About Blue Crow Publishing

Blue Crow Publishing, LLC, is a small, traditional publisher and provider of author services founded in 2016.

Under our Blue Crow Books imprint we publish fiction and nonfiction of a variety of genres:

  • Adult Fiction of all genres.
  • Young Adult Fiction of all genres.
  • Nonfiction, including memoir, essays, and social commentary.

We publish approximately four titles a year. We are a socially conscious press that prioritizes traditionally marginalized authors telling their own stories.

Blue Crow Publishing Statement of Beliefs

We at Blue Crow Publishing operate according to five guiding principles. These five principles inform our decisions every day.

  • We believe that authors should be treated with honesty and respect.
  • We believe books should be beautiful and of high quality.
  • We believe that the best books are sometimes overlooked by publishers.
  • We believe that great writing is not limited by genre.
  • We believe that all authors deserve a voice, especially those whose writing the publishing world has so often turned its back on.

Blue Crow People

Lauren Faulkenberry: Co-Publisher

Award-winning writer Lauren Faulkenberry earned her MFA in book arts from The University of Alabama and her MFA in fiction writing from Georgia College & State University. She is the author of four novels, one children’s picture book, many short stories and more. She teaches book arts workshops all over the country at residencies and retreats such as the Penland School of Crafts and Wildacres.

Katie Rose Guest Pryal: Co-Publisher

Katie Rose Guest Pryal earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University, her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the author of many novels and nonfiction books, essays, and more. She also works as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Are You Hiring?

No. (Updated Feb. 25, 2021)

Blue Crow Publishing FAQs

Here are common questions that people ask about Blue Crow Publishing and other small presses.

Do you charge authors money, say, a reading fee, or a fee for publication?

Don’t be silly. No. We don’t charge any fees at all. We are what’s called a “traditional publisher.” We are not a “vanity press” or a “hybrid publisher.”

What is your royalty split with authors?

In general, we split royalties with authors somewhere around 60/40. (Your own contract might be different, depending on what we negotiate.)

Wow, that’s so high! Why do you give authors such a big royalty cut?

We are a small outfit. We will do everything we can to put out a gorgeous book and to market it well with the resources we have. But our resources are limited. So we consider you, the author, a partner in this publishing endeavor, and we need your help to make your book a success. Authors help their books succeed by proofing, marketing, maintaining a web presence, working on social media, and in other ways.

Help! I don’t know how to do those things.

Don’t worry, we’ll help you. We have created a series of author tutorials and a community of other authors who support one another. We know that many new authors don’t know much about publishing. We’re ready to support you through this partnership.

Do you pay an advance?

We do not.

Hey, why you didn’t respond to my query?

There are lots of reasons why we might not respond. The most common reason is that you sent us a query when our submissions are closed or closed to the type of book you are querying. Please don’t do that. Save your query for when we’re accepting submissions—we’ll look forward to reading (and replying) then. (Our submission guidelines are below.)


Important Note: Due to the large number of submissions we receive, queries that do not follow our guidelines will not receive a response.

Fiction: We are closed to submissions of all fiction.

Nonfiction: We are accepting submissions of narrative nonfiction and essay collections from authors who are traditionally underrepresented in publishing. 

Updated Sept. 2021

What are we looking for?

  • You have read our statement of beliefs, so you know that we believe that great writing is not limited by genre. We are interested in books ranging from literary fiction to romance to thriller and everything in between—all brought together by compelling storytelling.
  • We are interested in stories by those who are often excluded from or marginalized in publishing.
  • We are, by the way, unabashedly feminist, anti-racist, anti-ablest, pro-LGBTQ, and pro-social justice.

What are we NOT looking for?

  • Stories with main characters from marginalized groups written by authors who are not of that marginalized group. Therefore, we do not want:
      • Stories with a female main character written by a man.
      • Stories with a POC main character written by a white person.
      • Stories with a disabled main character written by a normate.
  • Stories that use disability, including mental illness, as a metaphor for something else, whether monstrous or magical. We don’t want Jigsaw (disability as monstrous) or Daredevil (disability as magical).
  • Submissions that don’t follow our guidelines or the standard guidelines for query letters. Here’s great advice on query letters.

Who are you?

  • You have a manuscript that is polished and ready to go, between 50k and 80k (max) words.
  • You know how to use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and you are willing to get even better. You provide your social media information in your query letter.
  • You have a website. You provide a link to your author (or other) website in your query letter.
  • You have a newsletter, or are willing and able to create one.
  • You can articulate your author platform and marketing strategies, and you do so in your query letter. You understand that you, like most traditionally published authors, are predominantly responsible for marketing your book.
  • You live in the United States and are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Query submission guidelines

Queries that do not follow our guidelines will be receive no response.

  • Submit a query letter by email to contact@bluecrowpublishing.com
  • Use this email subject line: Query for [Editor Name]: [Title of your book] by [Author Name]. **This is really important: You must put the word “Query” in the subject of ALL emails with us so that we can find your emails, even if we’ve been corresponding.
  • Include the first 10 pages of your manuscript with your submission
  • PASTE everything into the body of your email—NO attachments, please
  • Include in your query letter the following items, in addition to the standard query letter stuff:
    • a short bio that includes your social media information, author platform, and anything relevant to your writing of this book
    • how you found out about Blue Crow Books
    • whether you are an own voices author if your main character is from a marginalized group

To hear early announcements about our reading periods, subscribe to our newsletter: bit.ly/bcpletter.

Manuscript submission guidelines

If we request your manuscript, please follow these guidelines.

  • Submit your manuscript in MS Word or Apple Pages (preferred, actually) format
  • Indents should be made by using the first-line auto-indent feature, not by using the tab button (this is more important then you would think)
  • When you submit, please reply to your query email to keep the email thread alive
  • Please allow 6-8 weeks for us to consider your submission

Important: If your work is accepted elsewhere, please let us know as soon as you can. We spend a lot of time and energy reviewing manuscripts. We do not expect you to submit to us exclusively, but we do expect you to let us know when you aren’t going to accept our offer of publication.