Ooligan Press

Submission Guidelines

Summer 2014 Update

Although we currently are accepting submissions through our Submishmash page during the summer months, we will not begin to evaluate them until the fall term (late September). Authors should not expect to hear anything regarding the status of their submissions until the start of the fall term at the very earliest. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

As always, we are not accepting hard-copy submissions; these will be returned unread.

Publishing for the Pacific Northwest

Ooligan Press is a general trade publisher rooted in the rich literary tradition of the Pacific Northwest. A region widely recognized for its unique and innovative sensibilities, this small corner of America is one of the most diverse places in the United States, comprising urban centers, small towns, and wilderness areas. Its residents range from ranchers, loggers, and small business owners to scientists, inventors, and corporate executives. From this wealth of culture, Ooligan Press aspires to discover works that reflect the values and attitudes that inspire so many to call the Northwest their home.

Founded in 2001, Ooligan is a teaching press dedicated to the art and craft of publishing. Affiliated with Portland State University, the press is staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in an apprenticeship program under the guidance of a core faculty of publishing professionals.

Our Interests

We seek to publish regionally significant works of literary, historical, and social value.

We define the Pacific Northwest as Northern California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.

We recognize the importance of diversity, particularly within the publishing industry, and are committed to building a literary community that includes traditionally underrepresented voices; therefore, we are interested in works originating from, or focusing on, marginalized communities of the Pacific Northwest.

Additionally, our press is concerned with sustainability and the future of the publishing industry. Our OpenBook series represents our pledge to transparency in sustainable book production. By focusing on responsible and efficient printing methods, the titles in our OpenBook series are published with minimal environmental impact. We welcome work that examines and engages these issues.

Because Ooligan has narrowed its focus, our backlist no longer represents our current interests as a press. Some past titles that still meet our current submission guidelines are Oregon Stories; Classroom Publishing; Cataclysms of the Columbia; Ricochet River; Blue Thread; The Portland Red Guide; 42; Alive at the Center; and Rethinking Paper and Ink.

We invite you to submit the following:

  • Literary fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Young adult fiction
  • Books about the craft and teaching of writing, publishing, and book production
  • Books on sustainable practices

Please note that we will not consider the following:

  • Poetry chapbooks (works fewer than sixty-four pages)
  • Children’s poetry
  • Children’s picture books
  • Middle Grade books
  • Cookbooks
  • Self-help books
  • How-to manuals
  • Works in the following genres: romance, horror, and westerns
  • Incomplete Manuscripts

The Acquisitions Process

All manuscripts and proposals are read and reviewed by a committee of students enrolled in the book publishing program. To ensure a strong and informed decision regarding the possible acquisition of the work, each manuscript is read by multiple readers. A manuscript or proposal will never be read outside the acquisitions committee without permission from the author. Submission of a proposal or manuscript implies consent to the above practices. Once the committee has reached a decision, the author will be informed in a timely manner. We respond to query letters within four weeks and to proposal and manuscript submissions within three months. As a teaching press, we have an extended review process, so your patience is appreciated.

How to Submit

To further our commitment to sustainable publishing, Ooligan Press exclusively accepts digital submissions. We use Submishmash.com, a highly prevalent digital submission platform among publishers, to receive query letters, proposals, and solicited manuscripts. If you do not already have a Submishmash account, registration is free.

Submit through Submishmash.

Query Letters

We accept query letters for completed manuscripts by email or through Submishmash.com. We will only accept emailed correspondence that includes the query text in the body of the email message. In other words, please do not send us your query letter as an email attachment, as we will not open it.

Email: acquisitions@ooliganpress.pdx.edu

When submitting a query letter, please include the following:

  • A brief summary of your manuscript
  • A description of the intended audience(s) and potential market(s)
  • A short paragraph about yourself and your publishing history
  • Your contact information

If, upon review of your query letter, we are interested in reading more of your work, we will contact you and request a proposal.


We only accept proposals through Submishmash.com. Please note that we will not review any emailed proposals. When submitting a proposal, please include the following:

  • A cover letter with a summary of your work, projected page count, intended audience(s), marketing ideas, and a list of published works that compare to your writing
  • A table of contents (if appropriate)
  • Forty to sixty consecutive pages of your work

If, upon review of your proposal, we are interested in reading more of your work, we will contact you and request a full manuscript. We will not accept unsolicited manuscripts.