Submissions Guidelines

The Dark Mountain Project is committed to publishing original writing and art which touches on the themes of our work. We are not interested in whether you are famous or unknown. We are particularly interested in new writers. We are looking for innovative, challenging, brave writing and art, which responds to the challenge that Dark Mountain lays down – to find new stories, and new ways of telling them. However – before you submit anything for one of our books, please read the guidelines below, so you know what we do and what we’re looking for.


1. Before submitting work to us, we strongly suggest that you read our manifesto and get your hands on a copy of one of our recent books. This will give you a feel for the range and the standard of work we are looking for. Make sure you like what you see, and you know what we do. We encourage you not to get bogged down by form. Challenge us.

2. We publish fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art and sometimes work that is entirely non-categorisable.

3.  All work must be your own. When you submit it, please tell us something about who you are, including your previous work and a link to any relevant web presence. We rarely reprint work that has been published elsewhere – we are looking for original work – but if you do submit something for re-publication, please tell us where it appeared first. Please do not send us work which is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

4. We do not have strict word limits for short stories or non-fiction, but we are more likely to print pieces that are 6,000 words or under. Please strive for sharpness and originality, both in what you are saying and how you are saying it.

5. If you are submitting poems, please submit no more than two. There is no line or word limit. If sending several poems, please include them all in a single document.

6. IMPORTANT: Please email submissions to [email protected], with ‘BOOK  SUBMISSION – [YOUR NAME]’ as the subject line. Please send your submission as an attached document in a format that can be opened in Microsoft Word (e.g. .doc or .rtf). We cannot accept submissions sent in PDF format or in the body of an email. Please also name your file to include your name and the name of the piece you are submitting (eg: ‘JohnSmith_ShortStory.doc’. We receive hundreds of submissions and this makes our lives very much easier.

7. If you are submitting artwork, please send us your files as email attachments. We will happily look at web pages displaying your work, but only if they contain specific images you would like us to consider. We don’t have time to sift through your website looking for something that might fit. For the book, we ask that you present your files as follows:

* Dimensions: The maximum printable area for images: 180mm [height] x 110mm [width] However, if you’re presenting a sequence of images, then please bear in mind that the first page of the sequence will contain the title and artists name, so the height of the first image will have to be reduced or cropped to make space for this, or contact production for an amended exact height size. (See previous issues of Dark Mountain)

* File formats and colour profiles: Please apply the appropriate specification to your digital file artwork (or alternatively post your flat artwork to us and we will scan and convert it to the appropriate profile and file format for you.)

* Colour images: Digital file format: .Tiff. Resolution: 300dpi minimum. Colour mode: CYMK

* Greyscale images: Digital file format: .Tiff. Resolution: 300dpi minimum. Colour mode: greyscale  (15% dot grain)

* Black & White images: Digital file format: .Bitmap. Resolution: 1200dpi. Colour mode: bitmap [‘Greyscale’ refers to images with variations of tones i.e. mid-tones, whereas ‘Black & White’ refers to images which are made of 100% black i.e. solid black lines with no variation in tone (no grey). If your image is intended for use on the regular book paper (as opposed to the colour plate sections) it is recommended that you present your images in Bitmap format for the best results.]

8. Please be patient! Depending on the time of year, it may take us a few months to get back to you, but we will reply to every submission we receive. If you have submitted a piece to Dark Mountain, please do not submit it for publication elsewhere until you have received a response from us.

9. If we do accept your work for publication, we may get back to you with some suggested changes or improvements. We often like to work with authors to get the best out of their work.

10. We are currently unable to pay for work that we publish – we hope this will change in future – but we do send you a copy of the book on publication, and we guarantee you a smart and growing audience for your work. All copyright remains with the authors, but we ask that you don’t republish accepted work elsewhere before the book is published.