Poor Joker Press


about us

Poor Joker Press is a Chicago-based indie publisher focusing on meaningful, well-crafted, short-form writing.  All titles from Poor Joker Press are printed in a 3.5 x 5-inch format, allowing readers to carry our stories with them -- in pockets, on city trains, in purses and on the move.

"And that there has hardly been an American writer of stature who has not come up through The Chicago Palatinate was an observation which, when somebody first made it, was still true. God help the poor joker who comes up through Old Seesaw Chicago today."

- Nelson Algren






Poor Joker Press publishes literary fiction, nonfiction and memoirs. We only accept submissions between 4,000 and 7,000 words. All submissions that follow our guidelines are considered. Please submit to poorjokersubmissions@gmail.com and ensure:

  • Name, email, phone number and brief bio are included on first page
  • PDF file (no other file types are accepted)
  • Page numbers are included
  • Genre is listed (non-fiction/fiction/memoir, etc.)

Simultaneous Submissions

We do accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you promptly inform us if your work has been accepted elsewhere.


Poor Joker Press requires First Serial Rights: "The right to be the first publisher of your work. After the work is published once anywhere, all rights revert back to you." More information can be found here.


Poor Joker Press reserves the right to edit for grammar and clarity without author's notification. All substantive edits are a collaborative process between the press and author.

response time

We attempt to read all submissions within four weeks and will communicate if this is not possible.


Payment terms (percentage of retail price) will be negotiated on an individual basis. 





Want to learn more about Poor Joker Press? We'd love to hear from you.