Torrey House Press publishes 8-10 books per year of literary novels, full-length short story collections, essay collections, creative nonfiction, and the occasional anthology. We are interested in well-crafted work with environmental, natural history, or natural landscape themes, and writing which explores the value of well-managed public lands and the transformative power of wilderness. THP does not currently accept submissions for poetry or books for children.
Please familiarize yourself with our books to see if your work and our list are compatible. Most independent bookstores and libraries carry our titles; you can also browse our online catalog.
For fiction, short story collections, and essay collections, please submit full manuscripts. For nonfiction, please submit a query first and a full proposal upon request.
The review process for submissions can take 4-6 months, or longer in some instances. We understand what it’s like to await a response, and we appreciate your patience. Phone calls, emails, or letters of inquiry will not hasten the process.
Torrey House Press publishes books at the intersection of the literary arts and environmental advocacy. THP authors explore the diversity of human experiences and relationships with place. THP books create conversations about issues that concern the American West, landscape, literature, and the future of our ever-changing planet, inspiring action toward a more just world.
We believe that lively, contemporary literature is at the cutting edge of social change. We seek to inform, expand, and reshape the dialogue on environmental justice and stewardship for the natural world by elevating literary excellence from diverse voices.
Call for Submissions: Utah Lake Chapbook
In the spring of 1849, thirty Mormon settler families entered Utah Valley with a train of wagons and cattle. They intended to establish a settlement near the shores of the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River – a glittering gem of culture and life for Ute and Shoshone peoples. The lush valley had hosted well over a thousand years of perpetual human habitation.
A young Ute man named An-kar-tewets saw the wagons approaching and rode in their direction. He stopped his horse on the trail, directly in front of the intruders, and shouted at them to go back where they came from. The Salt Lake Valley, where thousands of Mormon families had already settled, was one thing. This valley of fresh water, ample fish and game, and lush riparian vegetation was another. This place was the very meaning of home. Dimick Huntington, leading the Mormon families, pleaded with An-kar-tewets and angry friends to let them in. The Saints would show them they could all live together in peace, that the valley was rich enough to sustain them all. The Ute party unhappily gave way but made Huntington “raise his right hand and swear by the sun” that the Mormons would “not drive the Indians from their lands, nor take away their rights.”
The history of Utah Lake and the valley since that day is both well-known and obscure. A unique ecosystem that sustained human, animal, and plant life for centuries has been so transformed by irrigation, sewage, non-native fauna, and industrialization that the lake – covering 150 square miles of the sprawling urban valley floor – has become a haunting emblem of destruction and loss.
A recent plan to “save” Utah Lake by dredging toxic sediments and constructing artificial islands for high-end development has reopened cultural wounds, exploiting human fatigue, apparent powerlessness, and apathy. Legitimate science makes it clear that the remarkable water features of Utah Valley can be restored in far more natural, sustainable, and inclusive ways. But restoration will require a long-deferred cultural reckoning – a reinvention of ideological, economic, and political language to complement real science.
We are soliciting submissions of memory, hope, situated insight, and articulate emotion grounded in a place at once so beautiful and so ravaged that we have nearly lost our capacity for description. We believe that recovering language is crucial to recovering Utah Lake. We seek brief original essays, poetry, and nonfiction narratives about Utah Lake for a chapbook to be published by Torrey House Press in January 2023.
We will consider work by professional and nonprofessional writers with a commitment to the natural presence and vibrant future of Utah Lake. We hope to read firsthand narratives about the lake and its meanings; multicultural ancestral legacies; credible (and readable) scientific or anthropological insights; creative expressions that can fortify realistic hope for this priceless feature of Great Basin geography.
Co-editors Amelia England and Karin Anderson intend to produce an intergenerational, intercultural anthology that illuminates what we have collectively forgotten, misunderstood, or never seen. We hope to portray the lake in vital relationships to history, contemporary environmental issues, and cultural values. We are biased toward a favorable future for the lake and the region it defines. We are interested in the larger issues the lake represents. We appreciate attention to the beauty and impact of language.
This anthology will be made available through local bookselling venues. Torrey House will provide complimentary copies to the Utah legislature and other policymaking entities.
