Indie Publisher Celebrates Small Press Month With Manuscript Contest

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This small independent publisher celebrates National Small Press Month each year by launching a search for unheard voices in fiction through its Annual Fiction Manuscript Contest.

Independent publisher Brighid's Fire Books celebrates Small Press Month by launching the search for unpublished manuscripts through its fifth Annual Fiction Manuscript Contest.

The contest, which is co-sponsored by indie online bookseller ( is held each year beginning on March 1st, which is also the beginning of Small Press Month.

"The choice to open the contest in March wasn't deliberate but, when we considered the timing with Small Press Month, we thought it worked," says Derek Stafford, owner of "A small independent bookseller and a small independent publisher joining together to celebrate independent publishing by searching for new voices in fiction — not bad, huh?"

National Small Press Month is a yearly celebration of independent publishing and the vital role they play in the industry. Co-founded by the Small Press Center and the PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the even with the theme: "Books Beyond The Obvious."

"That's a theme that we can certainly relate to," says Dawn Rivers Baker, editor at Brighid's Fire Books.

The Brighid's Fire Books/ Annual Fiction Manuscript Contest is open to unpublished, book-length fiction, with cash prizes for the top three submissions and the bonus of a publishing contract offer for the first place winner.

Brighid's Fire Books specializes in debut fiction and uses the contest as a way to connect with unpublished authors and to find titles for publication.

"It's getting more and more difficult for new authors to break into print if they don't want to self-publish," says Ms. Baker. "The contest evens the playing field a bit and helps us find strong first novels that deserve to be brought to the public."

Contest details are available online at


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Dawn Rivers Baker