ARKTOI BOOKS, an imprint of Red Hen Press, was established in 2006 by Eloise Klein Healy to publish literary works of high quality by lesbian writers. The mission of Arktoi Books is to give lesbian writers more access to "the conversation" that having a book in print affords. Submissions by both new and established authors are welcome. See the schedule below for submission dates. Each year the imprint will publish a minimum of one book.

Arktoi Books is named for the arktoi or "bears," young girls in the service of Artemis who lived for a year at her sanctuary at Brauron, east of Athens

The colophon for Arktoi Books was designed by Mark Cull, based on figures on a fragment of pottery unearthed at the Temple of Artemis Brauron. (read more)



Ching-In Chen is the daughter of immigrants and a proud Kundiman Asian American Poet Fellow. Past occupations include karaoke singer, flautist, 1st grade literacy teacher, community organizer, construction job counselor, and a severely lost person in the Rocky Mountains. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in CRATE, Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO and Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves. Currently, she is in the MFA program at the University of California at Riverside.

Her first collection of poems, The Heart's Traffic, will be published by Arktoi Books in early 2009. The Heart's Traffic is a series of connected poems about the adventures of Xiaomei, a girl who slowly discovers her own gifts through her ability to shape stories.

More about Ching-in:

Arktoi Books announces the publication of
Elizabeth Bradfield's Interpretive Work

Concerning the Proper Term for a Whale Exhaling

Poof my mother sighs
as against the clearcut banks near Hoonah
another humpback exhales, its breath
white and backlit by sun.
say that, says my father, disapproving
of such casual terminology or uneasy
with the tinge of pink tulle, the flounce
poof attaches to the thing we’re watching, beast
of hunt, of epic migrations.
                            But I’m the naturalist,
suggesting course and speed for approach. They
are novices, and the word is mine,
brought here from the captains I sailed for
and the glittering Cape Cod town
where we docked each night
after a day of watching whales.
Todd or Lumby would gutter,
turning the helm, my cue to pick up
the microphone. Coming from those smoke-roughed cynics
who call the whales dumps, rank the tank-topped talent
on the bow, and say each time they set a breaching calf
in line with the setting sun, What do you think of that? Now that’s
what I call pretty
, then sit back,
light a cigarette—coming from them,
I loved the word.
               And even more
because the dock we returned to each night
teemed with summer crowds, men lifting
their hands to other men, the town
flooded with poufs free to flutter, to cry, as they can’t
in Newark or Pittsburgh or Macon, to let
their love rise into the clear, warm air,
to linger and glow
for a brief time visible.


Information on submissions:

  • Each year, submissions will be accepted from August through November. Submissions sent at other times will be returned unread.
  • Poetry manuscripts should be between 50 and 80 pages.
  • Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts may be of any length.
  • Poetry manuscripts should be submitted as an attachment to an email (Microsoft Word file or .pdf file). Fiction or nonfiction manuscripts should be submitted hardcopy to:

         4350 Allott Avenue
         Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
         Include an SASE

  • The cover page of the manuscript should include the name, address, phone number, and email address of the writer.
  • A cover letter, sent via email with a poetry manuscript (and hardcopy with fiction or nonfiction manuscript), should present a short biographical statement by the writer and and overview of the work.
Manuscripts should be sent to,
as should inquires about the press.

Submission Schedule:
August through November each year

     Submissions in 2008 (publication in 2010/2011)
     will be accepted in fiction.

     Submissions in 2009 (publication in 2011)
     will be accepted in poetry.

     Submissions in 2010 (publication in 2012/2013)
     will be accepted in nonfiction.

     Submissions in 2011 (publication 2012)
     will be accepted in poetry

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