Brighthorse Books publishes works that contribute to and honor literary culture, that provide deserving writers with a way of getting their work to the public, and that provide student and volunteer staff with hands-on experience in every stage of the publishing process.

We publish books of poetry, short stories, and novels primarily through our yearly contest, The Brighthorse Prize, which you can learn more about here.



Jonis Agee

Brent Spencer


Tom Bennitt

Ryan Borchers

Jordan Farmer

Jack Hill

Amy Johnson-Oxenford

Raul Palma

Ian Rogers

Nathan Sindelar

Cameron Steele

Nicholas White


Alicia Jacques

Brighthorse Books

13202 N River Drive

Omaha, NE 68112






Brighthorse Books is a proud member of CLMP, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses; IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association; and MIPA, Midwest Independent Publishers Association.



The deadline for the yearly contest is October 1st of every year. Submissions received after that date will be considered for the following year's contest.

Eligibility Requirements
Authors writing in English, regardless of nationality, residence, or publication history may submit to the competition.


Eligible manuscripts are limited to unpublished novels, collections of short fiction, and poetry collections. Poetry manuscripts may be a collection or a single long poem.
All submissions must be submitted online through Submittable.com (https://brighthorsebooks.submittable.com/submit).


Submitted manuscripts must not have been previously published as a whole, though individual works within the full manuscript may have been published.

Authors of manuscript accepted by another publisher while under consideration for the Brighthorse Prize are asked to withdraw it from the competition by emailing us (info@brighthorsebooks.com). Entry fees cannot be refunded.

No Brighthorse staff member, board member, or volunteer may enter the competition.

Failure to comply with these guidelines may disqualify the entry. 

Please contact us at info@brighthorsebooks.com if you have any questions or problems.

Statement of Integrity

Brighthorse Books maintains the highest standard of integrity. Manuscripts are judged anonymously, and judges are required to avoid all actual and perceived conflicts of interest. Manuscripts whose authors are recognized by a judge will be reassigned to maintain anonymity.

Privacy Statement

Brighthorse Books will use your contact information to stay in touch with you on matters regarding the competition and its publishing activities. Your information will not be sold or passed on to any other individual, business, entity, or agency.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Brighthorse Books does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never heard of Brighthorse Books. Why should I submit to your contests?

A: Brighthorse Books is a fairly new literary press. We're located in Omaha, Nebraska. The press is the brainchild of writers Jonis Agee and Brent Spencer, who between them have a history in the literary community of nearly a hundred years. The mission of the press is to publish deserving books of poetry, short fiction, novels, and creative nonfiction. 

Q: How can I submit?

A: Submit manuscripts through our Submittable page at https://brighthorsebooks.submittable.com/submit.

Q: Can I submit more than one manuscript?

A: Yes, but each submission must be accompanied by a separate submission fee.

Q: How are the manuscripts judged?

A: Our editorial staff read and select up to ten finalists in each category, and then the press's editor/publishers choose the winners. In some cases, they may also choose to publish other submissions outside the contest parameters.

Q: This fee thing is just a money-making scam, right?

A: All the money generated by the contest is used as prize money for the winners, to pay for publication of the winning manuscripts and any other manuscripts chosen for publication, and to help promote the books we publish.

Q: If you’re going to charge a fee, will you at least give me feedback on my manuscript?

A: Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to, the number of submissions makes that impossible.

Q: I self-published my manuscript in a small run of 200 copies that are all stacked in my garage. Can I still submit it?

A: Only if you agree to remove the book from the marketplace.

Q: What if I want to make changes to my manuscript after submitting it?

A: Once a manuscript is submitted, no changes are allowed, unless it is chosen for publication.

Q: Is my collection of novellas eligible?

A: Yes, it would be considered a collection of short fiction. A manuscript containing a single novella would be treated as a novel. A mixture of short stories and novellas would be eligible in the short fiction category.

Q: What if I have more questions?

A: Email us at info@brighthorsebooks.com