Milwaukee! We need your stories!

Belt Publishing will be compiling an anthology of essays, stories and poems about Milwaukee in 2019 as part of our City Anthology Series.

Milwaukee feels like it’s at a historical turning point. Between booming downtown development and lingering central city segregation, under the spell of a basketball superstar and a city flag no one can agree on, the conflicts of the present day in Milwaukee seem to be coming to a (sometimes foamy) head. How the future plays out partly depends on the stories and voices we hear from today.

For this anthology book, we are looking for stories, scenes and memories from Milwaukee that evoke the place in compelling ways. Submissions can be related to a specific place, event (personal or historical) or personage, and must take place in or around the city. Stories from the surrounding counties/suburbs will also be considered.

Submissions should retain their relevance for years to come. Stories that involve humor, heartbreak, redemption and discovery will be given priority. Stories that ramble or cover well-worn territory will be frowned upon. In particular, we are interested in stories/voices from the Cream City’s African-American, Hmong, Ukrainian, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Polish, Somali, Hispanic, Latino, LGBTQ and other communities, so please share.

Your submission should be nonfiction (read: no made up stuff) personal essays/recollections between 300 and 2,000 words. (Longform pieces over 2,000 words may be considered, though please query first.) We’ll also consider poetry related to Milwaukee.

Authors can submit multiple pieces. We will accept previously published pieces, but the author must include the original publication information and have the rights to the piece. Accepted submissions will likely be edited in coordination with the author. Contributors will receive an honorarium. And seriously, don’t send fiction.

The anthology will be edited by Justin Kern, nonfiction writer and former daily news editor/reporter (and current nonprofit marketing human).

To submit an entry, please:

  • Include author’s full name and contact information (phone/email/address/three-sentence bio)
  • Indicate where the author lives/where the story takes place (i.e. Sherman Park, Walker’s Point, downtown, etc.)
  • Write “SUBMISSION” in the subject line of your email

Submit entries and questions to:

Submissions are due by June 16 15, 2018.

SPONSORS: Interest in underwriting or sponsoring this book? Email Publisher Anne Trubek (