student’s accomplishment. Poets retain all rights to their work.

Ab Terra 2018 - An International Science Fiction Anthology
Edited by Yen Ooi

Submissions Open: now

Submissions Close: December 1, 2017

Shortlist Announcement: December 24, 2017

“Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”

On December 24, 1968, astronaut William Anders took a photograph after remarking on the beauty of earth from the moon—an image we know today as “Earthrise,” it introduced us to our home, to the vastness of humanity’s planet.

Ab Terra 2018 is a short story anthology that will seek to recreate that feeling when we first laid eyes on our whole world, through stories of science fiction belonging to all, from earth.


-    story length between 1,000 and 10,000 words

-    previously unpublished (previous publication on author’s own Internet platform is acceptable) science fiction short story (not fantasy) with cultural flavors from far-reaching corners of earth


-    submissions deadline: December 1, 2017

-    shortlist announcement: Earthrise day, December 24, 2017

Ab Terra series editor Yen Ooi will select stories for inclusion in the anthology. 

Submit complete story manuscripts of 1,000-10,000 words via Stories selected for the anthology will be offered a contract for publication. The anthology will be professionally edited and produced. The ebook and trade print will be internationally distributed. The anthology will be promoted by the press and submitted for industry review.

About the Ab Terra Series

Science fiction, like all other genres, has been with us for centuries. It has found its way into our homes, onto the bookshelves of readers who enjoy stories of imagination that are rooted in science and reality. To encourage this exploration further, this series seeks submissions of science fiction stories belonging to another: stories that are written with cultural flavors that will perpetuate and promote the understanding of our siblings on Earth.

“Reading [science fiction] ... is about reading the marginal experience coded through the discourses of material symbolism.”

—Adam Roberts, Science Fiction, The New Critical Idiom

Yen Ooi is a reader and author of science fiction and a consultant in publishing. She holds postgraduate degrees in English literature and international business, and a bachelor’s degree in commercial music. Having enjoyed a vibrant career in music touring, education, and management, Yen started writing in 2008. She has had various publications since then: a novel, Sun: Queens of Earth; a collection of short stories, poems and illustrations, A Suspicious Collection; and short stories and poems published in other collections. She hopes to explore further the role of fiction in understanding humanity, inspecting what it is that drives us forward in our lives. Soon, Yen will be pursuing a PhD in creative writing, specialising in Chinese science fiction.

Yen enjoys reading science fiction stories that are distinctive in characteristic and use storytelling to test the boundaries of our reflection and conception of humanity. Some of her favorite stories in this realm are Vandana Singh’s “The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet” and Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie.” She also enjoys the classic science fiction of Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, and others.

Founded by two award-winning authors, Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at

Your electronic submission will be accepted at the Brain Mill Press submission portal at Incomplete submissions and manuscripts, or manuscripts that are discovered to not meet the guidelines of this call, will be automatically rejected. This call will remain open until December 1, 2017. Except for confirmation of receipt, you should not expect to hear from the series editor prior to shortlist announcement on December 24, 2017. Form rejection should be anticipated by authors whose submission does not meet the needs of the editors at this time, but comments and feedback may be occasionally offered per the editors’ discretion.

Good luck, and direct inquiries not answered in this call to

Call for Pitches: Essays for BMP Voices Column "Makers on Making"

Opens: ongoing

Brain Mill Press seeks emotional, radically authentic essays of 750-1,500 words to appear on Voices, our online content platform, in the "Makers on Making" column.

Makers on Making features a different maker each month — printmakers, writers, knitters, crafters, painters, photographers, textile artists, and anyone else involved in art — with essays about their process on a particular project. These pieces delve into the psychology of making, the lessons we learn from success and (often more usefully) failure, and what it is to be a human authentically and emotionally involved as a maker in our world.

Essay pitches will be reviewed for suitability by Brain Mill Press staff. If your pitch is selected, you will be given a mutually-agreed period of time to write your essay. You will receive editorial development and feedback on your submitted piece, a contract granting Brain Mill Press the limited right to reproduce your piece in Voices, and payment at industry-standard rates upon publication. You will retain all other rights to your work.

Your essay and profile will be promoted on our social media outlets. Your essay will contain your headshot and bio, as well as information you may wish to include about recent work and your website and social media links. We will also include your profile on our page of Voices contributors.

Brain Mill Press exclusively invites submissions from people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers.

Other interested writers for Voices, please contact directly, and we will consider your pitches on a case-by-case basis depending on the response to the original call.

Brain Mill Press publishes “Love Books for Humans” in multiple genres. Find more information at

Contact Brain Mill Press at with questions.

If you have been invited to submit to Brain Mill Press, this is the place!