Atheistic Poetry Anthology taking submissions!

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Ishvaara's picture
Atheistic Poetry Anthology taking submissions!

From our website's listing for the call for submissions ( Please note that while I will monitor for questions here, we can be reached far quicker by email, provided below.

Mission Statement:

“Unbelief” is defined as the lack of faith or belief, especially when it concerns religion, supernatural phenomena, deities, spirituality as a whole, and other related paraphernalia. With this definition in mind, Unbelief is an anthology of poetry and prose that aims to provide a forum to the public for the expression of ideas and experiences that are of relevance to the atheist, agnostic, freethinking, secular humanist, and skeptic communities.

Call for Submissions:
Unbelief’s sub-theme is “Purpose”. While we will consider and review any submission which conforms with our requirements and primary theme (as described in our mission statement), extra consideration will be given to submissions which adhere to the sub-theme. Submissions must comply with the primary theme of being related to atheism/secularism, as well as complying with the mission statement. As a matter of policy, we do not publish derogatory works.
Poets may send up to three poems of any length, along with a short bio of no more than 4 lines, to For this edition, we are not seeking prose from the general public.
Subject line should read “Unbelief Submission - *Insert your name here*”.
Poems must be sent BOTH in the main body of the email, as well as attached as one of the following attachment types ONLY: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt. No image files, PDFs, or obscure formats, please!

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on Feb 28th, 2018.
If you have any questions, please send an email with the word “Question” in the subject line to

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chimp3's picture
Will you accept limericks?

Will you accept limericks?

Ishvaara's picture
No restrictions on form,

No restrictions on form, style, length, or anything else other than quantity and theme (also, we can't accept anything that's derogatory, including works entirely focused on bashing religion, per our publisher's requirements).

Tin-Man's picture
@Ishvaara Re: "....we can

@Ishvaara Re: "....we can't accept anything that's derogatory, including works entirely focused on bashing religion,..."

Well, hell. There goes MY poem out the window. Gonna end up being a mighty short book, though, if you are looking for ideas from the crew on this site. LOL

Ishvaara's picture
Submissions CAN criticize

Submissions CAN criticize religion. It's not that strict a thing. However, it does need to have more to it than JUST that. Our secondary theme is "Purpose", and we're hoping to have people show exactly what it means to create one's own purpose, to know and have purpose WITHOUT a dependency on supernatural beliefs.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture



Attach Image/Video?: 

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man Re: Poetry site

@Old Man Re: Poetry site

Well I'll beeeee.... *scratching head*

mykcob4's picture
Ah shit, I had a poem about a

Ah shit, I had a poem about a man from Nantucket.

Ishvaara's picture
Subscribe to our publisher's

Subscribe to our publisher's newsletter and you might get a chance to have that one published! Not in Unbelief, sure, but we've done comedy anthologies before! Just remember, we've already heard all the NSFW variants of that limerick!

Ishvaara's picture
Then again, were I actually

Then again, were I actually from Nantucket, I'd insist I was that man (regardless of facts)!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture


Lets just make this simple. Your website is long on 'publish' and short on costs.
How much
a) do you pay the poet (s) to publish a 50 page book of poems?
b) On your website you say I can buy my own hard copy book at "half price" to distribute myself? How much is that?
c) What distribution network do you have? i.e Where can a customer expect to buy the hard/soft/digital retail copy of 'my' book?
d) Where will my book be reviewed and by whom?

Should be enough questions to be going on with...oh one more

e) What is your best selling volume so far? Please supply bona fide author(s), ISBN, distributors, entry into "Whittakers" and ABiP so I can reference your performance.

Thanks in advance the Good Fairy from Nantucket.

Ishvaara's picture
1) We do not pay for poet

1) We do not pay for contributions to anthologies. You will receive an e-copy to review to ensure that everything was formatted correctly, as well as a final e-copy for personal enjoyment and use.
2) That is a reference to works by individual authors, and does not apply to anthologies. Please contact our publisher for more information.
3) Hard copies will be available for purchase on Amazon. We also assist with bulk orders for organizations which may want to host events featuring our books. If electronic copies are made available (we're a bit old-fashioned and don't always provide an electronic format), that will also be available on Amazon.
4) The publisher is typically responsible for seeking reviews for anthologies, in consultation with the editors.
5) Please ask the publisher. As editor, I do not handle this.

