We are closed to book submissions.
Submissions remain open at our e-journal, Unlikely Stories Mark V.


It is with a heavy relief that we announce that Unlikely Books will be drastically cutting back on output and that submissions are permanently closed.

Speaking as editor-in-chief, I’ve experienced a couple of drastic lifestyle changes that have reduced my literary productivity. First, my wife, Rosalyn Spencer, and I have recently adopted a young child, and I am now a full-time parent. While we were navigating those legal proceedings, my eldest child died unexpectedly at the age of 29. This has had, at least for now, a significant impact on my own productivity.

I am older, sadder, and busier than I was when I added Unlikely Books to the Unlikely Stories family. I wish to continue the high quality and volume of publication at Unlikely Stories Mark V, and continue our local projects, including the Unlikely Saints reading series and our involvement in the New Orleans Poetry Festival. Meanwhile, Tobey Hiller, our editor, needs to focus on her own writing in a way she hasn’t been able to since taking the job.

Something’s got to give, and it’s going to be Unlikely Books. We will be publishing the occasional special project but will not be looking at submitted manuscripts.

That said, Unlikely Books is still part of the Unlikely Stories family and is not disappearing entirely. We will continue to print, distribute, and support our existing titles. But if you are the author of an Unlikely Book and would like to shop it around to a more active press, we do understand and will take it out of print for you.

If you are the author of an Unlikely Book and are waiting on royalties, please be patient: we’ll be caught up this summer.

And, as we say, we are working on some special projects. Our plans for 2024 and 2025, in no particular order:

A yet-to-be-titled poetry book by Sheila E. Murphy
Spells for the Wicked, Marc Vincenz’s follow-up to his previous Unlikely Books poetry volumes
Nemo Under the League, textovisual poetry by Vernon Frazer
A reprint of The Other Side of the Mirror by Aileen Bassis
and Love Has Been Liquidated IV, a choose-your-own-adventure poem by John Bryan which will only appear online

Thank you for reading this and for your support over the years. Please continue to read, submit to, and support Unlikely Stories Mark V, which will continue to publish online, as it has since 1998.

With appreciation,
Jonathan Penton