Please help us distribute this call to potential contributors. Feel free to ask the editors further questions via email. Visit the Torrey House website for information on the publisher’s mission and vision: https://www.torreyhouse.org/
Submission Length: up to 1000 words.
Submission Deadline: August 30, 2022
Project Editors: Amelia England firstname.lastname@example.org Karin Anderson email@example.com
Key source for the narrative above: John Alton Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1998.
Credible and powerful inspiration: https://pws.byu.edu/utah-lake/about-utah-lake? https://pws.byu.edu/utah-lake-recovery?
Torrey House Press and Zion Canyon Mesa announce Voices for the West: Writing Workshops and Community Conversations February 10-11, 2023.
Generate new work, take risks, and learn from experienced instructors and fellow writers in a supportive and intimate space. The stunning redrock scenery of Springdale, Utah, provides inspiration for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writers -- writers of all levels are welcome. Hone your craft at writing workshops during the day, and enjoy public events and readings with the award-winning instructors in the evenings. Each workshop will have a maximum of 15 attendees. Ten full scholarships will be awarded to attendees on the basis of financial need. **Applicants accepted to the cancelled February 2022 workshop will be automatically accepted after adding a note to original applications indicating intention to participate in the February 2023 workshop.**
Please submit a writing sample of 1,000-4,000 words (if applying for fiction workshop) or three poems (if applying for poetry workshop) in a single Word document. Please name the file with your last name and the writing track you are applying for (i.e.: Lastname_Poetry).
Our shared home, Salt Lake City, has a rich and complex natural and cultural history. Often that history is informed by narratives that leave behind the voices, experiences, and knowledges of communities and neighborhoods—past and present. Nonprofit publisher Torrey House Press believes that by enriching the narrative of Salt Lake City, we can unearth hidden environmental and cultural histories in order to better love this home to protect it for the future.
Torrey House is inviting writers and storytellers from across the city of Salt Lake to highlight ecological and cultural sites of interest. Choose a site in your neighborhood or a place that you know well. What natural histories are hiding in plain sight? We invite you to write the hidden and forgotten histories that you know, to share the story of a place that you consider part of your home. Send your piece to connect with other highlighted sites in the Sites and Sightlines project, which includes an online journal, a chapbook, and community conversations.
Do you know about the Salt Lake hot springs, Plum Alley, the Jordan River Corridor, the Marmalade District, the White Lake, the Avenues Wall, or another overlooked place within the city? Share your story with us and help reshape the story of Salt Lake City to incorporate the urban ecological entanglements along the Wasatch Front.
This project began with the University of Utah Environmental Humanities Graduate Program, and now in collaboration, Torrey House Press will create a soft-bound chapbook to grow the community of Sites and Sightlines. By connecting individual sites, we are hoping to set up collective sightlines: new paths to explore together. The chapbook will include a variety of essays from both community members and university students that focus on place. These essays will immerse readers in overlooked sites and unmapped sightlines across the city. What hidden histories and ecologies can we illuminate and share? What happens when we practice heightened and thoughtful noticing? Torrey House Press will develop community events during October 2019 featuring Sites and Sightlines writers and places.
Please focus your writing on one site/place in up to 800 words and include three photos (jpeg) of your site. Submit your story by June 24th.
In the 2017 State of the Air report, the American Lung Association ranked Salt Lake’s air quality as the 6th worst in the nation and gave Utah as a whole an “F” for ozone and “D” for particulate pollution. For years, environmental groups, moms, doctors, activists, and concerned residents of Utah have worked tirelessly to advocate for clean air. What we need more of, though, is story. Utah officials know the statistics on our polluted air, but they need to hear from you. To fully emphasize the gravity of our air pollution problem, we need your story.
In coordination with local clean air groups, Torrey House Press will create a soft-bound chapbook called Breathing Stories: Utah Voices for Clean Air. During the first week of the legislative session in January, we will deliver a copy to every state legislator and make copies available to city, county, and tribal officials. This project will also empower our community. Your story will inspire others to speak up, to share their air story, and demand a clean future.
Breathing Stories is an ongoing project, and we will continue to publish stories online after the January 2018 chapbook is produced. We welcome clean air stories from Utah and around the world.
We need your most moving, impassioned, carefully argued words you have ever crafted in the name of clean air. This may be a fragment, a paragraph, a poem, an excerpt, or an essay. Please write no more than 800 words.