Keep in mind, poetry does not typically make tons of money. To qualify as a best-seller would mean selling around 500 copies or so. Additionally, Local Gems is a small press, both specialized and community-oriented, focused on providing poetry-related publication services. This isn't like publishing with Random House or Simon & Schuster where you get guaranteed sales, placement in major retailers, and so forth. As such, keep in mind that this is done by a small number of people with a passion for what they do. We have day jobs. We have unrelated careers. I apologize if you're disappointed by the scale and scope.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture


Not a very confidence building response

Ok just so when I go to the website I can translate the marketing gook:

i) You don't pay for anthology contributions
ii) You don't pay the author for a complete book
iii) You don't publish anything in electronic form ( mostly) what are the conditions for you to do so?
iv) You, the advertisement poster here cannot tell me if you have any authors reviewed so far or by whom
v) You the editor of several volumes so far cannot supply one ISBN of any volume published? You do know what an ISBN is, right?

If you want submissions maybe you should find out the answers and get back to us here.

So who is the publisher? Please supply registered business name, address, phone contact details and other information you have.

Who exactly is "we " as in " We have day jobs. We have unrelated careers."

As a professional and published writer I find it odd that an "editor" is spruiking the business of a publisher instead of being referred by the publisher to the author as is normal practice.

Understand I am not seeking to undermine your business model but am seeking clear answers to pertinent questions. It would be easier if the answers were clearly highlighted on the website along with ISBN of each volume, where they can be purchased and volume sales for past publications.

Ishvaara's picture
This is a small press.

This is a small press. Editors handle calls for submissions, from the general public, because these are COMMUNITY publications. This isn't designed to make you rich or famous, nor is it intended to be a career.

We offer contracts to individual authors who prefer to publish with us in lieu of self-publication or other such options. Small presses typically do NOT pay royalties as such. Authors who wish to offer an electronic format for sale can do so by requesting that it be offered (no special conditions, but most sales of poetry books happen face-to-face). As for setting prices, that is typically done by the author.

You seem to be enamored with "professional" and have no concept of what the little guy does. I'm an independent contractor, a submissions editor. I review submissions, promote the call for submissions, send acceptance emails, and conduct other such tasks. If you consider such SMALL operations beneath you, then so be it. I have neither the time nor the inclination to talk about matters I do not deal with. Use the contact form on the website if you want that information.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture

All I asked for were details.
I don't know of any specialist poetry publisher who makes a profit from sales, but as you are aware there are multiple scammers out there.
As I do not know who you are, neither heard of, seen, or read any of your publications I want to ensure your organisation isn't one of those scum.

I am well aware of the small specialist publishers and the excellent work they do. I have supported them in the past and will continue to do so as long as I draw breath.

Sorry if my pertinent questions got you annoyed but book publishing has certain standards. You still haven't answered my question re an ISBN.

If your volumes do not have an ISBN, and you do not fulfil the following listed tasks. then your press can be properly described as "Vanity Publishing" and you expect nil circulation unless promoted and purchased by the authors. Is that correct? If so be up front!

You do not submit review copies to recognised critics, so that is up to the author.

You do no marketing so that is the authors cost.

Who is the publisher/printer? By law in the US , Europe and Oceania the printer/publisher must print their details on the front or rear fly cover. So what is the big secret?

The website is long on guff and very short on actual answers. A polite, factual response is all that is needed. Thanks.

From your last paragraph it seems that you couldn't find any easy marks here and have left in a huff...ah well.

