Send your work to Peepal Tree Press (soon!)

Peepal Tree Press is the world’s leading publisher of Caribbean and Black British writing. We publish around 15 titles a year. Founded in 1985, Peepal Tree brings readers the best of international writing from the Caribbean, its diasporas and Black British writers. See our website for full details of what we publish --before you make a submission.

A small team, with increased workloads mean that we are slower to respond than usual, sorry.

We aim to reply to 90% of all submissions within 20 weeks.

Please note, we cannot offer feedback.

We invite you to submit previously unpublished poetry or prose which creatively responds to David Oluwale’s story and its relevance today. Your submission can respond to David’s life or death or take it as a starting point to explore any issues that his story touches upon, such as the city of Leeds, marginalisation, racial justice, mental ill-health, rough-sleeping, exclusion, resistance and hope, reinterpreted as you see fit. Poetry and prose will be judged together. We would like to see submissions which respond to contemporary moment as well as the past. We are offering the following prizes for the best submissions:

· First Prize: £500

· Second Prize: £350

· Runner up: £150

Selected submissions will be included in an anthology of creative responses to the Oluwale story, to be published by Peepal Tree Press in Summer/Autumn 2023. The anthology will also include work from well-established writers such as Caryl Phillips and Ian Duhig, as well as reproductions of works of art produced in response to David Oluwale’s story. Readers involved in the selection processes are, among others, Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall, Sai Murray, Dr. Nasser Hussain, Dr. James McGrath, Ali Harper, Professor Max Farrar and Jeremy Poynting.

The author Caryl Phillips will make the final selection of prize winners. The anthology will be edited by Jeremy Poynting (Peepal Tree Press), Sai Murray, Max Farrar and Emily Zobel Marshall.

Please submit your work by February 1st 2023. All authors selected for publication in the anthology will receive a free copy of the anthology. Please keep short stories to a maximum of 2,500 words. We will get back to you about your submission by May 1st 2023, if not sooner

Additional Information

1. Entries must be predominately written in English (with full translation provided for non-English languages/ terms) and be your own work. We will consider previously published work, providing that you own the rights and consent to the work to be republished in the anthology.

2. By submitting you give your permission for your poem or story to be published by Peepal Tree Press in the resulting anthology.

3. Entries must be a minimum of 10 words but no longer than 25 lines for poetry, or a maximum word count of 2,500 words for prose.

4. Please format your work in either word.doc format (preferable) or PDF format (if poetry requiring a specific layout). Please save your story in the format title.doc and avoid saving your name as part of the file name.

5. No more than one entry may be submitted per person.

6. The editor’s decision is final.

7. For enquiries please email: rememberoluwale@gmail.com

In addition to a covering letter, you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. manuscript
  2. synopsis
  3. brief bio

We accept novels and short stories. Minimum 120 pages approx 40,000 words.

We're looking for writing with a
    distinctive voice (Is there anything distinctive about the style; can we hear a voice in it?) 

We’re looking for novels and collections of short stories that have a degree of originality, that aren’t pale imitations of other books, or treading territory too-often trodden without adding anything new. We like to see:


  • Writing with a way of
        looking at the world (Something that emerges from the way the whole book
        adds up, not some pre-planned message that makes the book preachy, a
        sermon.)


  • Writing that uses
        narrative as a way to vision  (Novelists may have ideas, situations
        they want to explore, but what is important is their urge to tell a story)


  • Writing that gives
        characters their heads (This is done through dialogue, interactions with
        other characters, access to the character’s inner thoughts. In good
        novels, characters can be felt to be taking their authors to places they
        may not have planned; in dull novels, you sense characters as puppets
        under the author’s control.


  • Writing that trusts readers:
        stop telling and explaining (Show: put the reader in the position of
        eyewitness, eves-dropper. Rarely should the writer have to tell the reader
        what ought to be interpretable. There’s no crime in making the reader
        work. In fact, good readers enjoy the sense of participation.)


  • Problems with plots,
        inconsistencies can be fixed. (That’s what editors do, but inconsistencies
        sometimes reveal that authors are not giving characters their heads.


  • Writing that’s dead,
        dull, cliched and lacking a vision can’t be fixed.

Our test of writing is always to “hear” it. Good writing has
rhythm, a sense of shape, balance.

Please note, we cannot offer feedback on your manuscript.


In addition to a covering letter, you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. manuscript
  2. synopsis
  3. brief bio

We accept novels and short stories. Minimum 120 pages approx 40,000 words.

We're looking for writing with a distinctive voice (Is there anything distinctive about the style; can we hear a voice in it?) 

We’re looking for novels and collections of short stories that have a degree of originality, that aren’t pale imitations of other books, or treading territory too-often trodden without adding anything new. We like to see:

  • Writing with a way of looking at the world (Something that emerges from the way the whole book adds up, not some pre-planned message that makes the book preachy, a      sermon.)
  • Writing that uses narrative as a way to vision  (Novelists may have ideas, situations they want to explore, but what is important is their urge to tell a story)
  • Writing that gives characters their heads (This is done through dialogue, interactions with other characters, access to the character’s inner thoughts. In good novels, characters can be felt to be taking their authors to places they may not have planned; in dull novels, you sense characters as puppets under the author’s control.
  • Writing that trusts readers: stop telling and explaining (Show: put the reader in the position of eyewitness, eaves-dropper. Rarely should the writer have to tell the reader what ought to be interpretable. There’s no crime in making the reader work. In fact, good readers enjoy the sense of participation.)
  • Problems with plots, inconsistencies can be fixed. (That’s what editors do, but inconsistencies sometimes reveal that authors are not giving characters their heads.
  • Writing that’s dead, dull, cliched and lacking a vision can’t be fixed.

Our test of writing is always to “hear” it. Good writing has rhythm, a sense of shape, balance.

Please note we do not offer feedback on submissions.

Before you submit, please check out our poetry list to get an idea of what we are looking for.

To submit you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. manuscript - Whole collections only (approx 48 pages of poems or more)
  2. overview of your collection
  3. brief bio

Please note that  we cannot offer feedback on your poems.

Before you submit, please check out our poetry list to get an idea of what we are looking for. 

To submit you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. manuscript - Whole collections only (approx 48 pages of poems or more)
  2. overview of your collection
  3. brief bio 

Please note that  we cannot offer feedback on your poems.

This category is for all non-fiction

Please do check out our existing titles to get an idea of the kind of books we publish. https://www.peepaltreepress.com/books

In addition to a covering letter, you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. a complete manuscript
  2. contents list and synopsis
  3. brief bio

Please note that  we cannot offer feedback.

This category is for all non-fiction

Please do check out our existing titles to get an idea of the kind of books we publish. https://www.peepaltreepress.com/books

In addition to a covering letter, you need to send us 3 attachments:

  1. a complete manuscript
  2. contents list and synopsis
  3. brief bio

Please note that  we cannot offer feedback.

Peepal Tree Press