Books by Hippocampus is the small press division of Hippocampus Magazine, an online journal dedicated to creative nonfiction since 2010.
We are open for queries from August through December each year.
What we’re looking for in submissions:
Publishing tips often include the (very logical) advice to consider a press/imprint’s history to get an idea of its aesthetic. Books by Hippocampus is a young press, and we’re aware that you don’t have much history to look back on. What you will see, however, with our debut books, is that we believe in taking chances, in telling stories in ways that aren’t the norm, in subject or style.
Still, to elaborate on the overarching categories listed above:
For memoir, we’re looking for character-driven books that highlight the human experience; we’re looking for stories that haven’t been told before, which could either mean a completely unique-to-you experience or an extremely fresh take on those common threads and themes that bind us together as humans.
For collections, we’re especially interested in books that establish a connection between the grouping of essays — this could be subtle as an underlying theme or clear as a linked, linear collection, or even a memoir-in-essays. (To answer a common question: up to 2/3 of a submitted collection may include previously published work.)
For nonfiction for young readers, we’re looking for passionate subject matter experts who can make learning about important or fascinating topics enjoyable: a historic event, a public figure, an invention, etc. These books should be authoritative and well-researched yet written in an engaging, digestible way.
For hybrid or experimental CNF, well — that’s up to you. Experiment. Then show us.
What we’re looking for in our author-partners:
Books by Hippocampus is open to all writers from the United States and beyond. We’re especially interested in elevating voices from marginalized communities.
Especially because we’re independent and in the early stages of our press, we’re compelled to work with authors who understand the value and importance of personal branding and who are comfortable with (or open to) marketing and promoting their work. (For example, an up-to-date, user-friendly author website and an active social media presence is a plus, and if you do not have those things yet, it’s OK: an openness to learning about establishing a digital presence is a good start!)
We’re also looking to partner with compassionate and passionate authors who value literary citizenship and are active in their communities, writing-related or otherwise. Moreover, inclusivity is important to us, and we desire to work with writers of all backgrounds who share in our values of equity in the literary community