Ishvaara's picture
We don't make a profit. This

We don't make a profit on this. This is a passion. I've yet to see a poetry anthology that pays contributors (often, even the staff is unpaid on these). I prefer not to make introductions or talk shop beyond whatever project I'm working on. That's why I keep asking you to talk to the guy who runs the show. I stay in my lane, and I'd like to remain there. I don't deal with that part of the back-end. If you'd like a direct contact email (since the submissions email is only for stuff related directly to Unbelief), you can forward any such questions to

I apologize for my previous rudeness. I overreacted to being bombarded with questions beyond the scope I'm here to present. If you'd like to send in, great. If not, fine. You can also learn more about how we operate from the interview Local Gems has on Duotrope:

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Apology accepted , I shall

Apology accepted , I shall address my queries to the publisher and if I get a reply I will post it here and elsewhere.

That was easy wasn't it!

I would recommend that as a representative of a publisher soliciting submissions you apprise yourself of the legalities and pitfalls so you can answer the questions with confidence.There's lots of scams out there, I'm just very wary.

Ishvaara's picture
Again, it's poetry. A best

Again, it's poetry. A best-selling poetry book is 500-800 copies sold. Poets write for the love of poetry, and those who have "other" motivations tend to lose interest rather quickly.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Love of poetry/prose or fairy

Love of poetry/prose or fairy pictures does not preclude or excuse a lack of knowledge when soliciting submissions, money or goodwill.

Many artists and musicians are regularly conned into giving their time and talent for nothing on the old line" It would be great exposure for you" or even "Keats had to pay at first".

As I said, it seems that your calling for submissions to a Vanity Publishing enterprise, if not, please explain how it differs from the same and if you are just say so. It makes no mind. Make it plain in the website.

Both have a place in the world of the arts. After the Great and Loved Robert "Romeo" Coates used his considerable family fortune to become one of the best loved but worst actors in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Ishvaara's picture
As far as I'm aware, vanity

As far as I'm aware, vanity presses will publish ANYONE. We (by which I mean myself and my coeditor, in this instance) actually have standards, and do reject submissions if we dislike them strongly enough. Same goes for why we won't include anything that has no purpose other than bashing religion (don't want to drive off people who might contribute to other projects). I'm not claiming anything about exposure, and won't give that tired line about Keats. It's like the difference between community theater and a professional stage production at this point, and I'm probably not the one you want to ask most of this anyway. I'm terrible at answering these questions even when I do have the information handy.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Thanks for that! Refreshing

Thanks for that! Refreshing candour!

Ishvaara's picture
No problem. As for the

No problem. As for the website, we're all aware on this end of your issues with it. Best I can say is that solutions for that are being worked on, but not likely to come in the immediate future.

Randomhero1982's picture
There was a prophet to the

There was a prophet to the god of Islamic heaven,
Who liked to nonce girls under the age of eleven.
Allah said don't worry I've got your back,
As he emptied his sac....

Actually, they can be.... touchy?!?!?! I'll leave it lol

Ishvaara's picture
LAST CALL! Get yers in by

LAST CALL! Get yers in by Tuesday!

Bic Pentameter's picture
Well, ain't this a female-dog

Well, ain't this a female-dog. I found out about this anthology 4 days after the deadline. Bummer. Also, my atheist poems are rather PROUDLY derogatory... which would seem to be the whole point of writing them, so that confuses me. BUT, I like the group and will probably continue on, waiting for the next anthology! Thanks, anyway...

Ishvaara's picture
Good news for those who

Good news for those who missed the call for submissions, or who only found out too late, or whatever, is that we're working on setting up an imprint specifically for nonbelievers to publish their works. Will probably focus more on single-author and local community publications, with occasional anthologies should anyone see fit to take them up. There will be far fewer restrictions on content compared to Unbelief, as this imprint (yet to be named or launched) will act semi-independently from its parent press.

Cognostic's picture
Roses are red,

Roses are red,
Jesus is dead,
His corps lay rotting
and his followers mislead.

Terminal Dogma's picture
I guess all the lyrics on

I guess all the lyrics on Slayer's "God hates us all" album are out.

Ishvaara's picture
You could use a few lines in

You could use a few lines in an epigraph, but yeah, we tend to publish people's original writings.

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