In Canadian vernacular, Upper Rubber Boot is slang for a remote, possibly unhip, probably insignificant place, much like America’s Podunk. Upper Rubber Boot Books was founded in July 2011 to give a voice to writers working from a (metaphorically) remote place, and to that end we publish fine literary and speculative writing, with a special focus on poetry and short story collections, genres which have a particularly difficult time finding a home in the publishing world. Some of our early editions are available as ebooks only, while all of our recent titles are available as ebooks and trade paperbacks.

Who We Are

URB’s Publisher is Joanne Merriam, a Nova Scotian poet and short story writer living in Nashville. She is the author of The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005; URB, 2011) and editor of several of URB’s anthologies. When you submit unsolicited to URB, you’re submitting to her.

URB’s CTO, General Counsel, and Head Shipping Boy is Wm. Alan Slone.


We are currently CLOSED to submissions of both writing and cover art.

  • The editor has special loves for: feminist writing; LGBTQ/QUILTBAG writing; writing from traditions outside the English-language publishing world; and writing from the American South and Canadian Maritimes; but we don’t limit ourselves to those categories. We look for poetry and fiction with a unique vision and honed language that goes beyond the merely functional. See below for specific genres.
  • For poetry, we’re open to all forms but have a special interest in ghazal, lyric poetry, haiku/tanka, formal verse (metrical, sestina, pantoum, sonnet, villanelle), prose poetry, and free verse. We publish poetry chapbooks and full-length collections (but are currently closed to chapbook submissions). Please do not send individual poems except in response to open calls for submissions to anthologies.
  • For fiction, we’re interested in speculative* writing with a literary feel, including magical realism, science fiction (alternate history, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, contemporary/near future, cyberpunk, dystopian, science fantasy, space opera, steampunk, time travel, zombie), fantasy (apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, contemporary, dark fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, vampire), and literary writing which exploits SF/F tropes. We publish novels and short story collections. Please do not send individual short stories except in response to open calls for submissions to anthologies.
  • We’re interested in new work, and also in reissuing older work which is no longer available to the public in any form (or is only available in a language other than English, and you own English-language rights, and can provide the manuscript in English) and which is still vital and relevant to today’s audience.
  • Writers need not have previous book publications, but we do ask that writers have at least a handful of individual pieces published in anthologies, journals or magazines. If you’ve never been published anywhere, we suggest you work on magazine publication before leaping to full-length collections.
  • Please do not send submissions via postal mail.
  • Please do not submit more than one manuscript at a time.
  • We do not take simultaneous submissions.
  • We try to reply within a month or two.
  • We are only able to pay a token advance, but pay royalties of at least 9% for print sales and 30% for ebook sales, for single author books, as negotiated when we accept your manuscript.

*Speculative is an umbrella term for fantastical works, including the genres of science fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, fantasy, utopian and dystopian, and horror. We’ve listed these genres in order of our interest in them: we’re tremendously interested in science fiction, and not very interested in horror. Please do not submit mystery, romance, true crime or other non-SF/F genre work unless it has speculative elements.

Send your complete manuscript as a .RTF to joanne at upperrubberboot dot com with a cover letter briefly telling us about yourself and listing your previous publications (if this is a long list, please limit it to one page by selecting some more recent or representative works).

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